Samm Anga (b. 1997) is a Nigerian-born multimedia artist specialising in sound art and the moving image. A Masters student on the Sound Arts course at London College of Communication; he is constantly having to question the multi-faceted identity of sound in the Anthropocene – how the sounds of nature become an intrusion to urban life, how the crunch of plastic underscores global decay.
Coming from a background of the composition, he has scored various independent short films, set his music to spoken word and audio theatre pieces for BBC releases, and produced music for a modest range of indie artists. At the crux of fleshing out his own identity in the industry, it is an incessant balancing act between all his various interests. Where the current industry demands that every creative be a fully realised act the moment they exist on social media, he tethers himself to the practice of his jazz background, where players must fail every night in small-time clubs until they’ve hewn their craft into virtuosity.
Faced with the impending impasse of digital natives, “fast-food” content, instant gratification data response patterns, the evolution of streaming services (basically, the “short and snappy” digital climate), it is a never-ending tussle between style and substance- the validation of publicity or the unforgiving island of excludability. With no other options left in a post-pandemic climate, he might present an enigmatic figure in the future of post-internet creatives- edging a square inch closer to the attention spotlight.
Samm Anga Artist’s Statement
Where my background in music always flirted with experimentalism, my work with video and sound deals with the democratisation of technology and storytelling. The late incarnation of digital processes into my practice means that I am constantly engaging pre-emptively with ever-newer, simpler technology, striving for an organic, analogue workflow despite highly technical processes. My love for avant-garde jazz growing up highly influences my soundscapes; I find myself painting sounds with frenetic synesthesia, in sync with the colour, pace and form of the accompanying visual field. A childhood of performance has also led to an obsession with the viewer’s journey. I constantly scrutinise my work with fresh eyes, cutting and disjointing, forcing succinct structures to what might otherwise become ostentatious maximalism.
My previous collaborations with Veronica involved creating responsive visual backdrops for my live performances. In collaborating again for this residency, the glaring elephant in the room is the complete and alien contextual societal shift within which we now found ourselves in. Since our last gig, live performances had become prohibited, we live in two separate cities, and most people, including ourselves, currently spent a majority of our time at home shielding from the much-reported Covid-19 pandemic.
Although it was natural to fall into patterns of creativity that we were used to, it made no sense to replicate a live visual or even music video format. I struggled to work with music outside of a context that I had always experienced it from- its relation to an audience I knew would inevitably be present. Instead, my current state felt insular, dormant, stuck within a digital loop reel of lockdown content. This work presents our reaction to that.
Thank you Samm Anga, for the Agora Theme
Elizabeth Richardson | Ed Peter Traynor | 26 February 2021
Nick Dunn | Ed YoungMi Lamine | 29 August 2020 – additional info on 22 September 2020