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.
::: diary dates :::
Virogenesis Tour - 'Letting Loose the multimedia rogue codes'
In association with ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology), Adelaide.
The project was conceived as a 'viral collision of some of the most extreme UK, European and Australian new media practitioners, curators, publishers and theorists.' Series of talks, presentations and performances.
4-8 Oct > Sydney - Australia
10 Oct > Canberra - Australia
12-13 Oct > Perth - Australia
14-21 Oct> Melbourne - Australia
25 October> Brussels
Third in the series of Sub Rosa live sessions that has brought disparate artists together from across the globe for improvisational sessions. The most recent event in New York concluded with a live performance between David Shea from New York, Nus from the West Coast and myself from London. Expect a modestly editioned CD to be greeting the racks by xmas time. The most recent release of these sessions is listed further on, recorded in Paris.
5 Nov > Stuc - Leuven, Belgium
Lecture/talk/presentation evening between David Toop and myself.
6 Nov > American Independents - Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London.
Conceived by Susan Stenger of Band of Susans especially for this festival: a gathering of mutant offspring from the worlds of rock and electronics pay homage to their common ancestors with an exceptional programme of classics of American experimental music.
The Brood, as the collected evil band of musicians will be known, features Scanner and Panasonic (Pan Sonic), as well as members of Band Of Susans, Elastica, Gallon Drunk, Wire, and LMC. Pieces to be performed include La Monte Young, Christian Wolff, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Phill Niblock and Rhys Chatham.
15 Nov> World premiere of Delta
A new creation choreographed by Daniel Larrieu from the National Centre of Choreography in Tours, France. Soundtrack commission by Scanner - an exclusive 40 minute piece performed live.
The tour begins in Theatre de Caen, France, and moves through Paris, Grenoble, Japan, Montpellier and continues for the next two years (!) - I'll possibly need a new passport by then!
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
This is a live improvised recording from the first of the Folds & Rhizones events that took place in London in memory of Gilles Deleuze. A kind of digital busking. Edition of 2000
Quantum102 Sub Rosa Live Sessions: Scanner>Shea>Main Ltd CD 70 mins
The second in the live series. Five new Scanner pieces (23.15 mins), Fragment of Alpha (13.03) by David Shea and Live Firmament (37.02) by Main - all exclusive to this recording. Edition of 1200.
Staalplaat Accretions - VPRO radio sessions CD 36 mins
A live recording of a radio session recorded earlier this year at VPRO in Amsterdam. Improvised and with recordings of UK writer Hilaire on selected tracks. Edition of 1000 - - SOLD OUT apparently already...
Soul Static Sound Records, England
Soul 13 Seamless Tape Generator/Tape Junk 7" 10 mins
Soul 14 Hollowhead/Who Else is There? 7" 10 mins
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
A collaboration between A & M Kroker/scanner/Rupert Huber recorded in ORF studios in Vienna in June this year. All new material.
Subraum 'Channel Vacuum' 7" 6 mins
Free single with German fanzine Subraum # 7. Share single alongside Max Muller, Motorpsycho,etc.
Suburbs of Hell SOHS01024 The Broken Voice : compilation CD
A new Scanner piece 'Strange Clothes of Sand' amongst a number of gems - LoveCut Db, Bit Tonic, Immersion, MRM, Exact Life, Daniel Pemberton, Mr Psyche and many others. This compilation is released in association with the London cyber club The Sprawl - a place where you can download your alt.binaries whilst listening to Luke Vibert DJ and eating rich cakes! Distribution is currently being sorted out - contact Iris on 0181 883 0972 for more details.
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.
Art in the Anchorage '96
new york June 21 - August 25
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.
As performance spaces go, the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage is one of the most subterranean and evocative ones I have ever had the opportunity to perform in. An immense, bricked space inside the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, with cathedral like ceiling and cavernous arches, it's the ideal setting for a Hammer Horror remake. Apparently the space can only be utilised during the summer months as the temperature inside drops dangerously low the rest of the year, so as temperatures soared outside in the New York streets, this was quite literally the coolest place to be.
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.
The closing night party ensured that events went out with a bang. Koncrete Jungle spat out the drum and bass with an acid inflected edge to an audience predominately populated by kids wearing trousers so baggy you could conceivably weave a tent out of the slack material from one pair; Ben Neill played a bustling, brisk live set entangling his mutant trumpet with diagonal beats and recessed melodies, I played a live Scanner set spinning in sounds from the ether as best I could captured from inside a steel and concrete structure, and marvelled that New Yorkians can discuss Yoga classes and the "internalisation of your inner spirit, honey" at midnight on a Saturday; and Vernon Reid kicked out and then spread the jam on a slanted funk set that brought the live season to a close. Driving away in a car straight out of a Starksky and Hutch episode later that night, Vernon succinctly summed up the event - "man, it sure kicked" - how could I argue with a man who wears shades at dawn? I had to retire to bed before I was charged for the excess baggage underneath my eyes.
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
June 21-August 25 1196