Stripped to the Bone
Greetings from a hot and humid New York City, where I’m currently residing for the week. Exactly 38 minutes into my birthday last week the Phoenix landed on Mars beaming extraordinary pictures back to Earth of another magical place, whilst I spent my celebratory hours shielding from the London rain, with the city suffering from one months worth of rain in just one day.
New York has offered new friends, retail shopping with a weak dollar and a generous credit card, and chances to see inspirational art shows by the likes of Olafur Eliasson and Murakami, and live concerts by Danish wunder kids Efterklang and proto punks Wire storming a live set to several thousand keen listeners at Pier 17 at night.
International travel often brings memorable moments and this week was no disappointment. In passing through Customs Control at JFK I was routinely stopped and requested to open my suitcase. A stern and coarse Customs Officer then hammered his fist around the case, inside the case, over, under, checking for secret compartments. Seeing that I had very little attire with me for my stay he grew very suspicious why such few items of clothing for your stay here sir? and proceeded to pick up my socks, undies and shirts with rubber gloves, inspecting each and every item. You’ve carry a lot of makeup with you he continued. Explaining how old I was now and how this helped he almost broke a smile but couldn’t allow himself this momentary pleasure. The humiliation continued when he chose to stand and read my personal diary, something I’ve made a daily commitment to since the age of 12. I explained that this was private, but he continued to read my confidential exploits, closing with and what language is this written in sir?. Who was I meeting, what were their names, how long had I known them, what do they do, what do you do? It was a nightmare that I felt would never finish until I was allowed through after a 45-minute search.
Despite Albert Einstein once saying that education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one has learned in school, it’s just been announced that my collaboration with choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, Faultline, will be included on the AQA GCSE Dance syllabus from 2009. It will remain one of six choices on the syllabus for 6-7 years. Students will have to study both the choreography and the production itself, including all collaborating elements, so presumably the suffering of my musical elements will have a profound effect on future generations!
I’ve just extensively updated the MP3 section of the website so there’s now an opportunity to listen and download a host of works, including a live recording from Philadelphia with violinist Todd Reynolds and our reworking of Gavin Bryars Sinking of the Titanic; a full length album, Publicphono, recorded live in Rimini Italy in 2000, and originally only available in an edition of 200 CD copies, and the results of my recording sessions in Moscow earlier this year.
I also recently contributed an essay for the new publication Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (MIT) edited by Paul D Miller aka DJ Spooky, a collection of writings by a host of contributors. With topics are diverse as the contributors, you can read Brian Eno’s history of bells, Pierre Boulez interviewed, Bruce Sterling on dead media, Laurie Anderson and many others. I wrote about my personal interest in ghosts in sound, described by Bookforum as an ‘a contemplative mix of memoir, artistic philosophy, and technical practice’ which is touching.
June brings with it some curious possibilities, focusing mostly on words and ideas. A trip to Vilnius Lithuania to speak about sound at the Contemporary Art Centre, followed by a very exploratory talk at the Purcell Room London entitled Harmonography about the meeting point of architecture and music, space and sound. Then speaking at the 176 Gallery London in respect to the show Past-Forward, about work that focuses on borrowing, manipulating and referencing everything from artworks, architecture, advertising, design, film and philosophy amongst others, and closing the month with a show in Rome with Kim Cascone colliding digital technology with future ideas.
In the meanwhile I’m off to buy a few more clothes for my suitcase!
::: listen :::
::: read :::
::: diary dates :::
Waves-The Art of the Electromagnetic Society
Wireless communication is, in this day and age, a given in all realms of society. Yet what manner of artistic potential is presented by the electromagnetic waves perpetually enveloping us today? And how might these influence our psyche?
The exhibition brings together works of (media) art that deal with properties of waves in imaginative ways, exploring, making visible or making us feel waves on a host of different bands of the spectrum. In this exhibition electromagnetic waves are not just seen as carriers of information, but as the material and/or theme of the artwork. Featuring Breakthrough by Scanner, and works by Anthony McCall, Paul de Marinis, Marko Peljhan, Radioqualia, Farmersmanual, Jacob Kirkegaard and many others.
Artangel Interaction invited writer and historian Sukhdev Sandhu to write a nocturnal journal unfolding over the course of 2006. His postings will appear sequentially at this microsite specially designed by Mind Unit. Sandhu's forays see him prospecting in the London night with the people who drive its pulse, from the avian police to security guards, zookeepers and exorcists. Acclaimed artist and musician Scanner has collaborated with Sukhdev and Ian Budden of Mind Unit to compose the sound for the site.
Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
NightJam is the latest project in Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London series of artist-led collaborations with people who have a special view on a hidden side of the nocturnal city. Scanner invited young people at New Horizon Youth Centre in King’s Cross to collaborate on a creative project that expresses how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes. Through music and voice workshops they explored the sense of freedom and fear, celebration and solitude of the concealing darkness. Meanwhile, they captured their nights on disposable cameras, taking images that are at times eerie, startling, contemplative and funny. NightJam presents two elusive visual and musical journeys through the city’s ‘quiet’ hours.
NightJam presents two music tracks, a film, photographs, that can be experienced and freely downloaded. A limited edition CD is also being distributed for free through the website. Now featuring remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.