“I’ve always felt like I wasn’t that interested in hanging out in the music scene as much as I was interested in being around really well-read people who are into science want to talk about ideas. I like to have one foot in each world,” Paul explained when I asked how he ended up at YQI. His parents were both professors, so he’s always had a passion and natural place in academia, plus he’s a wildly well-read science fiction guy and says that very much influenced his approach to music.
Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is the ultimate creator: he’s a composer, a DJ, a multimedia artist, an editor, an author, and the curator of one of Flipboard’s most interesting magazines, “Semantic Infiltration.”
He’s completely immersed in environmental and social issues and creates art to press those issues into the public consciousness. We talked to him for episode 03 of “The Art of Curation” podcast. Here’s the show, plus other writers, thinkers and artists cited during the conversation.
Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism
August 7, 2021–February 27, 2022
Afrofuturism is a lot of things. It’s the past, present, and future reimagined through a Black cultural lens. Visionary, spiritual, and generative, it is art, music, literature, and cinema that expresses a just future where Black people and Black ideas thrive. It is fantasy and science fiction that envisions the African Diaspora and Black culture as central in a technically advanced and culturally rich civilization. It is also the ordinary—now— in this very moment and the everyday pleasures that may often be seen as mundane. Afrofuturism is a strategy for Black community building.
After a year of hiatus, the Yale Quantum Institute continues its artist-in-residence program to explore art as a medium with the goal to increase our understanding and discourse of quantum physics.
Starting this month, we will welcome multimedia artist, composer and writer Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky. His work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller has collaborated with an array of recording artists, including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich, and Yoko Ono.
DJ Spooky has contributed catalog essay notes and a music composition entitled Blues in D Minor for the exhibition The Dirty South at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Opening May 22
Curated by Valerie Cassel
DJ Spooky’s work will be featured on NHK (Japanese National TV)
Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky: multimedia artist, composer and author. Miller creates music and art inspired by science and nature to motivate people to change the world.
PAUL D. MILLER, AKA DJ SPOOKY, IS A COMPOSER, MULTIMEDIA ARTIST, AND WRITER WHOSE WORK IMMERSES AUDIENCES IN A BLEND OF GENRES, GLOBAL CULTURE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES.
PAUL D. MILLER, A.K.A. DJ SPOOKY, UNSPOOLS THE COMPLICATED HISTORY OF AN ALTERNATIVE HOLLYWOOD DEDICATED TO TELLING AFRICAN AMERICAN STORIES. PLUS: READ WHAT CRITICS SAID ABOUT THE FILMS AT THE TIME.
For Black History Month, DJ Spooky was commissioned to make a list of foundational films that he felt spoke to the history of African American cinema in film.
There’s music by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, and music by drummer, composer, and bandleader, Allison Miller. Also, hear sound art by Minnesota-based Scott L. Miller, and Paganini arranged by Liszt, recomposed by New York-based Scott D. Miller. Plus, a work by computer music composer Carl Stone.
DJ Spooky’s music with Kronos Quartet was featured on Jon Schaefer’s legendary show New Sounds, along with Bang on A Can, Laurie Anderson, and others.
DJ Spooky has participated in a series curated by Bloomberg Media and Hyundai Technologies for their inaugural ART + TECHNOLOGY Series. The other participants are renowned video artist from China, Lu Yang and James Coupe.
Progress doesn’t have to come at the expense of culture and tradition. This truism is evident from the moment you touch down in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Men and women in traditional Arabic dress and designer sunglasses emerge from luxury-brand boutiques in glitzy shopping malls, while young Emiratis in sharp Western suits sip mint tea and puff shisha pipes on downtown hotel terraces. This dichotomy of tradition and modernity makes a powerful impression on visitors, including National Geographic Explorer Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, who was struck by the paradoxical nature of the city.