"LISTEN & LOOK, 24 artists, 24 songs, ONE stream of consciousness." MiXTAPE Los Angeles
The lost art of the mix tape: a simple piece of plastic slid into a pocket or delivered in an envelope, each song on it deeply personal – a promise of heartbreak or love, anger or joy. When fit together like the pieces of a puzzle, the music creates a stream of consciousness, a Rorschach experience with each individual’s reaction completely unique.
It’s this experience that Dark Dark Science recreates with MIXTAPE, an interactive journey through the minds of twenty-four acclaimed fine artists.
LA MiXTAPE documents the effect of music on the process of creation, asking each participating artist to create a piece titled after a song, artist, or band that has inspired or influenced his/her creative process. Curators Jessicka Addams and Brian Wakil have arranged the selections into a single dialogue between 24 fine artists and their musical muses, and in turn a conversation has been created between the artists themselves about the relationship between their art and music.
Music is important to all of our lives, and certain songs, for reasons of nostalgia or sheer aesthetic, make us feel things we do not expect. One’s “favorite song” is often associated with comfort, but there are many other ways a track can resonate. Some songs are important because they make us feel strange and unsettled, because they crawl from the cracks in the walls and sink into our heads, dragging us in or throwing us around like dolls. When a song takes hold, it constructs an entire frame of mind, prodding and pulling at the creative brain sludge, taking us in directions we couldn’t have imagined.
Making a mix can be like writing an open letter to the world, and in the pursuit of such sincerity there must be constant erasing, rethinking, and restarting. The frustration of starting over is balanced by the satisfaction of progress, of finding the right transition or the perfect closing track. Often, the process of creating a painting or other art piece takes a similar pattern of discouragement and encouragement, and similarly, the end product is often the biggest reward of all. LA MiXTAPE is this end product, giving visual artists the chance to use music as direct inspiration, to document the relationship between two art forms, as they see it. This conversation, usually heard only by the artists themselves as they work, will be exhibited to all.
From August 4th – August 28th, Dark Dark Science will take over LeBasse Projects in L.A.’s Chinatown, with a kick-off event on Saturday, August 4th in conjunction with a number of C-Town galleries. Each exhibiting artists’ work is inspired by a particular song from the mix tapes of their memory, and titled as such, creating a tapestry of influences.
“There was time when you could simply pop in a tape and have a whole mood set for a journey. We want to recreate that experience – that feeling a mix tape brings not only for the person whole made it, but for the person who received it.”
—Artist, musician, and Dark Dark Science co-founder Jessicka Addams
“My dear friend and partner Jessicka and I are equally inspired by our friends in the art world. We share our passions, our visions, and the occasional disease with them. With our latest project, MiXTAPE, we want them to share their musical inspiration with us and their loyal following. We’ve all been hugely fortunate to enjoy their work. Now let’s also be touched by the music that drives it.”
—Co-curator Brian Wakil
In addition to the artwork on display, Dark Dark Science is compiling all of the songs that serve as inspiration into a “mix tape” available on iTunes at the gallery. The viewer is invited to download this accompanying mix tape to any smart phone and listen as they explore the show, for a complete sensory experience. Or, suggests Jessicka, give the music some room to breathe: “Listen to the mix tape on your drive home or in your own time to create your own personal journey.”
All MIXTAPE artwork in the show is available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Downtown Dog Rescue and Stray Cat Alliance.