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Showing posts from 2016


I am deeply hurt by this tragedy in Oakland. These artists these people did not deserve to die this way.I didn’t know anyone who died but just because of who they were and what they do, did not mean they had to live, work and play in such poor conditions. These people gathered there because there weren’t many other places to live and work. The reason why we call art a practice is because you have to do it over and over to get what you want out of it. But if you’re poor, “different” and your practice or work doesn’t cater to those in power or have influence, your options are limited. And we make the best out of those limitations. I’m sure that night was like any other night where they had an opportunity to share their work and have fun.

I’m writing this to myself, and particularly those who are not poor and not artists. I remember growing up in the 80’s where callousness was embedded in me. I grew up with that thing of if you were different in any way from your group or community you…


I've wanted to show this work I'd done 16 years ago at a graduate program that will not be named for some time now. I also wanted to write about why I don't do this kind of work anymore. The images are about memory, race, gender and capitalism ( a timely topic). I paired images from my childhood and "gangsta haiku" text I lifted from the internet. These pieces illustrate how black male identity is shaped through capitalism, consumerism and sexism. The video below from ArchDuke deconstructs how black male is perceived and told what and how to think at a young age. This video inspired me to look back on this work and provide a proper context. My images were made as a critique of identity and capitalism and how violence is done to young black men that limits their sense of self. The text obscures, commodifies and simplifies the complexities of black subjectivity and everyday life.

These pieces were  an important part of my artistic development and crucial for my re…

Soundwalk - Washington Park October 29, 2016


Soundwalk - Washington Park - August 6th - 5pm

World Listening Day - Soundwalks- Reflections

After participating in this year’s World Listening Day programs this weekend I began to reflect on what lead me to my involvement. I rarely talk about what exactly lead to my interests in soundwalks, soundscapes and composition, because I felt they were too personal. Especially when I’m talking about practices in sound art and acoustic ecology many deem as esoteric and inaccessible. But the roots of my practice came from a toxic climate of race, economics, violence, politics and place that we experience today. I moved from Chicago to Oakland, California in 1998 to study art in San Francisco at the height of the first dot-com boom. I was there to have time and space to be a better artist and for self-recovery. Unfortunately, most people I had dealings with there treated me as if I was there to take their spot in the art scene, take jobs, housing and opportunity away from them. All this, while still being treated as a degraded other, in particular being harassed by the Oakland Polic…

BelAir Radio Presents Norman W. Long Re/Presencing Performance & DJ set

This is a radio performance of soundscapes layered upon soundscapes from Jackson Park and 63rd St Beach, time folded in on itself with echoes of Ida B. Wells writings on the absence of the black body at this site mixed with recordings from Lou Harrison, Artistic Heritage Ensemble, Exploding Star Orchestra,  Robert AA Lowe, Anthony Braxton and Josh Abrams. My expectation is that this piece gives us the space to contemplate and meditate on our own presence.

            Jackson Park was an integral part of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. Ida B. Wells published  “THE REASON WHY The Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition. The Afro-American's Contribution to Columbian Literature”                         This pamphlet protests the absence of African-Americans at the fair and also protests the booming prison industrial complex and lynching of black men all across America.  She also highlights the progress of African Americans since the emancipation…

for hyde park

This is a compilation of synth improvisations played with field recordings I've made from Hyde Park 2010-2012. I'm exploring performance set ups where I do not need to work from my laptop during performances. I'd like to step away from using my laptop temporarily for artistic, financial and security reasons. 
I've been exploring analog synthesizers and improvising with them since January of this year. Last year I was able to buy a Korg LittleBits synth kit from a radio shack that was going out of business. My initial interest was exploring ways I can incorporate this kit in installations with its clicks, drones and rhythms. My inspiration for these installations center around the work of Rolf Julius and African and Afro Caribbean Altars. 
Time passed and I didn't have a studio space anymore so I shelved that idea. However I was still listening and thinking about how I wanted my work to sound. An important thing to think about! I was not happy with how I was manipul…

'scapes - videos

'scapes from normanwlong on Vimeo.

‘scapes incorporates the sound and cultural landscape of the West Loop and Union Park in Chicago to present an improvised experience and installation. I am making strange the very familiar via process field recording, sound-walks, mapping, and audio/visual processing. By incorporating glitch and dub technology into my objects, video, and sound components sourced from the area, I am “versioning” the West Loop, offering an alternate way of moving through personal and public space.

spectroscape from normanwlong on Vimeo.

Spectroscape, 2015 Video from spectroscope that reads chemicals in the air, sound is sourced from reader that converts spectra to sound.
mapping from normanwlong on Vimeo.
Mapping , 2015 Glitched maps of Norman’s studio and the surrounding neighborhood