On April 19th, 2008 I met Graeme King near the Black Cat nightclub after he had just started his 24 hours on 14th Street project. His goal was to take pictures of people for 24 hours and exhibit the photographs at his Artomatic exhibit space.
I had just finished the VJ setup upstairs in the main room of the Black Cat and was about to head home to change clothes before the evening. Although I didn’t blog about it at the time, that evening I VJed alongside DJ Rekha from New York City. DJ Rehka is a London-born musician who DJs her own blend of contemporary bhangra hip-hop fusion and has been credited with pioneering bhangra music in North America. Her first album, DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, was released in October 2007 on Koch Records, fuses the South Asian genre of bhangra music with international hip-hop and drum beats. It was quite a lot of fun! Click here to download an MP3 from her CD.
Graeme’s photograph of me is unique because he caught me wearing an article of clothing that has been blogged about and even written about in the Washington Post. Look at the sidebar photograph to see another view of the shirt (the photograph was taken nearly one year earlier). Although you can only see the top of the graphic in Graeme’s photograph, it features the close-up detail from Ball of Destruction, which is a map I created in September of 2005 that features a woman textured by aerial photography of the area around White House holding a globe of Hurricane Katrina with a devastated New Orleans in the background.
For the show I wore a shirt that I had recently ordered from France that says “Jeux de mains, Jeux de vilains” which is definitely not something that says Bhangra, but I didn’t know I’d be VJing when I was getting ready for the night. The phrase literally translates to “Hand Games, Evil Hands,” but the proverb has multiple different meanings. From what I understand, the phrase was first was coined during the French Revolution by rich nobles who played Jeu de paume (the precursor to tennis) with rackets & gloves while the poor (the villains according to the nobility) played with their bare hands. Now it’s a traditional proverb adults use when children are playing too rough. It also has a sexual connotation, but I’ll let you figure that out yourself.
Enough about the clothing, check out Graeme’s time-lapse video of his Artomatic installation. His exhibit space is on the south end of the 6th floor. The picture of me above is featured about 27 seconds into the video: