Kodwo Eshun

Koswo Eshun (UK) is a writer and artist who focuses on black identity and the African diaspora.

Kodwo Eshun

Koswo Eshun [foto © Jan Sprij]

[text 2003]

Kodwo Eshun won, at seventeen, an Open Scholarship to read Law at University College, Oxford. After eight days he switched to Literary Theory, magazine journalism and running clubs. He is not a cultural critic or cultural commentator so much as a 'concept engineer' writing on electronic music in today's setting of science fiction, technoculture, gameculture, drug culture, post war movies and post war art for I-D, The Wire, The Face, Arena, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit and The Times.

More Brilliant Than The Sun, his first book on sonic fiction, the interface between science fiction and electronic music was published in May 1998 by Quartet Books. Here he assembles an entirely new field of study which he terms sonic fiction: the intersection between science fiction and sound. Kodwo Eshun dismantles the mechanics of the futurhythmachine – the co-evolution of humans and machines.

In V2_'s Machine Times, Eshun published Visions of rhythm in the kinematic pneumacosm of Hype Williams.

He is a course leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and lectures the Dutch Art Institute at the University of Twente and De Ateliers, Amsterdam and internationally on sonic culture.



We are what we hear and what we see and what we feel and touch as much as what we think. If there's a perceptual level of information happening at the level of your fingertips, happening with your hips, happening with your groin, happening with your arse, happening with your feet, happening with your elbows, the next step is to listen to what these aspects of the body are saying and to realise that these different sensory levels have been really misunderstood. The DJ goes into a journey of the hands. The whole scratch is like this manual perception. I figure in the future that the DJs will have extremely developed fingertips, because they're super-sensitive, like lily pads, like frogs. Their heads will be fused to their necks, and I think in about twenty years time their legs may well have withered away, 'cause they never dance. That's how I think of the body, and that's how I think of rhythm. I think of rhythm as a kind of an abstract machine, which appeals to the entire distributed body, because rhythm is parallel music.
–– Kodwo Eshun, from: Interview with Chris Flor & Ulrich Gutmair, remixed and broadcast by Convex tv.

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