Cwacacaminshin / Songs

Nate Flagg

With each breath I send sound and receive sound

Pauline Oliveiros, Deep Listening; A Composer’s Sound Practice (2005)

Somehow, when you woke up this morning, you were the same person you were yesterday and spoke the same language, at least, as far as you can remember. Anyway, you went downstairs and greeted your neighbors. They replied in a language very similar to yours as you remember it, though perhaps a little different. You begin to think that maybe the language you spoke yesterday was not quite the same as the language you speak today. Perhaps it is the same amount of not the same as the language of your neighbors. You wonder about the nature of this difference.

Day by day, when you speak the words of your language, they change. They change as you do. They go to new places, they transform and adapt to new situations, they circulate in an ocean of other voices. When you speak, you echo the many voices that have shaped your own. Where your words travel, echoed in other voices, you travel also. This has been happening all over for a very long time. It is what makes our languages as similar as they are. It is how you and I met. It is how you have already met these objects.

The works in this room are speaking to you. Parts of their language may be familiar and other parts may be unfamiliar. They navigate the sonic ocean as we do, echoing voices both human and nonhuman. They persist in the flow of time, stopping to wonder if they are the same as they were yesterday or even just a moment ago– changing all the while. They speak through the texture of this change. As you regard these works, you are listening to this texture. You can hear it now: the shifting air, your changing body. Listen! It is your mind passing now from that to this, from concentration to openness, from formless to solid, and now (!) yet again, to some new world just born.

– Nate Flagg, March 2022

Nate Flagg (b. 1989; New York, NY) is an artist and educator living and working in New York City. He received his MFA in 2016 in Painting/Printmaking from Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT) and his BA in Anthropology in 2011 from Reed College (Portland, OR). Recent solo exhibitions include: Yiawwiyi / 风物 / Current Matter, Galerie Dengyun (Shanghai, China. Other group exhibitions, screenings and performances include: So Close, Yet So Far, Printed Matter/Swiss Institute (New York, NY), C.H.A.D., Ashes/Ashes (New York, NY), and The Language Invention Workshop, Foxy Production (New York, NY).