Norman W. Long: Calumet in Dub

November 10, 2022–February 17, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 10, 5–7 p.m. 

The Department of Exhibitions, Performance and Student Spaces’ Glass Curtain Gallery is pleased to present Calumet in Dub, a solo exhibition by Norman W. Long. Come celebrate the opening on Thursday, November 10 from 5 to 7 p.m., the artist will be present.

Calumet in Dub focuses on Long’s research-based work delving into the ecology and soundscapes of the Southeast Side of Chicago along the Calumet and Little Calumet River area. Inspired initially by a story that aired on the BBC about the relationship of the Little Calumet River to the history of the Great Migration, Long has investigated how housing, labor, and environmental activism has coalesced in this location and how historic figure, Hazel Johnson considered the “mother of the environmental justice movement,” diligently brought these issues to light. Other inspiration was found in Annea Lockwood’s work A Soundmap of the Hudson River, and production techniques found in the works of Dub producers King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

This exhibition consists of an 8-channel speaker installation in the main gallery, accompanied by two rooms that shed light on the research that has informed the work. The population demographics, ecological information, and pollution statistics about the Calumet region provide the raw data that Long uses in this body of work and his experimental sound art practice translates visual and text-based information into sonic experiences.

Long’s experimental sound practice uses sound from direct field recordings, sonified research data, and experimentation with various inputs and outputs. This exhibition includes sounds from historically significant locations of the Great Migration in the Calumet area, such as wind in the trees or bubbling water of a stream. Long gathers other sounds by processing data through inputs such as the TwoTone webapp (which allows him to assign a particular note or pitch to the numerical data in order to turn it into sound) or the PlantWave device (that reads plant biorhythms through electrodes connected to a plant). Once sounds have been collected, effects are used to manipulate sound and further creative methods of editing, splicing, and moving sound through multiple audio channels are used to transport the listener to different locations via the soundscapes he creates.

During the run of Calumet in Dub, a full-color catalog will be issued that includes an essay by Guest Essayist, Erin Margaret Day. This exhibition runs from November 10, 2022, through February 17, 2023 with a closing reception, public performance, and catalog release party on February 16, 2023 from 5–7 p.m. 

Land Acknowledgment: The Calumet region was home to the Illinois, Miami and Potawatomi. 

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

Tuesday, January 31, 5–6:30 p.m.
Norman W. Long Artist Talk
     5–5:30 p.m.        Viewing exhibition prior to artist talk, Glass Curtain Gallery
     5:30–6:30 p.m.   Artist talk, Conaway Center (next to gallery)
Please RSVP here
The artist talk is brought to you through a collaboration with Student Diversity and Inclusion, and it is in association with Norman W. Long’s exhibition Calumet in Dub in the Glass Curtain Gallery from November 10, 2022–February 17, 2023.

Thursday, February 16, 5–7 p.m.
Experimental performances with Allen Moore (electronics), and with Aquarius Aquarius (voice and movement) & Closing Reception and Catalog Release Party

To view a copy of the Calumet in Dub catalog, click on the image below:
Catalog cover, image of Acme Steel Co. across the Little Calumet River.

DEPS is proud to present the DEPS Artist Profile Series featuring Norman W. Long. The DEPS Artist Profile Series is designed by DEPS Exhibitions Assistant Gray Beyer and managed by DEPS Exhibitions Assistant Mariana Belaval. To view this interactive document featuring an artist interview click on the image below.

 Cover of magazine style artist interview PDF. Image on cover is of artist's shadow in the water of the Calumet River (a major place of investigation and field recordings for the piece and exhibition 'Calumet in Dub')..

Norman W. Long’s current practice centers on walking, listening, improvising, performing, teaching, field recording, and exploring memory, place, ecology, and race. Long has performed and exhibited at Yale University’s Center for Collaborative Arts & Media in Newhaven, High Zero Festival in Baltimore , as well as the Experimental Sound Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery, The Renaissance Society, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, and the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial all in Chicago. Long has performed and toured with Angel Bat Dawid and the Brothahood, the Ali/Harris/Long/McKenna group, Dan Bitney, Todd Carter, Xris Espinoza, Carol Genetti, Damon Locks, Tatsuya Nakatani, Joe Namy, Cristal Sabbagh, and Sara Zalek. He has released his compositions on Hausu Mountain, Reserve Matinee, LINE, and Room40 labels. Anemoi is the latest ensemble release with Ishmael Ali, William Harris, and Wills McKenna. His solo album, BLACK BROWN GRAY GREEN was released in September 2021 on Hausu Mountain, and Return and Recovery is his latest solo release on LINE.

Please note: For entry into DEPS spaces, masks are required.

Glass Curtain Gallery—Columbia College Chicago
1104 S. Wabash Ave., First Floor, Chicago, IL 60605
Gallery Hours: Monday–Wednesday, Friday–Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.    

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Exhibition Contact: Mark Porter / / 312-369-6643