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A Cypher in Queens Hip Hop Sonic Sculpture Poster created for Socrates Park x VJ Ralph McDaniels HIP HOP in the Park Event
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SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK
Founded in 1986, Socrates Sculpture Park is the only site in New York Metropolitan area specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations in a uique outdoor environment that encourages strong interaction between artist, artworks and the public. The Park's existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and improvement of our urban environment.
Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned riverside landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members, under the leadership of artist Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighborhood park for local residents. In 1998, Socrates was officially made a New York City public park. Today it hosts an outdoor exhibition and artist residency program that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of free public services.
A CYPHER IN QUEENS
Hip Hop Sonic Sculptures
SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK, ASTORIA, N.Y.C.
October 7th 2018 - March 3rd 2019
One Two, One Two... This Sculptural work is an exploration of sonic identity expressed through the frequency of the Hip Hop Cypher. A Hip Hop Cypher is a participatory gathering of onlookers forming a circle to experience the frequencies of a freestyle battle between Emcees, DJs or Breakdancers within.
This Sculptural Cypher consists of three Audio Sculptures, each representing the sonic identities of three Legendary Fallen Artists from Queens, NY. One DJ (Jam Master Jay of RUN DMC) and two Emcees (Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest and Prodigy of MOBB DEEP). These three Hip Hop Icons were chosen for their individuality, unique style of delivery, excellence and contribution to the Art-form of Hip Hop.
Each Audio Sculpture celebrates not just the artistry of Hip Hop Culture, but also serve as a Memorial for the Genius of each Artist Representing Queens. Standing nine feet tall looking down upon the viewer, each sculpted Artist is rendered within an acoustic enclosure, capable of outputting the sonic identity of their musical legacy.
These Audio Sculptures can be experienced both visually and sonically with acoustics sourced from playlists, streaming services or even the expressive participation of the viewer/audience via Bluetooth audio devices. The Sculptures are also designed as a social tool for discovery, engagement and communicating of sonic ideas within the community by serving as an audio source for social events. Maybe the sonic identity of a future Queens Icon will be discovered through engaging these Sonic Structures.
The Audio Sculptural Design has three main references of inspiration.
The first, experiencing the inescapable rattling rhythms of Calypso & Reggae emanating from clusters of stacked Speaker Boxes during Carnival season on the Island of Trinidad and Tobago. These Audio Structures are designed to blast waves of festive frequencies amidst paraders and surrounding spectators.
The second, is the inspiration of the Slit Gong, a Sculptural Instrument made of Wood and Paint measuring over fourteen feet tall, by the Tin Mweleun peoples of Ambrym Island in the Pacific Ocean. The Towering Design of the Slit Gong, carved from the trunks of breadfruit trees, is one of the largest musical instruments in the world. Placed in various villages, they serve as a communication tool to other villages over distances as well as used in many social events.
The third, Hip Hop and music of A Tribe Called Quest, MOBB DEEP, RUN DMC and many other artists was the music of my youth, which became the soundtrack to my early teens into my adult life. Hip Hop is now the most globally influenced form of American Music. To all the Fallen Artists who have contributed to this sonic phenomenon, Rest in Beats!
Sherwin Banfield - Artist
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Meet the CAST of Transitions through Triathlon:
With the help of following creative family, A CYPHER IN QUEENS will transition from concept into a Monument adorning Socrates Sculpture Park.
A CYPHER IN QUEENS
SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK x VJ RALPH MCDANIELS HIP HOP IN THE PARK EVENT
July 28th 2-7p Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria 32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Music by: The Legendary Disco Twins and Special Guest Large Professor
Following a conceptual Drawing, the next step was developing a Maquette. The sculpted Maquette based entirely off of the technical drawing is meant to work out all design elements including proportion, scale and creative process overview. This Maquette would be a fully materialized version of conceptual idea of CONFIDENCE, sculpted to reflect the intended composition, arrangement and supporting elements. This sculpted Maquette becomes the dimensional representation of my concept, allowing me to understand what the projected cost and build time will be for the final monumental version.
The Sculpture modeling process is based on the technical drawing and aided by the maquette. Executed with the understanding that the technical aspects has been measured and designed in the preproduction phase of drawing and maquette so that the creative process of freely sculpting can proceed without question. Through various stages of the sculpting process I discover the true strength and balance of the design, serving as a physiological foundation to the sculpture, this allows me to further refine the form and the details of the sculpture. Slowly building up the anatomical forms, I switch between my large sculpting tools to the smaller tools while working into the details. Working over a few days, and long hours, I execute the busts of all three Hip Hop Legends with confidence and determination. Also being very mindful of my schedule, as I have the other structural elements of The Cypher to produce.
JAM MASTER JAY
A CYPHER IN QUEENS x LEON SPEAKERS
Audio is provided by LEON SPEAKERS.
A maker of exceptional quality audio products, with a stellar reputation of having primo acoustics and durability.
"At Leon, we mix art with audio and design with technology. We’re a group of artists, designers, engineers, and craftsmen who are dedicated to producing the finest quality benchmade American audio. For almost 20 years, we’ve been meticulously handcrafting a full palette of custom speakers, sound sculptures, and audiovisual treatments, all designed and manufactured in the US." - Leon Kaplan, President and Founder of Leon Speakers
Wired within A Cypher in Queens are 4 of Terra AC FIVE speakers as well as an AC SUBe. The AC [All Climate] FIVE 3 delivers terrific sound at high output levels making it ideal for larger areas or outdoor surround sound systems. It includes two Maine-made 5.25 inch cast frame AC Series woofers for powerful bass response with delicate and articulate midrange. Highs are delivered by our exclusive 1.1-inch inverted Titanium dome fluid cooled tweeter, all divided through a high quality computer optimized third order crossover.
The Terra AC.SUBe is a powerful, weather proof partial burial subwoofer that provides a real foundation for your outdoor musical enjoyment. Its water-tight rotationally molded Polyethylene enclosure is completely impervious to the elements and since it’s totally sealed there’s no concern about insects or small animals getting side and doing damage. The internal custom-built cast aluminum 12-inch woofer is a study in high performance, low distortion and all weather reliability. Its ACAD™ (Anodized-Ceramic Aluminum Diaphragm) cone is stiff, responsive and impervious to the elements.
Artist Renderings of Leon Speakers within Sculpture Project
• Rendering within Sculpted Maquette using B505LX (x 4)
• Rendering within Technical Drawings of Prodigy and Phife using B505LX (x4) technical drawings