This month we welcome the exceptionally talented artist, writer and curator Simon Coates as The Sampler’s Guest Editor!

Simon is an artist, writer and curator who returned to the UK last summer after nearly seven years spent living in the United Arab Emirates.  Whilst there he formed Tse Tse Fly Middle East, the experimental arts platform that started life as a disorganised monthly sound art and noise club night that mixed live performance with video experiments and ad hoc DJ sets.  Now based in London, Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a registered non-profit organisation with a remit of kickstarting discussions on human rights and freedom of speech live live performances and interventions. The platform is home to a loose collective of artists and performers, all of whom either have roots in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent, or who have strong social and political threads in their work.

While in the UAE Coates curated a number of exhibitions, including ‘Peace In An Open Space’, the UAE’s first ever sound art exhibition in 2013, a selection of Jeremy Deller’s 2014 Venice Biennale artwork and the ‘Giorgio Moroder’s Pyramid’ exhibition that featured work from Harold Faltermeyer, LuckyPDF, Veronika Hauer and more. In 2017 Coates worked with UK charity Sound and Music to curate three online exhibitions as part of the Google Cultural Institute’s #WeWearCulture initiative. Coates’ own artwork examines the unspoken word in communities, the intangibility of collectivity and the socio-political gaps in between. His work is partially realised in outcome of the events he produces and curates, and the pieces he writes.