Joe Namy - The Eighth Automobile. 2019. Photo by Rama Knight
Somerset House Studios resident

Joe Namy

American-born, London and Beirut-based artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively across mediums—in sound, performance, sculpture, and video.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Joe's projects focus on social constructs of music and organized sound, like the pageantry and politics of opera, gender dynamics of bass, colors and tones of militarization, migration patterns of instruments, and the complexities of translation in all this—from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance. Namy graduated with an M.F.A. from New York University, and has independently studied jazz, Arabic, and heavy metal drumming. In 2011 they took part in the inaugural Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace ISP in Beirut, and now serves on the curricular committee and as a lead mentor.

Joe Namy - libretto-o-o-radio.jpg

Libretto-o-o: A Curtain Design In The Bright Sunshine Heavy With Love   2017, fabrics, stereo sound
Libretto-o-o: A Curtain Design In The Bright Sunshine Heavy With Love 2017, fabrics, stereo sound

Joe often spends years researching and developing projects that unfold over time through various iterations and configurations. Here's a few of the most recent ongoing projects:

A commissioned from Create London and The White House to develop an "Assembly Mixtape Club", a sound piece developed through a series of workshops with young artist from Dagenham transitioning from foster care to independent living.

A long term research project on the composer, musicologist, and educator Halim El Dabh also known as the Godfather of African Electronic Music, to premiere at SAVVY Contemporary in spring 2021 and supported by Jo-ey Tang and the Beeler Gallery at the Colombus College for Art & Design.

A Mophradat Consortium Commission Grant to develop a performance project "Disguised as Dancefloor", on the subversive role of loud music and its effects on the body, premiering in spring 2021 at Portikus in Frankfurt and the Renaissance Society in Chicago.

Research focusing on the history and resonance opera houses across 11 countries throughout the Middle East, organizing workshops for artists and musicians to think through the resonance of opera, working towards an exhibition in Fall of 2021 at the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Joe has been developing an ongoing spatial sound performance, Automobile, that involves sound car subcultures that has been presented in over 8 countries worldwide, most recently last summer in London for Art Night 2019.

Over this past year Joe did the sound design for the English National Ballet's dance video "Cinderella Games"; Sophia Al-Maria's Tate Art NOW commission "Beast Type Song"; Cecile B. Evans's "A Screen Test For An Adaptation Of Giselle"; and Tamara Shogaolu's VR projects "Another Dream" and WIP "Echoes of Silence".