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Salma Noor: Cyborg(etics) to Misdemeanor


Cyborg(etics) to Misdemeanor

Contains flashing images

Cyborg(etics) to Misdemeanor is an Eyelect computer animation by Salma Noor (2021).

Click here to view Salma Noor's citations accompanying Cyborg(etics) to Misdemeanor

The following text on the work is kindly provided by Helen Starr, courtesy of the artist.

"The GIFs of Somali artist Salma Noor use time as a material for her artistic expression. The Gif is a lo-fi, architectural tool used to build narratives by layering 2D images across time. Salma’s visual art tempo, her light captured time sense, is a play of black and light which brings rhythm to the visual plane. For rhythm, a binary form of twos is a dance between what is present and what is absent. Within her time-shifting animations Noor gives blackness its proper due.

Salma’s work 'Cyborg(etics) to Misdemeanor' (2021) pays homage to hip-hop producer Missy Elliott. In Missy’s practice, performers work in conjunction with the overall sonic and visual architecture in celebratory, supernatural visions of posthumans, trans-humans and black humans. As Missy plays among futuristic machines in 'The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)' 1997, she transforms into an amorphous, non-gendered being that moves and flows as if beneath the water. Now cyborg, her supa’ black prosthesis brings blue into the shadows of the film. In this and other videos Missy uses blackness, shadows and water as the presence against which we feel her beats.

From antiquity to now Somali warrior herders and seafarers have thrived in their Martian landscapes and the salty waters of East Africa’s Arabian Straits. In these barren, breath-taking worlds, water becomes a sacred, transportive material. Water dependent, engineered vessels like the Dromedary camel, the Beden-seyed ship and the car entangle in a culture where the notion of water as a portal goes back to the Twelfth Dynasty (1778 BC) Somali fable The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor.

The pink, flashing, transporter grids from Tron’s (2010) holodeck are submerged under water in 'I’m Better' (featuring Lamb) 2017. Electric cables emerge from the dancers’ bodies, and across the toxic yellow of Missy’s jumpsuit, the words "Save the Humans" blaze. In post-human time, the Cyborg, “Missy Misdemeanor” Elliot claims her place in black futurist history - a minor undoing." ~ Text by Helen Starr

About Salma Noor

Salma transforms her ancestral archive into a more personalised, deconstructed and digitised state, imbuing it with new meaning and a greater purpose. Salma’s striking compositions are highly rhythmic, using sharp fragments of brightly-hued colour to puncture and disrupt the image’s surface. This act of layering, often paired with wordplay and humour, allows her rendering of the archive to resist any kind of legibility and confinement. Salma creates a new visual syntax that expands the definition of image-making and historical testimony. Salma is the founder of the Black Womxn’s Conference and is both a member and in-house designer of the Radical Womxn’s DANCE Party — a Liverpool-based collective which organises events that protest womxn’s struggles within wider anti-capitalist resistance movements. Her work was part of girls girls girls exhibition at PRISM Contemporary and you feel me exhibition, at FACT, Liverpool for which Salma also designed the entire visual identity. Salma has also been a contributing designer for Khabar Keslan's fourth issue: Edge and commissioned to produce augmented animations for Redistributing Power: The Art Market is Structured Like a Plantation, an event organised by Creative United.

Salma is currently a resident in PIVOT; Bluecoat and Castlefield Galleries’ joint, inaugural artist development programme.

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