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The Birth of "State Proof"

[Nat inserts cassette tape into deck A]

State Proof is an ongoing sonic research project between Simnikiwe Buhlungu,
Nathaniel Sheppard III, and Chad Cordeiro, which is aimed at exploring the ways in
which individual and collective music collections illustrate complex personal and
global historical narratives that often exist “undiscovered” in many collections. This
project employs processes of listening, sharing and collecting (crate digging,
listening sessions and freestyle DJ sets) that stem from formal and informal
systems of learning and exchange.
In the realm of printmaking, a state proof an image in process; an image
that has been printed from an ‘unfinished’ plate. In this way, artists can
track the evolution of the image in process until complete. These prints
exist as a way for the artist to trace their mark making, and also function
as an archive to the process of production. State proofs always lie
outside of the edition of prints.

[Chad kills low end on mixer]

Printmaking and analogue music (particularly vinyl records) draw very
strong technical connections to one another in terms of cutting or
pressing information into a matrix that is then editioned in a limited run,
and can be relatively easily disseminated. These two mediums also
draw distinct socio-political, historical and cultural connections to one
another, both as sites of resistance and production or dissemination of

[Simnikiwe looks for a specific record - can’t find it. So plays with the
aux’ cable instead]

Dr Satan’s Echo Chamber, written by Louis-Chude Sokei in 1997,
serves as the entry point for State Proof, thus contextualizing a text-
based narrative into a sonic one. This text is embedded in sound,
specifically speaking to dub and reggae as a chamber of echoes and an
omnipresent link that attempts to stitch together the fabric of the African
diaspora. State Proof – in turn – converses with this text, particularly in
relation to Chude-Sokei’s discussions on echo and the centre of the
universe – sound as an instigator for the beginning of life.
In this way, our personal collections – vinyl, digital, cassette – instigate
conversations between us as artists, selectors, printmakers, writers,
publishers, thinkers, brothers, sisters, receivers and reciprocators of
sonic forms. From conversations to mumbles, from mumbles to echoes;
these exist seamlessly, albeit contentiously, between the peripheries
and the centre/center.

[Someone bumps turntable. Needle skips.]

State Proof VI (12 inch lathe-cut record) exists as a product of six mix
tapes recorded onto cassette, five collective crate digging sessions,
three live DJ sets, and numerous listening sessions/conversations at
Danger Gevaar Ingozi Studio, Keleketla! Library, and The Centre for The
Less Good Idea between June 2017 and April 2018.

State Proof VI was produced as part of writing for the eye/writing for the
ear that took place as part of Season 3 at The Centre for the Less Good
Idea, 11-14 April 2018.


A Labour of Love Welkulturen Museum & Johannesburg Art Gallery

Bondage. Perversion. Recognition. Retreat. These are among the forms in which love greets us as we enter the Johannesburg Art Gallery. We are here for A Labour of Love, a group exhibition conceived, curated and two years in the making by curators Gabi Ngcobo and Yvette Mutumba.


Kwaal-ity Control 2016 @ David Krut Gallery Rosebank

Kwaal-ity Control looks squarely at the printmaking industry and art world as a whole through the eyes of two emerging artists who are also printmakers. Most recently, Cordeiro and Sheppard collaborated with the David Krut Workshop (DKW) to carve William Kentridge’s enormous woodcut, Mantegna – a formative experience that energized the artists-printmakers to grapple with the various components of the printing industry in their personal work.

DGI X Title in Transgression x Lephephe 1 -2

Lephephe is a quaterly experiment in the distribution of printed material. It is inspired by similar intiatives such as Ba re e ne re Literature Festival, Rutanang Book Fair, Abantu Book Festival, Tjo!Storyfest and the Jozi Book Fair. It aims to foster and nurture the age-old appreciation of cultural production and specifically art, literature, food and music.


DGI Studio x Title in Transgression collaboration.