Banana Island was a response to Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen’s works 18 days (2006) and Play (2011) as displayed at Astrup Fearnley Museet for their June 2017 exhibition Chinese Summer in Oslo, Norway. It saw artist Brandon Covington Sam-Sumana spend 24 hours a day, for six days, livestreaming the composition of a sound project entitled Hublots, a work exploring Black American cyborg city, conceptual Blackness, Black precarity, and Black futurity, before presenting selections from the work on the seventh day.
Hublots’ composition process required Covington’s placement at an undisclosed studio location with highly restricted access to water and food – a limited supply of bananas were delivered once per day whilst all other items were dependent on the viewer’s donation to a crowdfund for those affected by recent climate change influenced hurricanes. Banana Island: Block C is an arrangement of clippings tailored specifically for FREEPORT: Terminal MCR from the over 150 hours of footage material. Covington often describes their work as “the cross between a Hunger Games style endurance simulation, crisis aid hotline, and Initial Public Offering (IPO) token sale”.
Originally commissioned for New Museum’s digital exhibition First Look: New Black Portraitures in partnership with Rhizome.
Banana Island: Block C will be showcased at Freeport: Terminal MCR, a one week AND take over the University of Salford, MediaCityUK.
Book tickets to the accompanying talk programme as part of the FREEPORT: Critical series on Fri 15 February 2018.
The New Networked Normal (NNN) explores art, technology and citizenship in the age of the Internet, a partnership project by Abandon Normal Devices (UK), Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (ES), The Influencers (ES), Transmediale (DE) and STRP (NL). This project has been co-funded with support from the Creative Europe programme.