12 October 2021 – 30 January 2022
As night falls on 11th October a rogue frequency is transmitted from London’s Mall. This frequency sits below popular channels, infecting smart devices with bursts of encrypted data with no beginning and no end. Offering an alternative to algorithmic censorship and cultural extraction. Beyond notions of history, place and time.
– Nine Nights
Channel B is an audio-visual exploration of Black futurism by the Black-owned art, music, and creative initiative Nine Nights. The exhibition features sound and video installations by founding artists Gaika, GLOR1A and Shannen SP. At the heart of Channel B is the live event series New Syntax, which sees each installation act as staging to host performances by Black artists from across the world.
Nine Nights emerged in May 2020 to counter the systemic racial inequalities of the global music industry by exploring new modes of artistic empowerment. Founded in response to the persistent undervaluing of Black people, the growing protest movement, and the current pandemic’s impact on nightlife and live music, Nine Nights has one purpose – to support Black culture.
The work of the exhibiting artists is rooted in the electronically mutated rhythms of the diaspora that pulse through every city, every night. Drawing on a lineage of pirate radio, subterranean dance floors, and the art happenings of the 1960s, Channel B is nostalgic for an unknown past and committed to the imaginaries of a future. The installations use speculative fiction, experimental sound, and satire to explore contemporary digital issues such as surveillance and non-human intelligence.
Nine Nights will create a future archive of Black counterculture at each New Syntax event, with each installation becoming a transmitter, recorder, and broadcaster. Featuring one-off contributions from performers, live musicians and artists working with electronic music, sound and movement, New Syntax invites both present and online audiences to participate in re-imagining the future.
Nine Nights is a new music concept featuring thoughtfully curated Black artists across the world, spanning music, performance, poetry and spoken word. The name 'Nine Nights' is rooted in Jamaican tradition that celebrates the life and safe passing for those deceased over nine nights. This ‘dead yard’ series is for those who have lost their lives at the hands of racism, police brutality and COVID, to celebrate their existence, and push for change. We want a new system, one that helps develop Black lives in music, art and community.
The inherent contradictions and systematic inequality at the heart of the global music industry frequently results in Black artists sustaining its ecosystem yet consistently being undermined by it. Combined with the persistent undervaluing of Black people, the growing protest movement and the global pandemic’s impact on nightlife and live work, Nine Nights emerged in May 2020 as an attempt at exploring new modes of artistic empowerment that supports life and community directly with labour. Founded by Channel B exhibiting artists and Zara Truss-Giles, Nine Nights has one purpose – to support Black culture.
Gaika Tavares, better known simply as Gaika, is a critically acclaimed auteur from South London whose debut album Basic Volume was released in July 2018 by Warp Records. The Guardian praised the album as ‘a terrifically impressive and populist debut’, with additional praise from The Financial Times, The Independent, Noisey and Music OMH. Gaika has worked on numerous scores for film and TV, including the BBC’s Noughts + Crosses in 2020; produced a score for contemporary dancers Aisha and Abhaya in 2020; and produced the lead track for the Sundance Film Festival-nominated films Share and Sprinter in 2019. He has participated in group exhibitions at Pace Gallery and Strange Edition Gallery, both in New York. He writes fiction and is a frequent writer for Dazed.
GLOR1A is a boundary-defying artist exploring Black futurism and sci-fi through emotive music, technological art and live performances. The self-proclaimed ‘alien’ is non-conformist in approach, taking inspiration from ancestral myth and sci-fi, challenging the underrepresentation of Black femmes in cultural spaces. In 2021 she released her second EP METAL, introducing GLOR1A’s alter ego, GLOR1A 2.0 – the creation of a Black gynoid using a data-mining company to autonomously collect facial recognition data worldwide. GLOR1A’s work seamlessly operates in a multitude of spaces and she recently developed SWARM, a first-of-its-kind live performance game steeped in West African Nok culture. She has recently exhibited at The Rele Gallery, Lagos, and Somerset House × MUTEK, London, and in 2022 will exhibit at FACT, Liverpool.
Shannen SP is a London-based DJ, artist and curator. She made a name for herself through her work with UK label Hyperdub and her co-curation of the audio-visual arts and electronic music monthly event Ø. She has played sets at WWW Tokyo, Nyege Nyege Uganda, Nowadays NYC and Boiler Room, as well as provided compilations for Discwoman and DJ Mag alongside her NTS Radio residency. Shannen SP has gone on to provide A&R for NTS’s in-house label, having curated the widely celebrated Amapiano Now compilation. As a vocalist, she has featured on Nazar’s album and EP releases with Hyperdub.
Thanks to the following for their work on GLOR1A’s installation SWARM: Strap fabricator: Abdul Hamid; Music: Barkley Bandon; and Editor: Jessica Au.
And for their work on Dark Matter Inc.: Dress: Joanna Prazmo; and Mix Engineer: Tony Bennet.