We’ve reached the point where your identity, your nationality, your genre, your gender could be … the Internet. We interviewed Born in Flamez recently. But I really appreciate the new video for Electronic Beats, in that it’s not so much an artist feature as a manifesto – and a challenge.
So sure, maybe you aren’t looking to disguise your gender or even confuse people about whether you’re a soloist or a collective or put on a face mask. But … I can imagine anyone might find resonance in these questions of how they are humans, how they’ve merged with the technology they use, or how they might, in Born in Flamez’ words, “morph” beyond what they are. That might represent the essence of the artistic impulse, especially for anyone interested in how technology and instruments are part of their work.
I’ve been pondering this in a very different context this week, at the Sonic Wilderness residency hosted by Hai Art and the artist AGF in Finland. Apart from popping in my contact lenses every day – apart from being here just because of connections made on the Internet and social media – I’ve been thinking a lot about senses. In particular, using amplification and microphones seems a natural extension of my own ability to sense the environment around me. So I do feel like a cyborg in that sense.
And access to other people through the Internet can indeed challenge our own conceptions and identity, and push our work further. I’ve been thinking about this, too, just digging through my SoundCloud feed. Access to more music could be deadening, all noise and no signal. But on the other hand, I’ve followed wormholes into Bandcamp purchasing binges from southeast Poland or heard new producers from Brazil I’d never hear otherwise, and not because they just copied a genre I already knew. That’s encouraging.
I think it’s essential to ponder these things now – and that’s why I think Born in Flamez as an artist is so essential to us. We have to actively forge our identity. Otherwise, we risk becoming enslaved by our relationship with our tools, and the potential of global connectivity wasted on homogenization. But just as C-drik reminded us that other cultures don’t necessarily want to be forced to produce token versions of themselves, diversity can coexist with connectivity. We don’t have to protect our tribes from outside influence just to express ourselves, not if we develop our own agency as musicians.
Let’s fire ourselves up with more Born in Flamez, meanwhile.
One year old, but I love this collab with Phon.o:
And while we’re at it: