Postcommodity, “From Smoke and Tangled Waters We Carried Fire Home” (2018). Steel, coal, glass. 3200 sq feet. Installation views and performance, Hall of Sculpture, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Bryan Conley. Courtesy of the 57th Ed. Carnegie International.)

At last year’s Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, the artist collective Postcommodity produced a large-scale installation of coal, glass, and rusting steel modeled after Navajo sand paintings. Using the work as a “sculptural graphic score,” local musicians performed their interpretations of the installation over six months, surfacing the local African American community’s history of organized labor and jazz music. Earlier this year, the contested histories of mid-century modernism and Cahuilla tribal territories were the focus of a sonic environment installed by the collective in the Coachella Valley. Using sound and place, Postcommodity mediates the complexities of local histories, cultural heritage, and community self-determination.

This weekend, Postcommodity members Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist will perform alongside composer Guillermo Galindo, another artist whose work incorporates Indigenous knowledge and practices. As part of their month-long residency at 18th Street Arts Center, the artists are working with community members of Santa Monica’s Pico District, a historically Black and Latinx neighborhood facing gentrification, to produce a sound-based artwork of local oral histories and contested issues within the community.

Guillermo Galindo, “Echo Exodus” (2017). documenta 14. Kassel, Germany. (Courtesy of the artist.)

As a form of “sonic medicine” that engages community members in listening and consensus-building, Saturday’s performance will feature a scored performance with Pico residents before a final culmination performance on July 31 at 18th Street Arts Center’s new gallery space at the Santa Monica Airport.

When: Saturday, July 13, 8-10pm
Where: Otis College Ben Maltz Gallery (9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, California)

More info at 18th Street Arts Center.

Abe is a writer based in Los Angeles.