Mentored by musician and performer Du Yun, Reus is devising Celestial Fruit on Earthly Ground as an ongoing and open interactive artwork. It’s conceived as a living tapestry of visual and sonic traces gathered through artistic collaborations and micro-commissions.
The work focuses on the five-string banjo, a historically complex musical instrument that can be thought of as a map of material-embodied cultures, packed with the stories and ideas of people; their migrations and exchanges. Moving around through an online virtual universe, the visitor navigates and reassembles these elements in a way that mirrors the transmission and transformations of culture itself as a living, moving, and complex entity. Besides the interactive experience, the work also operates as a method and engine for driving future collaborations at the meeting points of musical instruments, technology, and tradition.
At the Forecast Festival in April, Reus will present a film experience documenting the processes of the project’s development during his and Du Yun’s work-stay in Kumasi, Ghana with crazinisT artisT (Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi), a performance artist who contributed to the corpus as a commissioned performer, collaborator, and cultural mediator.