New York, NY, August xx, 2022 – In 2020, Dia commissioned acclaimed Detroit-based techno DJ and producer Carl Craig to create a sound installation in dialogue with the unique architecture of Dia Beacon. Party/After-Party (2020) marked Craig’s first commission for an art institution and was the culmination of a five-year engagement with the institution. Dia announced the acquisition of this large-scale installation and sound work in December 2021.
Party/After-Party (2020) lives on beyond the sound installation at Dia Beacon in this set of two vinyl LPs. The album includes four tracks of studio versions of the artist’s commission and live recordings from Dia Beacon that highlight the acoustics of the exhibition space. The LPs are supplemented by a sixteen-page booklet of liner notes, with an introduction to the project by exhibition curator Kelly Kivland, a note on the work’s technical components and its unrepeatability by Randy Gibson, a consideration of the work in light of Black musical traditions and Detroit by DeForrest Brown Jr., and a reflection on the commission by Peter L’Official.
“Carl Craig’s Party/After-Party at Dia Beacon was truly revelatory for all who experienced it. Deftly marrying the tenets of minimal art and techno, Craig transformed the lower level into a soundscape that inspired both melancholy and euphoria. I am so pleased that this work can now also be experienced by the public at home.” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director.
This release is made possible, in part, by generous support from Italian couture house Bottega Veneta. The LP is distributed by Carl’s Planet E Communications, which celebrates thirty years of showcasing Detroit musical innovation, constantly striving to defy expectations and connect genres across time and sonics. It is this type of multimedium, genre defying sound and art exploration that has made Carl, the label, and Detroit itself the ultimate stronghold for futuristic creative expression.
Craig’s multidisciplinary work also saw him collaborate with Bottega Veneta’s Creative Director, Daniel Lee, to create Runway in 2021, a series of site-specific sonic sculptures and minimal light installations in the subterranean parking garage of the historic Michigan Theatre, following the house’s Salon 03 fashion presentation. Encompassing the rawness and emptiness of the Michigan Theatre, Runway accentuated the site’s openness with shadows and strobe lights, representing the legendary early days of clubbing while simultaneously referencing the pulsating flashing lights of the camera. Using multichannel sound systems and modular synths, both floors were filled with flying growling and grimy soulful sounds that changed position in the space as the piece and the visitor progressed. Utilizing the bass sound of heaving drums and Detroit techno strings, the experience riffs off the legacy of Detroit’s techno scene.
Creativity and collaboration continue to permeate Craig’s professional interests and achievements. In early 2022, the Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble partnered with Carnegie Hall’s citywide Afrofuturism Festival, which explores music, visual arts, science fiction and technology through the lens of Black cultures. Craig’s collaborative spirit assembled some of the best players in his ensemble, bringing funk and soul into the machines – Kelvin Sholar as the music director, Underground Resistance’s Jon Dixon, young jazz wizard Ian Finkelstein, Dr. Nikki Mooney and Darrius Quince came together as a musical Voltron with Craig at the heart of it all. For the 59th Venice Biennale, Craig performed a special set in the cavernous naval complex Tese 98, in celebration of artist Stan Douglas’ participation in the Canada Pavilion.
This release will be marked by a special listening party and LP signing event with Carl Craig at Dia Chelsea on September 13, 6—8 pm. RSVP is free but required. Find out more here.
Dia Art Foundation
Taking its name from the Greek word meaning “through,” Dia was established in 1974 with the mission to serve as a conduit for artists to realize ambitious new projects, unmediated by overt interpretation and uncurbed by the limitations of more traditional museums and galleries. Dia’s programming fosters contemplative and sustained consideration of a single artist’s body of work and its collection is distinguished by the deep and longstanding relationships that the nonprofit has cultivated with artists whose work came to prominence particularly in the 1960s and ’70s.
In addition to Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea, Dia maintains and operates a constellation of commissions, long-term installations, and site-specific projects, notably focused on Land art, nationally and internationally. These include:
- Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), and Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, inaugurated in 1982 and ongoing), all of which are located in New York
- De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico
- Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lake, Utah
- Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76) in the Great Basin Desert, Utah
- De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany