Paul D. Miller is a conceptual artist, writer, and musician working in New York. His written work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Source, Artforum, The Wire, Rap Pages, Paper Magazine, and a host of other periodicals. Miller’s first collection of essays, Rhythm Science, was published by MIT Press in April 2004, and was includedd in several year-end lists of the best books of 2004, including the Guardian (UK) and Publishers Weekly. The follow up – Sound Unbound (a best selling title for MIT Press) – is a collection of writing about sound art, digital media, and contemporary composition edited by Miller with writings from Brian Eno, Jonathan Lethem, Chuck D, Steve Reich, Cory Doctorow, Saul Williams, Pierre Boulez, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jaron Lanier, Moby, and many others. Sound Unbound is used as a textbook in numerous new media classes.
Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in a wide variety of contexts such as the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture (year 2000); The Venice Biennial of Art 2007 (Africa Pavilion), the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His 2004 solo show at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, Path Is Prologue, echoed his live music/theater/film performance, “DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of A Nation, which ran simultaneously at the Lincoln Center Festival after premieres in Vienna and at Spoleto USA in Charleston, SC and continues to tour globally. Miller’s diverse career has found him working with internationally acclaimed stage director and playwright Robert Wilson; producing the first chapter of his installation piece “Link City” with students and faculty at the Art Institute of Chicago; presenting a multimedia work (commissioned by Meet the Composer) at the NAACP’s 100th Anniversary celebration; and creating a sound sculpture in Milan for that city’s centenary celebration of the Futurist movement. But even with all this, Miller is most well known under the moniker of his “constructed persona” as “DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid”. Miller has recorded a huge volume of music and has collaborated a wide variety of musicians and composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Kool Keith a.k.a. Doctor Octagon, Pierre Boulez, Killa Priest from Wu-Tang Clan, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth among many others. He also composed and recorded the music score for the Cannes and Sundance Award winning film Slam, starring critically acclaimed poet Saul Williams.
In 2006, Miller was given access to the vaults of the classic reggae label Trojan Records, resulting in his landmark compilation release In Fine Style, DJ Spooky Presents 50,0000 Volts of Trojan Records!!! on Sanctuary Records, followed by the 2007 release of Creation Rebel.. Prior to that CD, Miller’s most recently released Drums of Death, featuring Dave Lombardo of Slayer, Chuck D. of Public Enemy, Vernon Reid of Living Color, and Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto. Other notable albums include Optometry (2002), a jazz project featuring Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe McPhee, Carl Hancock Rux, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and High Priest from Anti-Pop Consortium; Dubtometry (2003), a dub remix of the same, featuring Lee “Scratch” Perry and Mad Professor; and Riddim Clash (2004), a collaboration with Twilight Dub Sound System.
Of Miller’s most recent CD, The Secret Song, All Music Guide wrote “The Secret Song is the welcome return to recording by one of its most mercurially intelligent musicmakers. It may also be the only concept recording of the 21st century that can be considered crucial listening.” The CD features guest performances by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, The Jungle Brothers, The Coup, Rob Swift, The Golden Arm Trio, and an unwitting George W. Bush.
In addition to his numerous records and articles released under the DJ Spooky name, another important project was a collaboration with Bernard Tschumi, Dean of Columbia University’s architecture department, and author of Praxis: Event Cities. This piece debuted at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2000. In the magazine world, Miller is co-publisher along with legendary African American downtown poet Steve Cannon of the magazine, A Gathering of Tribes – a periodical dedicated to new works by writers from a multicultural context and he was the first Editor-at-large of the cutting edge digital media magazine, Artbyte: The Magazine of Digital Culture.
Miller continues to add to his creative output across a broad cultural spectrum. He traveled to Antarctica in December 2007 to gather sonic and visual materials for “Terra Nova: The Antarctic Suite”, which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College, Melbourne International Arts Festival, and UC Santa Barbara. Miller was commissioned by German radio to write the composition “Terra Nullius” for broadcast in 2010. Meanwhile, the DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation was released in November 2008 by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media.
In 2011, Miller released a graphic design project exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions that explored the idea of “acoustic portraits” of Antarctica entitled “The Book of Ice” (Thames and Hudson/Mark Batty Publisher). The Book of Ice is includes an introduction by best selling author and quantum physicist Brian Greene, author, The Elegant Universe. The Book of Ice is a multi-media installation, a music composition for string quartet, and a book, and it has been included in the 2011 Gwangju Biennial, by Korean architect Seung H-Sang and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.
Miller is currently a contributing editor to C-Theory and the Arts Editor of Origin Magazine, which focuses on the intersection of art, yoga and new ideas. He continues his globe-trotting series of live events; playing at festivals; performing solo, with chamber groups, dance groups and with orchestras; and giving talks at prominent universities and conferences.
More information can be found at www.djspooky.com.
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