A late arrival for this one I am afraid – seemed to have spent more hours at airport lounges than anywhere else recently actually.
Been a month travelling: everywhere from a castle in Warsaw, to an electronic arts festival in Austria to a former cold meat storage in New York City. Met up with some good people as always, that is the real pleasure of travel, making new friends and occasionally sleeping but rarely. I contributed a small feature in the latest The Wire magazine about the Art in the Anchorage shows – see down below for the text in case you missed it. Further writings to follow up…
No time to really chat this time I’m afraid, got to pack my bags for Australia and choose some reading materials!
Stay in touch.
Virogenesis Tour – ‘Letting Loose the multimedia rogue codes’
25 October> Brussels
5 Nov > Stuc – Leuven, Belgium
6 Nov > American Independents – Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London.
15 Nov> World premiere of Delta
Other live shows to follow in Barcelona and Madrid at the end of the year, then Belgium and USA in early 1997.
A new studio album, Delivery, will be released simultaneously in Europe and USA in March 1997. Details to follow soon.
::: recent releases :::
Sub Rosa Quantum051 Sub Rosa Live Sessions: Shea>Rimbaud>Hampson Ltd CD 46 mins
Quantum102 Sub Rosa Live Sessions: Scanner>Shea>Main Ltd CD 70 mins
Staalplaat Accretions – VPRO radio sessions CD 36 mins
Soul Static Sound Records, England
Two exclusive singles for the label that has released records by Tortoise and UI previously. Due out in October. Both A sides are very rhythmically heavy whilst the B sides are more abstract, improvised pieces.
ORF: Kunstradio Radio, Austria Memetic Flesh: After the Mutation CD 60 mins
Subraum ‘Channel Vacuum’ 7" 6 mins
Suburbs of Hell SOHS01024 The Broken Voice : compilation CD
Most of these items should be available commercially but in case of trouble I can provide you with catalogue details and distribution contacts or alternatively you can order them from the PO Box address where I also have limited copies of other Scanner releases. Simply contact me direct.
New York is notoriously plagued by extremely hot summers but this year provided the ideal opportunity to escape the humidity of the city and lead a temporarily monastic existence.
Curated by Carl Goodman of Creative Time, a not-for-profit arts organisation that has adventurously connected art and public in a variety of works since 1973, Art in the Anchorage presented a two month season of interdisciplinary art and sound works culminating in an intense two week package of live acts and digital improvisations.
During daylight hours one could investigate the video and sound installations by a group of artists including Rebecca Bollinger, Yau Ching, Pierrick Sorin and Doug Aitken with µ-Ziq. One could sit on a gigantic white plastic extended chair and chill out to a bulbous white hydropod suspended between two transparent walls with water gently caressing both sides, or listen to the manipulated acoustic environment of the surrounding highways treated by Mike Paradinas/µ-Ziq into a symphony of abstraction and mixed into real time amplification of the exterior.
Mirroring the installation work was a two week charge of live performances, ranging from the media VHS assaults of Emergency Broadcast Network, The Foetus Symphony Orchestra with Lydia Lunch, Trans AM, UI, Rome, Spanish Fly, Drunken Boat, to Phil Kline who carried a chorus of 50 boomboxes around the space with his mini army of helpers and encouraged the dungeons themselves to ring out the harmonies wrought from the speakers.
The event had opened with a remarkable free party hosted by the ambient noise of Cultural Alchemy’s Soundlab, a full sound immersion featuring DJ Spooky, Olive, Soulslinger, Singe and many others. 4000 bodies packed into these sturdy caverns which were filled with the fluid flotsam and jetsam of environmental sound. Some DJs would play with the natural 3 second delay in a space, whilst others would spin viral sounds into the mix, cutting and pasting textures into a multi layered collage that has become recognised locally as ‘illbient.’ Soundlab talk of "creating an augur", the gel that one finds in the bottom of a dish that fosters bacterial growth so ‘cultural alchemy’ can occur.
Out of the live shows I was only able to catch the last few events. Elysian Fields opened on the penultimate night with a sultry, seductive set led by the terrorised velvet voice of Jennifer Charles, who managed to create an intimacy in a space bereft of these qualities, weaving acoustic guitar and stand up bass into a series of torched visceral memories. Harmony Rockets, an experimental side project of Mercury Rev, followed with a more enclosed set where motion ceased to exist, the land that melody abandoned, and a solidified mass of saxophone, guitars and electronics drew together a roving succession of textures.
E.A.R. dealt a similar weight with a tapered down live set where Sonic Boom would move between an archaic synth that resembled an old Science Wireless Kit and a Theremin, whilst his fellow astronauts would contribute minimal bass and guitar at suitable junctures.
With live cybercasts every night of each show produced by SonicNet, and these now archived to access at any time in the future, Art in the Anchorage can now be experienced by anyone with internet access, who happens to live in a draughty, cavernous space with room for 4000 other bodies.
Art in the Anchorage – Inside the Base of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, New York