Ideations of Potential: Shodekeh's Innovation Lab of Embodied Scholarship & Hip Hop Imagination, which is now available online and through appointments, is the first Hip Hop-based collection to enter the archives of not only the Towson University Special Collections division of the Albert S. Cook Library, but also the first throughout the University of Maryland school system, and the state of Maryland. It is also the very first living archive of Beatboxing and Vocal Percussion anywhere in the world. With the culture of Hip Hop entering it's 50th year of existence in the year 2023, the timing of such an endeavor couldn't be more in tune with Hip Hop's current state of evolution.
As a living archive, work-in-progress, and ongoing experiment in archival cultivation, this very unique collection will be segmented into three accessible units by the students, staff and faculty of Towson University and the larger local, national and global community of patrons, falling under the heading known as The Autodidactic Structure:
1. The Living Archive of Innovation will Illuminate the past professional and personal life of Dominic Shodekeh Talifero.
2. The Living Lab of Innovation will enable me to conduct an ongoing series of oral tradition-based conversations, discourses and interviews with colleagues, mentors, students, staff and faculty known as "The Case Studies". This will be done by catalyzing a review of triumphs and mistakes in Sho's past, and will serve as the gateway to adding new material into the archive as Sho' continues to move forward (after all, I'm only in my early 40's and don't plan on ending this journey of creativity and discovery anytime soon).
3. The Living Capstones of Innovation will serve as the "virtual MFA / Ph.D" construct and platform of my collection, where my best and brightest brainstorms, ideas and future endeavors can be cultivated by visits and sessions held through "The Case Studies". The projects born here in this part of the archive will be classified as "Capstone Vision Projects", which will entail a level of work, focus, research and determination equal to or surpassing that of the pursuit of an MFA or Ph.D, while still maintaining the purity of an autodidactic / self-taught approach, which is reflective of Beatboxing's and Hip Hop's natural modalities of self-directed learning and self-sustained creativity.
All three sections of this archive working within a creative and constructive feedback loop will ultimately result in this endeavor serving not only as a living archive for Shodekeh, but also as a "lifelong fellowship", or as a form of dynamic "research tenure", within his own life time and hopefully within future generations.
The establishment and ongoing cultivation of this living archive is also serving as the 2020 - 2021 capstone project of Shodekeh's current position as the first appointed Innovator-in-Residence of the Towson University College of Fine Arts and Communication. This follows the success of his 2019 - 2020 capstone project of recording Bady Dorzhu Ondar's debut solo album at 89.7 WTMD, Towson University radio, which also features the world renown Tuvan throat singing ensemble Alash, MacArthur Fellow Joyce J. Scott, Wendel Patrick and Erik Spangler of Baltimore Boom Bap Society, Eze Jackson, Jasmine Pope, Rafaela Dreisin of Classical Revolution, and Shodekeh himself as one of the executive producers and guest musicians. This album also manifested in the animation video Traveler, created and produced by the animation department of the Maryland Institute College of Art and commissioned by the 2020 Sweaty Eyeballs International Animation Festival.
As this experiment provides such a unique opportunity in archival theory and sciences, lifelong learning, and the study of grand strategy, I'd like to acknowledge three distinct collections that have served as inspiration for the establishment of my own archive:
The Afrika Bambaattaa Vinyl Collection of the Cornell University Library.
The R. Buckminster Fuller Collection of the Stanford University Library.
The Alton Abraham Papers of Sun Ra of the University of Chicago Library.
Thank you all for your endless service to Humanity, Peace, and the phenomenon of Universal Creativity...
- Shodekeh Talifero