Celebrating the Lunar New Year, MoMA PS1 will invite NYC's queer asian dance party Bubble_T to curate a night of slaysian DJs, live shows and one-night-only installations on Friday, February 9th. Included in the lineup is New York-based artist Bailey Skye, who will debut their first fashion collection alongside a performance of "dreamcore baby techno" material under the moniker Nightspace.
Skye's music is a dark dose of bedroom electronic, bubbling up from the queer underground. They've released today a double-single — "Modern Survival" and "Evil Eye" — which captures two polarizing attitudes. "Evil Eye" is droning and beautifully ominous, as Skye questions: "Do they even care?" Things take an aggressive, haphazard turn on "Modern Survival," with fuzzy synths and mental percussion. "I knew not to trust them," Skye warns.
I usually produce entire songs at once and if I resonate with them they'll stick. I play them live with improvised vocals, and I try to let the vocal performance form organically a while before I decide to record, so nothing feels forced.
How do you define your sound?
Dreamcore, baby techno. I started making music when I was 17 in high school, and it was sparse and a lot less intentional. The more I've grown and come in tune with myself and identity, the more my art has flourished. It excites me evolving together with my work; it's becoming clearer the way we reflect and influence each other. Our purpose is one and the same.
What do you think affects your music most?
I'm passionate about generational consciousness and revolt. The way everyone I care about and love unapologetically is a form of resistance. We're in a time of survival. I'm no longer concerned or grieve over the climate of this country, but hopeful for the response.
What's the story behind "Evil Eye"?
This song is loosely influenced by self-induced loneliness, but we're never truly alone in this time of technology. We search for ways to feel less alone. Tools people use to feel less lonely, but simultaneously allowing self hate to feed their isolation. Constantly feeling eyes on you, what people try to take from you through eye contact. Eye contact is magic. We control whether these eyes dim our light. We're in control of what people take from witnessing us. The way people disguise themselves and abuse that power.
This title is very telling. We're practicing self-defense.
How do these two songs reflect you as an artist, right now?
These songs are very intentional, I want them to provoke in a way my existence and identity do, being a non-binary asian and queer person of color. I want them to speak for themselves the way I've learned. I want my art to be a tool for me to teach. Through my work I want people to find something sacred in themselves.
One song is slower, one is fast. A constant process of learning how to embrace both my vulnerability and the way to be bold, unapologetic and angry. All emotions have purpose and I won't hide in the emotionless neutral. Violence thrives in neutrality. If you're a person of color, queer, trans or any intersection in white america it's very easy to adopt a role of submission. We're teaching each other how to be loud.
What are you planning for MoMA?
Bubble_T is working with MoMA PS1 to put on a Lunar New Year party! I was invited to perform, and with this opportunity I thought incorporating my visual work could have a strong effect. I'm putting in an installation, debuting my first collection/runway show under the name "ZAH" (my Instagram), and doing hair and makeup. I collaborated with my mom (Power Hats by June Bug) on the collection and my aunt, Marsha Karen Olson, will be a live painting shaman. My younger brothers are even walking the show. It's going to be a strong family moment in every sense, especially with all who's involved. I won't spoil anything else. The night will be very symbolic. I think Lunar New Year will be a fresh start for everyone.
Why is fashion important in the work you do?
It makes things fun. Thoughtful imagery is so integral to everything I do. So is fashion. I'm pretty new to designing, but I'm super excited to share this collection. My mom helped me and I'm very proud of it all. If I'm doing a performance, I want it to be very intentional with the night, feeling and motivation. Every aspect should be accounted for. I want to make sure the experience is compelling, eye opening, and new for everyone and anyone witnessing.
You've been an active participant in Bubble_T. Why is this event important to you?
I never knew parties could be so healing, ritualistic and fun until I experienced Bubble_T. I'm so humbled and grateful to be involved. Just by the crowd and success you can vividly see how much it's resonating with everyone. NYC's nightlife can be so suffocating and exclusive, but Bubble_T is truly restoring a lot of our faith in it all.
For more information on Night at the Museum: Lunar New Year, visit moma.org.