DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller is an experimental and electronic hip-hop musician, composer, multimedia artist and author. He is a professor of the European Graduate School, an experimental environment for discussion of issues involving contemporary culture.
Known for his thought-provoking multimedia performances that incorporate film, recorded sound, and live music, Miller engages audiences on topics from climate change to the global economy, digital media, and the intersection of art, technology, and society. Miller has performed his multimedia pieces at prestigious venues in every continent around the world, from The Tate Modern Gallery in London and The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to Lincoln Center and BAM in New York; The Herod Atticus Amphitheater in Athens; the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand International Arts Festivals; and from the main stage of the Bonnaroo Festival to the National Mall in Washington, DC.
He was the first artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he presented five new performance works and a series of lectures and programs themed in reaction to material in the Met’s collection. He is the first artist to be appointed to this position in the Met’s 140-plus-year history.
A sought-after lecturer and panelist, Miller has spoken at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, The School of Visual Arts, at commencement exercises at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cranbrook Academy, and at universities, colleges, conferences and arts institutions across the globe. He has performed at high-profile world events including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Art Basel Miami.
Miller’s recent work is largely concerned with climate change, and is informed by his 2007 trip to Antarctica to collect material for “Terra Nova: The Antarctic Suite,” and his subsequent travel to the Arctic. Terra Nova was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College, and other key arts-presenting organizations. In 2012, Miller collaborated with author and activist Bill McKibben on the launch of “350 Earth,” the first global art project about climate change.Recognized as an innovator in digital media, Miller was recently featured at The Economist “Year in 2012” and “Year in 2013” conferences, and on Syfy’s “Let’s Imagine Greater” Igniter web series. He has given talks to executives and employees at the headquarters of Google, YouTube and Vimeo, given keynote talks at conferences for organizations like the Theater Communications Group, and has hosted as well as served as a juror on numerous panels and awards committees.
“The Book of Ice”, Miller’s lavishly illustrated portrait of Antarctica and meditation on that continent, was published in 2011, and was echoed by his multi-media installation of the same title, which was included in the 2012 Gwangju Biennial. The performance of that same title is an “acoustic portrait” for string quartet, exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media.
As part of Miller’s series with the Met museum, “Of Water and Ice” is informed by research from Israel’s prestigious Weitzmann Institute for Science, and their planetary scientist Oded Aharonson. “The Nauru Elegies”, another of Miller’s environmentally themed works, was inspired by his experience in the South Pacific island of Nauru and was first presented at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia in February 2010. Miller’s South Pacific journeys have also led him to create the Vanuatu Pacifica Foundation, aimed at creating a sustainable center for the arts on that lush Pacific island.
Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, The Venice Biennial, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, The Kunsthalle Vienna, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and many other museums and galleries. His film project “Rebirth of a Nation,” commissioned by Lincoln Center, The Festival d’Automne a Paris and other institutions, and has been performed more than 60 times at venues and festivals around the world.
His recordings include the 2012 Madame Freedom (2012, Synchronic Records) with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ice Music (2012, Synchronic Records) with the Nevada Museum of Art, and The Secret Song (2009, Thirsty Ear Records). Miller is also a music producer and film score composer.
Miller’s essay collections include Rhythm Science (MIT Press, 2004) and Sound Unbound (MIT Press, 2008) a volume he edited including meditations on sound art, digital media, and contemporary composition by renowned artists such as Brian Eno and Moby. Sound Unbound is used as a textbook in numerous new media classes. Miller’s written work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum. He is currently Executive Editor of Origin Magazine, which focuses on the intersection of art, yoga, and new ideas.