King Britt x Claire Evans = 'OmniPresent' At Red Bull Studios NYC April 10-12
DJ/producer King Britt is set to join Omni Reboot magazine Editor-in-Chief Claire Evans at Redbull Studios New York on April 10th, 11th and 12th for a retrospective of the '70s sci-fi publication Omni Magazine and its impact on art and afrofuturism entitled OmniPresent: A Different View. The exhibition will feature rare framed artwork, unreleased images and film alongside original compositions from King Britt. Claire Evans will also host a conversation about the science magazine which delved boldly in the subjects of parapsychology, fantasy and science fiction. The magazine, founded by Kathy Keeton and Bob Guccione of Penthouse Magazine, was intended from its inception to be a magazine about the future, rather than a magazine about science, examining all realms of technology, bioscience and the paranormal, but incorporating wide ranging conversations with some of the most important scientific thinkers of the day. King Britt commented on the cultural importance of the publication, which he cites as a major artistic influence:
“As an Afrofuturist, I have always looked toward all things sci-fi, as a form of escapism. In my early years as a child growing up in Southwest Philly, this outlook on things made me a bit of an outcast, but helped me gravitate to like minded individuals. Luckily, going to school downtown, I discovered a whole new world of art, fashion and music in a magazine store called Popi's.
My favorite part of the store was the section with Heavy Metal, Dragon and the one that changed my life, Omni. Omni showed the future now. It was where fantasy and science intersect, where the worlds we dream about become reality.
This was a major impact on how I thought about everything, including music. I would listen to Jean Michele Jarre, Manuel Gottsching and Brian Eno, while reading. This music was the soundtrack for the magazine and the images changed the way I listen to mimic.
Fast forward to now. In my music collaboration with Omni, I selected a few images that I remember or spoke to me from the archives. The particular images I 'scored', influenced the sounds I decided on, the sonic direction and vision. I definitely gravitated toward images, that displayed multicultural ethnicity in a science fiction and futuristic context for my collaboration.
My favorites were photos from The Man as Art article from the June 1981 issue. Malcolm Kirk photographed many natives from a tribe in New Guinea, which are breathtaking. The article explains the different modes of dress and meaning behind different jewelry and such. The main quote from the article is "In this island society, a man's status is measured by the value of what he gives away". So I present to you Omnipresent : A Different View.”
We can add that some of us in the Okayplayer office read the staples off of our copies of Omni in our middle school years, so this exploration of afrofuturism's roots comes as a welcome tribute. King Britt's manipulation of sound and continued willingness to venture into the sonic unknown makes him an ideal choice to host and provide the soundscape for the celebration of the seminal publication and its iconic sci-fi culture. The event will also serve as a primer for Moondance, King Britt's upcoming expose on afrofuturism at MoMa PS1. Mark your calendars and prepare to travel back to the afrofuture with a look at the bold design, great packaging, scientific discussion and groundbreaking science fiction that made Omni one of the most important magazines to be published during the pre-history of the web. Listen to the brand new track from King Britt below to get a taste of the exhibition ahead of the event. Don't forget to peep the photo gallery up top. Scroll down to take a look at the event details.
Exhibition Days and Times:
April 10th: Opening Reception; Lecture by Claire Evans
7-8pm: Media/VIPs only
8-11pm: Open to Public, with RSVP: https://omnipresent.splashthat.com/
April 11th-12th: Public Hours 12pm - 8pm
Red Bull Studios New York,
220 West 18th Street, NYC