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"Duo for Drum Machine and Softsynth" [mp3 removed]
This is in 3/4 time, not that that's that big a deal. I believe all classical music should henceforth be written with current instruments. And defaults. Tired of all these fossils in powdered wigs and their attractive young prodigy front persons. Ick. And no MAX/MSP, either. Put it all up front.
Clarifying something I posted a while back. This pattern, printed out on xerox paper, quilted with tape etc, is not a bar code. I wouldn't make art with the bar code. In case anyone thought it was.
At Diapason in midtown on Thursday, five analog synthesists concocted a fascinating sonic stew for Analogos, an ongoing series of live improvisational jams. This was Analogos 9; unlike 7, featuring small sets with different combinations of the musicians, this was two long pieces by all. The first stopped rather dramatically when a power strip blew (it sounded like an intentional climax), and the second built slowly to a nerve shattering asynchronous finale. For some reason I kept thinking of Ornette Coleman, mixed with the raucous boom of the Velvet Underground playing the psychiatrist's convention in New Jersey (footage of which recently surfaced on YouTube and it's basically metal machine music & Nico). Trying to figure out who did what in all the crisscrossing sound overlays presented a challenge, but one could safely guess that Kabir Carter's newish Moog and Moogerfooger pedals contributed some of the pure, forcefully detuned pitches, that Stefan and Sergei Tcherepnin's battered Serge modulars added a scratchy, popping-patch-cord frisson, that Ed Tomney's EMS Synthi spun out the distinctive whooshes and trilling sequences of that classic instrument--and to be honest, I knew when Michael J. Schumacher's Steiner-Parker Synthacon chimed in mainly because I had a good line of sight to him from my seat on the carpeted floor. It's sort of funny these days that tonality and anything digital could get you kicked out of any club but it's thrilling to hear these vintage sounds revving at full jet engine volume.
The gallery stable for Schmulke Bruengross looks interesting. I want to go there next time I'm in Munich.
Cindy Sherman vs T shirt ninjas
Untitled Film Stills, 1979:
Webcam Ninjas, ca. 2002:
"You Have No Choice (Speedy)" [mp3 removed]
Sally McKay's comment about the blog's specialty--"elegant sculptural installations crafted well from non-precious materials with interesting but tidy content and an unquestioning relationship to art institutions," pretty much nails it. She says she loves/hates the site and that's what I've been saying but the unceasing tide of conceptual projects is starting to get painful. It's depressing because you see artists trying so hard, all over the world, to make their conceptualist schtick--based mostly on '70s premises but with a digital gloss--projects that document well and photograph well and might catch the eye of a curator (or omnibus art blog)--and when you show them all together like this it starts to look like a disease. Please, make it stop (or vary it with some videos of cats and sloths from YouTube)!
Update: The comment thread is now closed (to all but steve, who has magic powers) but worth a read, thanks to all who contributed, will try to synopsize some of what was said for a later post--the topic is bigger than just picking on VVork and gets into by-the-numbers conceptualism and its relation to computer workflow.
Amazon changes "crappy" to "cr*ppy"
In her Salon column Camille Paglia writes about a book that sounds fairly interesting:
Finally, I read a fabulous book last week -- John Lauritsen's "The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein," which will be published in May by the gay-themed Pagan Press, based in Dorchester, Mass. Lauritsen, who is known for his work in gay history and for his heterodox views of the AIDS epidemic, sent me an advance copy, which arrived as I was on my way to midterm exams. Its thesis is that the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and not his wife, the feminist idol, Mary Shelley, wrote "Frankenstein" and that the hidden theme of that book is male love.Amazon excerpts this as a review, and changes "crappy" to "cr*ppy." It's OK to take down a feminist idol and suggest for the first time that a major work in the romantic canon has a gay theme and make fun of establishment scholars as long as you don't use potty words.
[...] Lauritsen's book is important not only for its audacious theme but for the devastating portrait it draws of the insularity and turgidity of the current academy. As an independent scholar, Lauritsen is beholden to no one. As a consequence, he can fight openly with myopic professors and, without fear of retribution, condemn them for their inability to read and reason.
This book, which is a hybrid of mystery story, polemic and paean to poetic beauty, shows just how boring literary criticism has become over the past 40 years. I haven't been this exhilarated by a book about literature since I devoured Leslie Fiedler's iconoclastic essays in college back in the 1960s. All that crappy poststructuralism that poured out of universities for so long pretended to challenge power but was itself just the time-serving piety of a status-conscious new establishment. Lauritsen's book shows what true sedition and transgression are all about.
Lauritsen assembles an overwhelming case that Mary Shelley, as a badly educated teenager, could not possibly have written the soaring prose of "Frankenstein" (which has her husband's intensity of tone and headlong cadences all over it) and that the so-called manuscript in her hand is simply one example of the clerical work she did for many writers as a copyist. I was stunned to learn about the destruction of records undertaken by Mary for years after Percy's death in 1822 in a boating accident in Italy. Crucial pages covering the weeks when "Frankenstein" was composed were ripped out of a journal. And Percy Shelley's identity as the author seems to have been known in British literary circles, as illustrated by a Knights Quarterly review published in 1824 that Lauritsen reprints in the appendix.
The stupidity and invested self-interest of prominent literary scholars are lavishly on display here in exchanges reproduced from a Romanticism listserv or in dueling letters to the editor, which Lauritsen forcefully contradicts in acerbic footnotes. This is a funny, wonderful, revelatory book that I hope will inspire ambitious graduate students and young faculty to strike blows for truth in our mired profession, paralyzed by convention and fear. (emphasis supplied)