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Beyond Digital Morocco - what if the DJ were the NGO

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Published on Feb 13, 2011

Beyond Digital: Morocco is a research and production project consisting of video documentation, digital media workshops, and public performances managed by artists DJ Rupture (Jace Clayton), Maga Bo, Photo Editor of The Fader magazine John Francis Peters, and Taliesin Gilkes-Bower on location for the month of June in Marrakesh, Morocco. The project focuses on how creative adaptations of global digital technologies in Morocco are helping to transform youth culture and suggesting powerful alternatives to Western concepts of digital literacy.


Collaborating.

We will create new works with local artists. These works will include songs, documentary video shorts and photography collections. We will build a temporary recording studio in our rented house and perform weekly free public concerts together with the artists we work with. Marrakesh-based arts organization Dar Al-Ma'mûn will be our primary partner for presenting our work and linking us to local musicians and artists.


Teaching.

Through a series of free workshops we will teach what we like to call 'postmedia network literacy' as we collaborate. This is a fancy way of saying that as we work we will explain digital production tools and the global media system so the musicians & kids we're working with will have a better idea how to navigate and use these systems, on their own terms. Simultaneously we will be exploring related localizations of Western tech, such as the robotic vocal transformations of Antares' Auto-Tune software in Moroccan Berber folk music—especially fascinating because everything else about the music is staunchly traditional.


Storytelling.

Everything will be documented in broadcast quality HD video. We will post daily updates online—texts, photos, rough cut videos— publicizing the project and giving an 'open source' window into our working methodology. After our residency is completed artifacts will spread globally through museum installations, public lectures, writing, photo essays, video segments, and live performance.


Our Need

We're securing grant and sponsor funding to back the 4-week project in June 2011, but right now we're asking for $5000 from you, our amazing individual supporters, to get Jace and Bo to Morocco for ten days this spring. The purpose? To do preliminary organization and networking to make sure everything goes smoothly in June. The main cost here will be travel expenses (transatlantic flights, local car rental, frugal accommodations & food, translator). Part of the money raised will be used to create a website. Anything over the amount we're asking for will be re-invested in the June portion of the project. We're in the process of establishing Beyond Digital as non-profit organization. The Morocco edition is the first of an annual series of projects that we hope to produce.

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