slide projector at Black Utopia Black Utopia LP – A Cauleen Smith Movie (GJFC 2014)

During the 2014 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium: Sounding Futures Cauleen Smith presented “Black Utopia LP – A Cauleen Smith Movie” as a keynote address.

“Black Utopia LP – A Cauleen Smith Movie” is a synchronized live cinematic performance of 35mm slides projected to the sounds of an LP Smith recorded. The LP is a collage of lectures, rehearsals, mundane ephemera and live performances by Sun Ra (1914-1993), the innovative composer, poet and musician who came to be known as much for his cosmic Afrofuturist philosophy as for his extraordinary musical compositions and performances.  Smith’s LP also includes poetry by contemporary Chicago-based artists Krista Franklin and Avery R. Young. The still images document the ephemera from the Sun Ra Alton Abraham archive housed at the University of Chicago and also include images from the artist’s personal iphone sketchbook.

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film.