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Aboutface live pres. - Chromophobia (2020)


Feat Leyla Pillai reciting passages from David Batchelors 'Chromophobia'

11/09/2020 Sova Audio Studio, London, and live stream world wide.

Facebook Event

Studio Sova Stream

An interactive live painting performance that uses sensors to convert merging drops of colour into sound. This in combination with electronic/acoustic improvisations, pay homage to London’s diverse ethnic groups and communities, instrumental in the development of pioneering music, art and modern cultural leaders. The performance uses a chromesthesic expression of colour and sound, motivated by the CDRC’s interactive colour data visualisation of the density of diverse ethnic groups in London's neighbourhoods.

CDRC map of Country of Birth and location

The project draws parallels between David Batchelor’s argument that in the west, since antiquity, colour in art and architecture has been systematically marginalised, diminished and degraded, with the challenges diverse communities and marginalised groups face today as a result of structural prejudice.

‘Chromophobia manifests itself in the many and varied attempts to purge colour from culture, to devalue colour, to diminish its significance, to deny it’s complexity.’colour is made out to be the property of some ‘foreign’ body - usually the feminine, the oriental, the primitive, the infantile, the vulgar, the queer or the superficial.’

- David Batchelor in Chromophobia, (2000)


The performance also explores Batchelor's theme of colour and femininity, with the assignation of gender and sexuality on colour and tonality in music, which is applied in a negative way, from within another structurally prejudiced institution, the electronic music industry.


3 x 20 min improvisations, set to binaural recordings of 3 London communities.

1 - Southall (India/Pakistan)

2 - Brixton (Jamaica/Carribean)

3 - New Malden (East Asia)

Live sound-reactive dropping of alcohol Inks on perspex canvas, with a transparent black and white half-tone cling sticker c/o Stickershop

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