August 20, 2021

Rebirth of a Nation: Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky in Conversation with Professor Chris Lippard

Chris Lippard, Professor of Film & Media Arts, speaks with Paul Miller/DJ Spooky about his Rebirth of a Nation project: how it came to be, how Birth of a Nation continues to shape narrative and representation, and how he uses his "director as DJ" philosophy to interrogate those narratives. 

Conceived as a reimagining of director D.W. Griffith’s infamously racist 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation is a controversial and culturally significant project that examines how “...exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world to this day, but in radically different forms.” Originally commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, the work has played throughout the world and continues to engage audiences in themes of civil rights and freedom, seen through the lens of DJ Spooky’s unique art of remixing.

Rebirth of a Nation will be performed at the U this coming February. You can find out more here: https://www.utahpresents.org/events/dj-spookys-rebirth-of-a-nation/  

 

 

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a composer, multimedia artist, and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller has collaborated with an array of recording artists, including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich, and Yoko Ono. His 2018 album, DJ Spooky Presents: Phantom Dancehall, debuted at #3 on Billboard Reggae.

His large-scale, multimedia performance pieces include “Rebirth of a Nation,” Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Seoul Counterpoint, written during his 2014 residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts. His multimedia project Sonic Web premiered at San Francisco’s Internet Archive in 2019. He was the inaugural artist-in-residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Met Reframed, 2012-2013.

In 2014, he was named National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He produced Pioneers of African American Cinema, a collection of the earliest films made by African American directors, released in 2015. Miller’s artwork has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries.

His books include the award-winning Rhythm Science, published by MIT Press in 2004; Sound Unbound, an anthology about digital music and media; The Book of Ice, a visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, and; The Imaginary App, on how apps changed the world. His writing has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, and he was the first founding Executive Editor of Origin Magazine.

Last modified on August 23, 2021