This weekend (6/19) the Museache squad has the opportunity to showcase a few of our favorite artists at the all weekend SlackFest. Starting on Friday at the Nola, Darling and then finishing up at The Silent Barn in Brooklyn. The lineup features beautiful artists such as Hadassah, Sado-San, Mal Devisa, and of course our specially curated lineup Saturday Night. Now don’t be fooled by the word festival, because this performances will be as intimate a candle lit dinner. Maybe not that close, but you get the picture. You can grab tickets and view the full schedule of what you’ll be in for below.
June 19 | Nola, Darling
June 20 | Silent Barn
June 21 | Silent Barn
|Sol and Luna
Kala and the Lost Tribe
|The Kava Daphne
Moor Mother Goddess
But it doesn’t stop there. Check out a few quotes from my conversation with Slackgaze about POC in the DIY scene, what SlackFest means, and the role of a curator.
Written By: Colin Pieters
Chat W/ Slackfest Architect Slackgaze
What’s your vision behind Slackfest? What do you hope people take away other than some great music? Or is it all about the music?
Slack: It’s meant to be an intentional moment of celebration and reverence for people of color making moves in and out of DIY scenes. We’re here in NYC and there’s a community of us building together. But, furthermore, our concerns are nuanced from the typical narrative of DIY.
It’s a celebration of blackness and pocness. And its a commons for the artists that are creating while black. Curating this festival, and most Slackgaze bills has been about the music, but more importantly it’s about the multiplicity of blackness.
It’s about how we can be brilliant at hip-hop, how we can be outter space noise musicians, how we can can create transcendent psych punk.
It’s to say that the expression of our humanity matters, deserves a space of its own, and for our community to bask in. I think the music is very important. You are what you consume, and the culture you tune into has the power to transform. But, as a festival, as a zine, as a community, my work through Slack is about providing people with a space, a commons, and a community of artists that are about POC empowerment.
But also, it’s smoke signals. It’s a raised flag to others, that there is a need, a dire need for people to be holding space and making room for POC artists at the front and center… that’s why it’s important to go hard on it and raise these smoke signals so other tribes can connect.
So POC know they aren’t in this alone and that there is strength in unity. I can dig it. Safe to say all the artists chosen are pushing this scene in their own unique way and bringing them together is also to show we black creatives can all coexist, minus the “drama” and build together?
Slack: For sure, but I also don’t shy away from drama or confrontation. I think one of the best things we can do as people in a movement together is to “call-in” each other rather than “call-out”. That is to say, check each other on how our thinking or actions can be problematic, in a way that is compassionate, rather than say, just throwing shade. Being in a room full of POC, or just, outside of whitegaze, is so important.
We should feel comfortable in policing each other, just as much as we are ready to bring each other up.
If it comes from the same place: love, and consciousness elevation. Artists have the air time to speak directly to the centers of the public. Not everyone has that privilege. I count on my peers to help me get my mind right in as much as I try to share my wisdom from experiences. I think underneath it is the assumption that we’re all teachers and students, and that embracing our full humanity means seeing and hearing each other.
Most definitely, artists do begin to fill the role of teachers. My hardest thing to deal with is how do you find the right teachers? Or are there no “right” teachers and everyone needs the platform ? As a curator how do you choose that lineup?
Slack: Show me someone who is perfect and I will study them, until then I learn from whom I can. As a curator I usually start my lineups with an essay or a question. There’s a sense of curiosity and play that I aspire the artists to engage in. What would happen if I made a room that focused on the healing of POC? What does that healing look like? What are our processes and tools? I’ve created a bill from that perspective. Other times, lineups are based on a speed-dating perspective. Curating can be like speed-dating sometimes: I think of an artist and the reasons why they shine in my mind, then I pick a few other artists that I think they would be interested and I ask them to be in a room together. In this way, I’m considering each artists unique glow and creating some sort of constellation. Curating can be like myth-making.
Isn’t it strange that when we all look into space, all over the planet, we see the same stars?
Like it’s been like this since the dawning of time. And you know, ancient civilizations have formed these names and myths and stories for the same objective vision. I think that analogy is something I keep in mind when I’m curating. I could be curating the same stars as any other curator, booker, or promoter, but my narrative is an entirely different approach. So it’s important to have outlets like this to say, this is the story I’m telling.