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Brian Cross – B+ and Global Music Culture

  • Talks
  • 05/06/20

B+ (aka Brian Cross) was born and raised in Limerick, Ireland and he attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin graduating in 1989 with a degree in painting.

In 1990 he came to Los Angeles to study photography at the California Institute of the Arts. While at Cal Arts he began work on a project entitled, ‘It’s Not about a Salary: Rap Race and Resistance in Los Angeles’ which was subsequently published by Verso Books in 1993. It was nominated as a Rolling Stone Music Book of the Year and made the NME critics best music book of the year list. Cross was the director of photography for the Academy Award–nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, and he has directed and produced several feature-length documentaries (Keepintime, Brasilintime and Timeless: Suite for Ma Dukes) and many short-form music films. Cross is an artist who has achieved great distinction in the intersecting fields of cinema, music and cultural studies.

He creates performative documentaries, videos, and photographs whose subject matter is primarily concerned with global music culture, particularly, though not limited to, the genre of Hip Hop. His interest in this phenomena is at once aesthetic, historical and interventionist – he sees relevance not only in artistic forms, but in the social and cultural histories that these forms reveal, as they intersect with the dynamics of contemporary urban communities. In this way he draws on traditions and methods across the visual and performing arts, social sciences, and urban studies.

His new book ‘Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed’ was published by University of Texas Press in late 2017.