Jason Forrest is an electronic music producer known for noisy experimental electronica and breakcore incorporating many ideas of mash-up and rock and roll. Largely produced and performed on a single computer (including live shows), his songs tend to be constructed from digital samples of found sounds and other artists' music. Until 2004 he recorded under the name Donna Summer, an allusion to disco singer Donna Summer.
In 2005 RES magazine named Forrest's "Steppin Off" video, by director Jon Watts, music video of the year. In 2006 Res magazine named Forrest's video War Photographer, directed by Joel Trussell video of the year, and online magazine Pitchfork Media also named it in their top five videos of the year. Both videos have won several awards at various international film and video festivals and have both been widely viewed, downloaded and acclaimed.
Forrest has released on many labels, but primarily on Sonig, the Köln, Germany based record label. He also has releases on Irritant Records (UK), Omeko (JP), MeWe le Disque (BE), Mirex (DE), Broklyn Beats (USA), and HOSS Records (USA).
Some of the more conspicuous samples of other artists to be found in Forrest's work include ones from Laurie Anderson, The Who, Supertramp, Steely Dan, Joe Jackson, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Pat Benatar. This (along with his former stage name) shows his interest in appropriation as an artistic concept. Along with many images featured on the Cock Rock Disco web site it also shows his interest in recontextualizing popular culture from past decades.
Forrest grew up in South Carolina, has lived in Atlanta and New York City and now (Winter, 2009) resides in Berlin. He has a BA in Photography. He previously worked as a professional artist as well as an art critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution news paper.
Besides being a fan himself, there is no connection between Forrest and the pop music/disco artist, Donna Summer. In a 2003 interview with the CBC Radio program, Brave New Waves, he stated that by being a middle class white male using this name he was "subjecting people to a fake issue of diversity" and forcing them "to consider gender a little bit more."
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“Stupid is as stupid does.”
—Eric Roth, U.S. screenwriter. Directed by Robert Zemekis. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)