Photo: Max Siedentopf

Installation in Namib Desert to Play Toto’s ‘Africa’ for All Eternity

News Music + Nightlife Entertainment
by Eben Diskin Jan 17, 2019

If you think this song is overplayed now, try spending a few days in this Namibian desert. Toto’s “Africa” was released in 1982 and has since become a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring several covers and remixes. The song is a staple at many nightclubs and live music venues — not just those that specialize in ‘80s music. Now it’s a staple of a much more authentic, natural environment too. German-Namibian artist Max Siedentopf has created a sound installation called “Toto Forever” in the Namib Desert, featuring a speaker system that will play Toto’s “Africa” on a loop for all eternity.

Siedentopf told CNN he “wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit ‘Africa’ in Africa.” The installation is set up in an undisclosed location in the 1,200-mile-long Namib Desert. According to Siedentopf’s website, the installation consists of “[six] speakers which are attached to an MP3 player that only has one song on it — Toto’s Africa. The song is put on a loop and the installation runs on solar batteries to keep Toto going for all eternity.”

On the west coast of Southern Africa, the desert is around 55 million years old, which Siedentopf believes makes it the perfect spot for his work. The artist claims the work isn’t intended to make any kind of political or cultural statement but rather that it’s “supposed to look more at the lighter side of things and everyone should be able to enjoy it.”

If you want to visit the installation, however, you might be trekking through the desert for some time. Refusing to reveal the exact location of the speakers, Siedentopf says it’s “like a treasure that only the most loyal of Toto fans can find.”


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