Artists: Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Nathaniel Sheppard III, Chad Cordeiro
Title:  State Proof VI
Year: 2018 

12” Gatefold


[Nat inserts cassette tape into deck A]

State Proof is an ongoing sonic research project between Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Nathaniel Sheppard III, and Chad Cordeiro, which is aimed at exploring the ways in which individual and collective music collections illustrate complex personal and global historical narratives that often exist “undiscovered” in many collections. This project employs processes of listening, sharing and collecting (crate digging, listening sessions and freestyle DJ sets) that stem from formal and informal systems of learning and exchange.

State proof is a printmaking term that refers to an image in process; an image that has been printed from an ‘unfinished’ plate. In this way, artists can track the evolution of the image in process until complete. These prints exist as a way for the artist to trace their mark making, and also function as an archive to the process of production. State proofs always lie outside of the edition.

[Chad kills low end on mixer]

Printmaking and analogue music (particularly vinyl records) draw very strong technical connections to one another in terms of cutting or pressing information into a matrix that is then editioned in a limited run, and can be relatively easily disseminated. These two mediums also draw distinct socio-political, historical and cultural connections to one another, both as sites of resistance and production or dissemination of ideologies.

[Simnikiwe looks for a specific record - can’t find it. So plays with the aux’ cable instead]

Dr Satan’s Echo Chamber, written by Louis-Chude Sokei in 1998, serves as the entry point for State Proof, thus contextualizing a text-based narrative into a sonic one.  This text is embedded in sound, specifically speaking to dub and reggae as a chamber of echoes and an omnipresent link that attempts to stitch together the fabric of the African diaspora. State Proof – in turn – converses with this text, particularly in relation to Chude-Sokei’s discussions on echo and the centre of the universe – sound as an instigator for the beginning of life.

In this way, our personal collections – vinyl, digital, cassette – instigate conversations between us as artists, selectors, printmakers, writers, publishers, thinkers, brothers, sisters, receivers and reciprocators of sonic forms. From conversations to mumbles, from mumbles to echoes; these exist seamlessly, albeit contentiously, between the peripheries and the centre/center.

[Someone bumps turntable. Needle skips.]

State Proof VI (12 inch lathe-cut record) exists as a product of six mix tapes recorded onto cassette, five collective crate digging sessions, three live DJ sets, and numerous listening sessions/conversations at Danger Gevaar Ingozi Studio, Keleketla! Library, and The Centre for The Less Good Idea between June 2017 and April 2018.

State Proof VI was produced as part of writing for the eye/writing for the ear that took place as part of Season 3 at The Centre for the Less Good Idea, 11-14 April 2018.