Visiting Artist KMRU at Un-Writing Nature

Visiting Artist KMRU at Un-Writing Nature

Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research

August 19, 2022
Visiting Artist KMRU at Un-Writing Nature
Application deadline: August 22
Residency: September 27–October 4
Villa Pianciani
Località Terraia, 44
06049 Spoleto
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Applications are accepted until August 22, 2022 for Un-Writing Nature II.

The Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR) is delighted to announce that Joseph Kamaru, aka KMRU, will be a Visiting Artist at Un-Writing Nature II, an intensive research residency and workshop to be held at the historic Villa Pianciani, Spoleto, Italy, September 27 - October 4, 2022.

KMRU is a Nairobi-born, Berlin-based sound artist whose work is grounded on the discourses of field recording, noise, and sound art. His work posits expanded listening cultures of sonic thought and sound practices, a proposition to consider and reflect on auditory cultures beyond the norms through compositions, installations, and performances. He has earned international acclaim for his performances in far-flung locales as well as his releases, most recently Temporary Stored. Upcoming appearances include Le Guess Who?, Mira Digital Arts Festival, and the Semibreve Festival.

KMRU also works in dialogue with the music of his influential, namesake grandfather Joseph Kamaru. In a recent interview, “A Tale of Two Kamarus,” he addresses their differences and similarities, including Kamaru senior’s emphasis on reclaiming musical traditions, and KMRU’s on field recordings, ambient sound, and archives. Directly engaging his grandfather’s work through an ongoing restoration and reissue project, KMRU poses urgent questions about the role of music, sound, and place in the history and politics of Kenya and beyond. KMRU is a CAD+SR Research Fellow, 2020–22.

Un-Writing Nature II is intended as a radically hospitable space for revitalizing and reconnecting across multiple strata of matter and difference, continuing a comparative conversation about systems of consciousness and communication. This includes questions such as: What are the ways that “nature” should be un-written, and how can it be understood and represented otherwise? What languages, media, and codes help us to revitalize and reshape our connections to our bodies, to water, land, sky, and the other beings with whom we share the planet? What needs to be learned and unlearned?

CAD+SR invites applications from composers, musicians, writers, artists, activists, filmmakers, and researchers who are intent on re-signifying “nature,” including refiguring or reaffirming relationships between humans, more than humans, and the planet itself. Challenging colonizing and extractivist practices requires other ways of knowing and doing. Engaging multiple cosmologies, methods, and futures, the research community will spend one week un-writing “nature” - through words, images, sound, movement, and other media. The residency is limited to 15 participants, all of whom will live, work, cook, and eat at the Villa Pianciani. 

KMRU will be joining Faculty Fellows Dr. Stella Nyanzi and Jodi Rave Spotted Bear. Stella Nyanzi is an award-winning medical anthropologist with specialization in sexual and reproductive health, sexual rights, and human sexualities in Uganda and The Gambia. She is a 2022 recipient of the Writers-in-Exile Programme of the German PEN Center. Jodi Rave Spotted Bear is the executive director and founder of the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit media organization on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, US. The organization publishes on the digital news site

The gardens, parks, and farmlands of the Villa Pianciani, designed by Giuseppe Valadier in the late 18th century, provide a unique laboratory for creative research. CAD+SR is an independent, non-profit arts-based research center with international programs. Our work opens onto multiple horizons of collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry. Un-Writing Nature II builds on the Center’s ongoing research projects and communities, including: Un-Writing Nature (Kirinyaga District, Kenya); Cosmological Gardens, Encuentros I-IV (online and in Spoleto, Italy); De/Archive East Africa (Ongata Rongai, Kenya); Indigenous Planetary Ways of Knowing (Mérida, Mexico); Black Planetary Futures (online and in Johannesburg, South Africa & Dakar, Senegal); and Affecting Technologies (Helsinki, Finland & São Paulo, Brazil).

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Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research
August 19, 2022

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