Ekene Ijeoma’s Deconstructed Anthems

Chicago premiere of Ekene Ijeoma’s Deconstructed Anthems.

About this Event

Friday & Saturday August 9 – 10

Public Program: Sound and Performance

Ekene Ijeoma’s Deconstructed Anthems

Artist Ekene Ijeoma’s Deconstructed Anthems is an ongoing series of music performances and installations in which a self-playing piano and/or musicians deconstruct “The Star-Spangled Banner,” repeating it multiple times, removing notes at the rate of mass incarceration in The United States, and ending in silence. Deconstructed Anthems will be presented as a player piano installed in The Arts Club’s gallery, performing multiple 45-minute data-driven deconstructions of a traditional arrangement of the national anthem by itself throughout the day and a live performance of a deconstruction of a jazz arrangement in collaboration with Chicago-based pianist and composer Alexis Lombre. Following Lombre’s performance, the player piano will continue performing throughout Saturday (from 11 am – 3 pm).

Ijeoma will discuss the work at 1 pm on Saturday.

Ekene is an artist and founder and director of the Poetic Justice group at MIT Media Lab. He creates artworks at the intersections of life experiences and data studies, poetic acts and analytic insights, and aesthetic quality and social efficacy. His artworks embody social issues and expose the systems affecting us as individuals. He engages with topics and mediums ranging from a website visualizing racial inequality in the design industry to a music performance/sound-reactive light installation sonifying mass incarceration.

Free & open to all


Friday 11am – 6pm Performances by the player piano in Gallery at The Arts Club

Friday 6pm – Performance by Pianist Alexis Lombre

Saturday 11am – 3pm Performances by the player piano in Gallery

Saturday 1pm – Conversation with Ekene Ijeoma and Alexandria Eregbu of Envisioning Justice, an initiative by Illinois Humanities.

Photo credit: Katrina Barber

Posted July 2, 2019
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