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From: Thandi Loewenson
To: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele, Thando Mlambo
Tue, 10 October, 16:29 (8 days ago)

Dear t&t

I was thinking about how to kick off… or rather continue… this dialogue and I started thinking about mixtapes. In part because, like email, they are a vintage technology, but also because mix
tapes speak to intimacy and gifting. Carefully made to be passed on, and communicating in intricate, sometimes obscured, often deeply caring ways. I think of the time it used to take to make one -- carefully, mechanically copying across from one source to another -- listening (and listening out) for when to start, when to stop, bending time by forwarding and rewinding and in the process bending tape to do this alchemical work too.

Mixtapes also do the work of bending place somehow too - at the same time you are here, you are also in myriad of other heres and nows. When I think of our conversation, and its results, I realise that it might turn out to be a mixtape of sorts too.


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From: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele
To: Thandi Loewenson, Thando Mlambo
12 October, 18:20 (6 days ago)


That is so true about mixtapes bending place, and time, the way that memory, intimacy and hope come together in that process is its own kind of teleportation and time travel. We’re in the process of weaving together a young multi-medium mixtape! I love it.

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From: Thandi Loewenson
To: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele, Thando Mlambo
Tue, 10 October, 16:29 (8 days ago)

These thoughts took me to a poem by Kayo Chingonyi from his collection Kumukanda which was also an inspiration on a previous collaborative sonic work with David Roberts and students of Unit 18 at the Graduate School of Architecture in Johannesburg in 2020 (when zoom was still new and covid was just warming up) which you can listen to here if you'd like (but no urgency to do so) titled Dust FM. Among other things, we were listening to the sounds of the world through radio garden - which is quite amazing if you don't know it already.

But here's Kayo's poem for now:




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From: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele
To:  Thandi Loewenson, Thando Mlambo
12 October, 18:20 (6 days ago)
Intimacy has that extraordinary thing about it, in the multiple ways that it’s shared or expressed, it creates these portals that bend space and time, and sometimes allow formlessness too in the sense that we can sometimes leave our bodies in the process. That last bit of the poem Thandi sent reminds me so much of that, carrying something with you as a memory and being completely frozen in the moment that the memory is evoked, you're in so many places, spaces and times in that instance.


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From: Thando Mlambo
To: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele, Thandi Loewenson
18 October, 09:19 (9 hours ago)
Thinking about our interactions as letters, thinking about recent creative ancestors like Yvonne Vera and her letters to friends and lovers~ check this out: Chimurenganyana: The Garden Letters of Yvonne Vera by Tadiwa Madenga



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From: Thandi Loewenson
To: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele, Thando Mlambo
Tue, 10 October, 16:29 (8 days ago)

until soon
t


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From: Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele
To: Thandi Loewenson, Thando Mlambo
12 October, 18:20 (6 days ago)


Dear t&t (🙌🏾👏🏾)

I've been thinking quite a bit about how technology and the digital show up in the context of indigenous African knowledge systems, where it is commonplace to have information, people/spirits and objects travel between realms/dimensions/pockets of space-time. I am fascinated by the devices we use in these exchanges, as well as the portals they create,  things like clay or shell pots, 7-day sorghum brew (beer), dances, specific clothing items, drums, rattles, and songs.  I made a rough draft video collage around these thoughts …




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From: Thandi Loewenson
To: Thando Mlambo, Thandiwe Gula-Ndebele
17 October, 09:08 (1 day ago)

LOVE.  In episode 1 of the Mhondoro Marauders Show, you hear the voice of the Data Thief (Edward George) in John Akomfrah's film The Last Angel of History who says:

'Narrator: Roaming the internet, the Data Thief discovers a new word—Africa. Somewhere in these streets is the secret of the Mothership. The Data Thief knows that the first touch with science fiction came when Africans began playing drums to cover distance. Water carried the sound of the drums, and sound covered the distance between the Old and the New World.'

... I love how you bring form [portal] and formlessness [spirit] into a dialogue with space and time (where memory is not only something that happens in the 'past' but exists in the 'present' and 'future' too, as simplistic as those concepts are). I find myself thinking here of Keorapetse Kgositsile: 






Your mention of spirit drew me to think of the title of this poem — 'In The Mourning' — invoking spirit, and maybe grief too, as a means of shifting registers of time and space.

These visuals and recording are so incredibly rich! Thank you for sharing this - there's a lot to say here, not least about how they disrupt ideas of perspective, the technology of the picture plane, the flat surface of the screen, binary data values towards a denser, richer, electric, expansive (and perhaps magic) world of the digital... but I'll hand over to Thando for now!