My Inspiration: Laura Lulika & Hang Linton | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Baby Punk + Dr. Babuyoka is a collaborative audiovisual performance work taking place at Baltic 39 on Thursday 10th October. Combing their skills in music, moving image and live performance, and taking influence from queer crip cyborg theory and Afrofuturism, artists Laura Lulika & Hang Linton challenge the common preconceptions of what it is to be sick, crip or disabled. Here, the two artists share their inspirations for the upcoming exhibition.

We invite you to swim through a slice of the dystopian world of Baby Punk + Dr. Babuyoka. A world of autonomous health/care created out of the necessity to survive without access to the healthcare that we need. Although our world has been created due to lack, loss and trauma, it is a landscape of nourishment and transformation that traditional and Western medicine has never and could never provide. Like mushrooms growing in dirt. Like the trash we live in and that we need to live. We reuse and recycle to survive on a planet that is dying.

We present to you an intimate autobiographical journey of caregiving and care receiving, offering it as a possible alternative mode of healthcare to what is usual. Through DIY, working-class, technoshamanic rituals, we attempt to reclaim spiritual practices from neoliberal capitalism and return them to the low-income and marginalised people that these practices originated from. Community care over self-care. Genuine thoughtful loving care over the health fads that only exist to shame and manipulate our fellow crip creatures.

We adopt the awkward spaces of in-between, in identity; queerness, race and sickness. Alien, monster, cyborg, demon, cephalopod… artists? But also the in-between spaces that crip people find themselves in physically, mentally and emotionally through their experience of Crip Time. We offer a retreat from the informational overload of our digital times.

Come lie and hide and creep with us a while.

The performance takes influence from queer crip cyborg theory and Afrofuturism. Baby Punk spits bars over the live beats of sidekick, hype man and spiritual protector, Dr. Babuyoka, in an explosive, provocative and experimental performance of hip hop, dance, noise and technoshamanic rituals.

It ends with an interactive ritual and the audience is invited to celebrate their sickness, whatever that may be, with the performers. The performance ritual will take place within the installation on October 10th, just before the full moon

Laura likes to work in lots of different mediums, from dance to video, sculpture and installation. Laura’s biggest inspirations come from the crip artists and activists within the community. She has worked with several creative collectives on projects about health, including Coven Berlin, Feminist Healthcare Research Group and Sickness Affinity Group, a collective that she is an initiating member of. There are many amazing artists and collectives that deal with the topic of health that she is inspired by but she is currently a big fan of crip illustrator, Dana Kearly, Kat Anderson an artist working in moving image who focuses on the experience of Black trauma and mental illness, as well as the activist work and publications of collective, PMS (Power Makes Us Sick).  

When learning about dance and choreography, the history of the 60s minimalist art movement comes to mind as a big inspiration. Everyone was super interdisciplinary and art was not so elitist, a lot of non-artists were making art, a lot of people were collaborating. In this era, musicians, sculptors, filmmakers and dancers were all working together. A piece Laura saw at the Barbican by Lucinda Childs, Phillip Glass & Sol Lewitt called “Dance” is a big inspiration for her. This era and art movement is about disrupting the idea of who can make art and who makes what. It was about disrupting spaces and finding ways to make a conventional space unconventional. 

Showcasing the extraordinary within the ordinary is an important part of the work because people have a very flat perception of what sickness is when actually it is a much more surreal experience than what a lot of able body people realise. It is empowering to use art to show people what that experience is like.

Laura listens to a lot of hip hop and loves female rappers such as Foxy Brown, MC Lyte, Queen Latifa and Junglepussy. They are influential but what Laura does is not comparable as she sees them as legends at their craft and does not yet see herself as a musician. Laura relates herself to the likes of Iggy Pop or Ian Drury, the latter was also a crip and spoke about this a lot in his music, while also using humour a lot to tackle dark subjects. She sees herself as an angry boy and therefore feels more associated musically and performatively to the above.

Hang takes inspiration from children and creatures, there is something beautiful about the innocence that children and animals hold. Inspired by creatures & spirit animals like; dinosaurs, birds, moths, sea creatures, the freedom that animals hold is inspirational and there is a lot we can learn from them. 

Musical influences for this project are Kenny Beats & Susumu Yokota because what they do is not conventional or overthought. Hang wants to try different recording methods; like at the end of Stainz where vocals replace instrumental aspects of the song. 

Hang is also Inspired by video games as they create immersive worlds while playing a video game, 2 hours can pass in what feels like a flash. Queering the white cube and creating immersive work, where you can question how much time you just spent inside the gallery is the objective.

The character of Dr. B is meant to be there to provide support and encourage others to do the same. The inspiration is care, communication & support. There are many ways care can manifest. Care can involve helping people with practical things but it is more complex than that, it can also involve other activities like creating, listening, doing spells, making dance routines or playing video games. It is also important to take time to care for yourself. Spending time in nature has been a positive influence on his mental and physical health. 

Hang is inspired by the future and in what parts of society marginalised people are supported or celebrated. Accessibility barriers come in lots of different forms. The art world is elitist and exclusive. Marginalised people struggle to find education, opportunities, support or funding. Unfortunately, it is ingrained in history and alive today. It is sad that people are quick to take from the cultures of marginalised people but not actually support, care for or celebrate them. If the art world is currently not the place then where is it? This situation could evolve and Hang is inspired to give people the belief that they too can participate and be an active member of the art world, providing a catalyst for change.

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