Maxim Zhestkov (b.1985, Russia) is a media artist and director whose practice centres around the influence of digital media on shifting the boundaries of visual language. He grew up in a small town on the Volga river named Ulyanovsk. From childhood, Maxim was fascinated by art, physics and computers which led him to university, where he studied architecture and fine art. The first art films Maxim made were in monochromatic palettes and mostly concentrated on movement and physics - about 10 years of dedicated focus on the movement and choreography of elements and shapes. In 2015, Maxim and his colleagues launched a studio/workshop - Zhestkov.Studio - to explore new horizons in the world of art and work on projects for galleries, brands, and performing live shows. In digitally-rendered contemporary gallery-like settings, digital forms and sculptures move and interact. The forms are beautifully choreographed, producing rhythmic and complex movement patterns that play with their surroundings. Maxim’s work pushes the boundaries of the traditional white cube gallery environment, and questions how art is and will be viewed and experienced with the increasing influence of digital media.
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For altered states and good times.
Rap from West Africa
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Although one could argue modern rap hit Senegal in the 80s- Traditional West African Kingdoms had highly trained storytellers “Griots” who were skilled orators (MC’s) trained to memorize and recite large amounts of information concerning family tree’s and historical events through rhythm and repetition. This was acknowledged as an oral art and arguably the very first appearance of rap.