m+k:: 4-1-9 (2005) internet, gallery installation and live performance



4-1-9, OR YOU CAN’T VIEW A MASQUERADE BY STANDING IN ONE PLACE is an installation and a musical suite based on email scams. 4-1-9 is the name for a fund transfer scam or con commonly believed to originate from Nigeria. Each email tells the story of a modern African tragedy in fewer than five hundred words. These letters are actually created around the world. However, they often use names and locations that are particular to Nigeria or other parts of Africa. What idea of Africa do the composers of these letters hope to invoke?

Housed in an ATM machine at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the project explores the structure of tragedy, archetypal African identities on the web, and the notion of scams. At the website, you can listen to songs based on the letters, use our form to create your own 4-1-9 letter, and play the online game, BALANCE. The live performance includes songs and soundscapes from the work and was first commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Listen to an mp3 excerpt from the live performance at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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