Aferro Publication No. 45

Aferro Publication No. 45, Elevator Music 11

Elevator Music 11: Lynnée Denise Presents Case Studies in DJ Scholarship: Folk, Funk, and Toni from Ohio, Curated by Juno Zago

Elevator Music is a continuous rotation of experimental sound art curated for the permanent Elevator Music installation on the second floor of Gallery Aferro. The installation is comprised of a very early Otis Elevator (single digit) from the early 1900s excavated from the basement of Gallery Aferro’s facilities at 73 Market Street. The Elevator was cleaned up, refurbished and equipped with a motion sensor-activated media player. Guests enter the elevator and the audio-works are activated, analogous to the ways we may enter a functioning elevator ready to deliver us to our desired (or undesired) destination. Elevator Music is a space where audio works can become accessible within a visual arts gallery experience. 

In Lynnée Denise presents Case Studies in DJ Scholarship: Folk, Funk, and Toni from Ohio, the audience is treated to a collection of songs from Ohio artists weaved between Toni Morrison’s 1986 talk/interview at the ICA London. It’s a sound collage that speaks to and through themes of music, literature, and place. From the Midwest to the UK, Morrison, and Ohio musical artists represent regional rhythms and ways of being that deserve closer attention – and more importantly, a closer listen.

A global practitioner of sound, language, and Black Atlantic thought, Lynnée Denise is an Amsterdam-based writer and interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles, California. Shaped by her parent’s record collection and the 1980s’ music scene, Denise’s work traces the intimacies of underground nightclub movements, music migration, and bass culture in the African Diaspora.

She coined the term DJ Scholarship in 2013, which explores how knowledge is gathered, interpreted, and produced through a conceptual and theoretical framework, shifting the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist and cultural worker. A doctoral student in the Department of Visual Culture at the Goldsmiths University of London, Denise’s research contends with how iterations of sound system culture construct a living archive and refuge for a Black queer diaspora.