Introducing Red Earth, the new book by British-born Nigerian writer, artist and scholar Michael Salu published in October by Calamari Archive
The book – Red Earth covers a range of themes from climate and nature, to AI, selfhood, Post human states and the legacies of the current economic order, but written through a poetic frame, inspired by the storytelling forms of epic poetry. It also leans a on West African musical and oratorical tradition.
Conversing with Dante, Yoruba metaphysics and probabilistic computation, Red Earth is an expansive text and the source material for Michael Salu’s broader interdisciplinary artistic study, where machine learning is central to various processes to ask whether computational translation can be used to engage alternative cosmologies.
As a rhythmic, ever-shifting experience where the protagonist questions notions of selfhood and where grief and loss mesh with candor towards nonhuman perspectives, different cultural interpretations of time and morality enable exploration of a diasporic vestibule between cosmologies of thought, cultures and languages.
Red Earth invites readers to see beyond an increasingly statistical societal gaze and instead meditate on life and death and what the virtual realm means for memory, particularly memories unacknowledged by the dichotomous ‘universal’ language of code.
Michael Salu is a British-born Nigerian writer, artist, scholar, editor and creative strategist with a strongly interdisciplinary practice.
His written work has appeared in literary journals, magazines, art and academic publications, and as an artist, he has exhibited internationally. He runs House of Thought, an artistic research practice and consultancy focusing on bridging creative, critical thinking and technology and is part of Planetary Portals, a research collective. Red Earth is his first book.
Upcoming book launch event
Friday, December 8th at Peckham Levels, London (free admission)
Reading of Red Earth by Michael Salu / a performance of Diamond Power by the Planetary Portals Collective with film by Michael Salu
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