My name is ricky sallay zoker aka. YATTA. I am a writer, artist, and musician. As an artist, my work is rooted in improvisation, humor, surprise, and intuition, and I have created multimedia performances that have been presented both nationally and internationally. In my writing, I have explored themes of home, anxiety, depression, identity, and dreams, and have recently been focusing on scoring films and creating a multimedia exploration of what I call "The Black Wander." The Black Wander refers to a state of being that seeks connection with the earth through intuitive wandering. As a Black person, this type of engagement with the outdoors can be fraught with fear due to media depictions of Black people outside often involving violence and death. In order to fully participate in activist movements surrounding environmental sustainability and climate change, it is important for Black people to access emotions of joy and love and to celebrate the ways in which we commune with the earth through our culture. In my current creative practice, I am working on creating a "Black Wander Orchestra," with the goal of creating music that encourages playful relationships with the earth for Black people. This music is intended to serve as a protective score that facilitates and accompanies Black people in playful, relaxed motion rather than strenuous, goal-oriented explorations of the earth. Through my music, writing, videos, paintings, I explore themes of neuro-divergence and nature, and aim to create a space where Black people can wander and take their time. My artistic journey has been greatly influenced by my experiences with free jazz and improvisation, and I believe that everyone has the ability to make sound and that sound is for everyone. I believe music to be deeply healing and writing to be one of the greatest tools for self reunion. I want all black people to return to themselves with nature as an aid.
Ricky Sallay Zoker aka YATTA is a musician, writer, and educator known for their multimedia performances that have toured nationally and internationally. Their album, WAHALA, scored the theatrical production "An Episode: Ricky's Room," commissioned by The Shed, and they frequently collaborate with Moor Mother on projects such as their album DIAL UP and their experimental jazz label Black Mas5. YATTA's solo albums have been featured in magazines like Pitchfork and The Wire, and they have performed at institutions including MOMA, MOCA, and The Tate. In 2022, their song "Fully Lost, Fully Found" was featured in the award-winning film "Nanny." YATTA received their MFA from Bard College and was a 2022 artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. In addition to their musical pursuits, YATTA has written for OkayAfrica and Black Quantum Futurism, published a chapbook, and written, directed, and scored their own short film. They have also facilitated workshops and panels at institutions including The New School, NYU, and Cornell University.
Hudson, New York
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