m+k:: sonic mbari (2010) installation



This piece uses the Igbo (Nigerian) concept of the mbari. An mbari is a traditional Igbo community-commissioned gallery. Decorated with abstract patterns and filled with art objects, an mbari is usually created by an artist for a specific community. It functions as a religious offering, and its purpose is to praise, thank, or appease the gods. This sonic mbari was created at Project Row Houses in Houston,Texas and responds to, and contains audio interviews with Houston's Third Ward community.

At the center of a traditional mbari is a representation of Ala (the goddess of the Earth) and her husband, Amadioha (the god of thunder). This sonic mbari is a sculpture made of earth (Ala), sound, and light (Amadioha).The soundscape in this installation is a combination of original music and sounds combined with the sounds of the Third Ward community. The sounds of voices and music trigger light patterns which flicker against the earth.The Sonic Mbari is a companion module to our opera-masquerade, Four Electric Ghosts.