Welcome to Barbara London Calling

In my podcast series Barbara London Calling, I’m hosting conversations with pioneering and up-and-coming artists from around the world. Together we’re exploring what motivates and inspires these artists, what technologies they use in their unusually varied practices, and how they see the world as artists working at the forefront of technology and creativity.

A few of the artists are featured in my book, Video/Art: The First Fifty Years; several are also included in “Seeing Sound,” an exhibition I organized, which tours in 2021 under the auspices of Independent Curators International (ICI), the nonprofit based in Manhattan.

Subscribe and listen on Apple , Spotify or your favorite podcast player, with a new episode released every two weeks. 

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Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard

Today, I’m calling Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, two London-based artists and collaborators with a background in installation art and the moving image. Iain and Jane began their fruitful collaboration as students at Goldsmiths in London, where they saw firsthand the good and the bad of the so-called YBA movement of young British artists.

Music has always played an important role in their work, culminating in their 2014 feature film, 20,000 Days on Earth, a musical docudrama starring the iconic singer/songwriter Nick Cave. Iain and Jane’s Requiem for 114 Radios, which features 114 vintage radios simultaneously buzzing and broadcasting, will be featured in “Seeing Sound,” an upcoming exhibition I organized with Independent Curators International (ICI). Iain and Jane, thanks for joining me.

Jane Pollard: Very welcome.

Iain Forsyth: Hello.

[Continue reading for full transcript.]

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Rachel Rossin

Today I’m calling Brooklyn-based media artist Rachel Rossin.

Born in 1987, Rachel grew up in South Florida, where she lived in the shadow of natural disaster. This sense of anxiety—a kind of dread for nature’s ferocious side—still colors Rachel’s work. By age 8, Rachel was already painting and writing computer code, and she eventually began experimenting with virtual reality and digital art. 

Welcome, Rachel.

Rachel Rossin: Hi, Barbara. Thank you for the introduction.

[Continue reading for full transcript.]

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Cao Fei

Today I’m calling Cao Fei, the Beijing-based artist who works across film, digital media, photography, sculpture, installation and performance. She has a keen interest in documenting the social impact of technological developments over the last two decades. Cao Fei is interested in how the virtual world contradicts and coincides with reality, resulting in something ambiguous and complex. Her starting point is China and how people, especially young people, navigate the rapidly changing social and technological landscape. Cao Fei, thank you for joining me.

Cao Fei: Hi, Barbara.

[Continue reading for full transcript.]

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Paul Pfeiffer

Today I’m calling Paul Pfeiffer, an American artist well known for utilizing sophisticated digital technologies to scrutinize the role mass media plays in shaping contemporary consciousness. Born in Honolulu in 1966, Paul and his family spent several years in the Philippines before returning to Hawaii. Paul now lives and works in New York, where he investigates the relationship between video, sporting events, racial politics, and what he calls “spectacle and spectatorship.” Paul, thank you for joining me.

Paul Pfeiffer: Thank you for having me.

[Continue reading for full transcript.]

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Samson Young

This is Barbara London Calling. Welcome once again to my podcast series about the wild world of media art. I’m calling media artists from around the world, many of whom I’ve worked with as an author and curator. Together we’re exploring what motivates and inspires these artists, and how they see the world as media artists working at the forefront of technology and creativity.

Today I’m calling Samson Young, a Hong Kong–based artist whom I consider to be one of the most talented investigators of sound as art.

Samson works in a broad range of disciplines: music composition, performance, installation, sound, video, drawing, and design. His artwork is elegant yet razor-sharp, and sometimes political in nature, as he addresses the vicissitudes of language and history.

Nocturne. 2015. Performance
Photo: Courtesy the artist

Samson, thanks so much for joining me.

SAMSON YOUNG: Thanks, Barbara, for having me.

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Zina Saro-Wiwa

This is Barbara London Calling. Welcome once again to my podcast series about the wild world of media art. I’m calling media artists from around the world, many of whom I’ve worked with as an author and curator. Together we’re exploring what motivates and inspires these artists, and how they see the world as media artists working at the forefront of technology and creativity.

 

Today, I’m calling Zina Saro-Wiwa, an interdisciplinary artist whose mediums include video, photography, sculpture, sound, and sometimes food. Zina has said as an artist, she wants to free herself from super colonized ideas about her native Nigeria, while expanding what it is to be an activist and environmentalist.

She wants to broaden the meaning of Africanness and ultimately decolonize the idea of self. Born in 1976 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Zina grew up in the UK and currently lives in Los Angeles, where she brought with her a love for Nollywood movies from Nigeria’s fertile film industry. Zina, thank you for joining me.

ZINA SARO-WIWA. Thank you for having me, Barbara.

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Anri Sala

This is Barbara London Calling. Welcome to my podcast series about the wild world of media art. I’m calling media artists from around the world, many of whom I’ve worked with as an author and curator. Together we’re exploring what motivates and inspires these artists, and how they see the world as media artists working at the forefront of technology and creativity.

Today I’m calling Anri Sala, an internationally acclaimed artist from Tirana, Albania. Born in 1974, Anri studied in Paris before moving to Berlin in 2004. Anri eloquently orchestrates sound in space with a keen focus on the underlying politics of contemporary life. Incorporating what he calls a distrust of language, his multi-media installations investigate the role of language and memory in our social and political history. Anri, thank you for joining me.

ANRI SALA: Thank you, Barbara. Thank you for inviting me.

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Order

Video/Art, The First Fifty Years (Phaidon Press) Video Art table of contents screenshot

“[A]n unabashed personal history coupled with a treasure trove of straight-forward facts about the artists, the art works, and the technological twists and turns that produced this art… Must read for anyone wanting both a personalized dialogue and encyclopedic knowledge on an art form that now dominates our contemporary art landscape.”Dara Birnbaum, artist

 

Video/Art, The First Fifty Years (Phaidon Press) traces the history of video art as it transformed into the broader field of media art.  
Continue reading

 

 

 

Seeing Sound


Seeing Sound
is a traveling exhibition curated by Barbara London, and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI). The exhibition and tour are supported, in part, by Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) program and with the generous support of ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. The tour launches in San Francisco at the Kadist Foundation, date to be determined.

  • Aura Satz, Dial Tone Drone, 2014.
    Aura Satz, Dial Tone Drone, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist.