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Weekly Watchlist: John Akomfrah Channels Dissonance

Whenever I’m filming out in the world, I become hyper-aware of sound. Be it the disruptive dissonance of airplanes and ambulances or the aural ambiance that defines a place or experience, sound carries an immense power to evoke emotion and convey meaning.

Today’s new film features London-based artist John Akomfrah and his uninhibited yet highly considered use of sound. His multichannel video installations are best known for their stunning visuals, but their rich layers of music and noise are equally important. Together, they make for an immersive experience that can be felt as much as seen or heard.

Just like being on a film shoot, Akomfrah’s work encourages and rewards close listening. I hope today’s film moves you to take pause and consider the sonic nuances in the spaces around you.

Ian Forster
November 10, 2021

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Explore: Sensory Sensations

Susan Philipsz captures the sound of a war-damaged trumpet at Schlossmuseum Sondershausen, Germany, 2017. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century episode, “Berlin.” © Art21, Inc. 2018.

Provoking sights, strokes, savors, sounds, and smells, the artists in our Sensory Sensations collection activate the senses to place audiences in an experiential state.

Lend an ear to history with Susan Philipsz, absorb the aromas of organic materials with Wolfgang Laib, and consume the culture and heritage of Michael Rakowitz in our Sensory Sensations collection.

Explore Sensory Sensations.

Five artists explore their artistic inheritances in five new films

From left to right: Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, and Salman Toor. © Art21, Inc. 2021.

In our final programming season of 2021, we are delighted to deliver five new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.

Stream the first four releases of the new season today.

This season features five artists—Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Salman Toor—who each find a place amongst familial and creative lineages.

Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday through mid-November at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org our YouTube channel.

See the film guide.

From left to right: Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, and Salman Toor. © Art21, Inc. 2021.