Silent Disco

Holy Ghost Beach Disco

A Praise Party Honouring the Ecstatic, Created by Zina Saro-Wiwa

Saturday, June 19, 2021
4:00 pm –  6:00 pm

Please join us for a silent disco on a beach in the greater Los Angeles area. Biblical snax will be served.

Exact location will be disclosed after ticket purchase. $15 ticket price includes headphone rental.

Artist statement:

The Holy Ghost Beach Disco is my dream come true. Though not a Christian myself, I attended church in Brooklyn from time to time when I lived there. It was the Brooklyn Tabernacle a church with one of the most incredible choirs in the world. I mostly went alone and would stand up and dance at my seat to some songs and sit and cry quietly at others. I would take friends from time to time and dancing with them was an all-too-rare joy. I adore Christian music in many of its forms. Be it Handel, John Rutter, Anglican hymns, Gospel, R’n’B, and my beloved house music. Whilst music is an integral part of Christian culture the style of music and the idea of dance is more subject to heated debate. This idea of the spirit moving you and making you want to dance, this idea of the engagement of the corporeal when it comes to religiosity dips its toes into the world of animism. As someone who has spent quite a bit of time in terreiros in Bahia and Santeria ceremonies in Havana, I see where some conservative Christian cultures want to draw this line. And researching the idea of dance within Christianity brings up a plethora of agonized and appalled writing about how it leads to lasciviousness, even in 2021. But black Christianity (outside anglicanism and catholicism) integrates the two systems beautifully and has created the musical technology that allows us to touch God at the push of the play button. I personally revere this black spiritual technology. The Azusa Revival which was the philosophical meditation upon which the Otherwise/Revival exhibition at Bridge Projects started its life, saw the nuclear fusion of spiritual technologies that changed all of America forever. A test tube that was always going to explode given that it contained the ingredients of anguished religious zealotry from Europe, violence, capitalism and potent African spiritual technologies that had been attacked and forced to shape shift.

Why should this matter to me, a non Christian? Well it matters to me because I am fascinated by corporeal intelligences and the idea of God. I am also of the belief that successful philosophies and spiritual systems find a way to incorporate all of life. That is the game. The task. It is about integration. It is not about denying the body and its communications. Surely we are at our most evolved if we can be shamanic in our ability to sublimate into the divine then disengage without losing the self completely? All the while learning about the shape and true biology of the universe in all its realms? I am of the belief that the kind of ecstasy one can feel on the dance floor is what it feels like to meet God. It has not and has never been sexual. At least not for me. It is a different kind of climax. And it is not mindless. Far from it. I accept that there are multiple ways of knowing.

I have long wished that more churches should have dance music programmed into the events. But whilst I don’t have a church I am bringing this dream to life in the form of the Holy Ghost Beach Disco. A 2-hour silent disco on the beaches of the City of Angels. People that love the ocean and the beach feel a connection with something eternal. Some call it God. Some do not. But it is the ideal place for us to embody and explore the choreographies of praise. To learn from our bodies. My music selection will mostly be Gospel House because it is the most ecstatic Christian music I can think of and my very favorite thing. There will be a smattering of other styles and maybe even Christian EDM if I am feeling generous. And on a more prosaic level, what is better and more needed than dancing on the beach with friends and happy people? Biblical Snax will be served which means bread and fish, fruit and water and Jaffa Cakes which Brits will know is the actual food of the Gods. (Americans and others will fall on their knees and bow before them when they try this manna from heaven). So come and join us at 4pm on the 19th June for a two-hour praise party. Praising God, praising the ocean, praising life and whatever else it is you want to show gratitude towards. See you there and thank you to Bridge Projects LA for making this offsite program - and my dream - a possibility.