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September 2004

Strom Sixty.

Hello

Fresh from an artistic ocean cruise and composing a soundtrack amongst dinosaurs in a public park, it seems like a normal couple of weeks in my life really.

6000 Chairs was the name given to the dinosaur project, where a range of performances and installations utilised the landscape, buildings and spaces of Crystal Palace Park in South East London, in a circular route of unorthodox ‘stages’ - the model dinosaur park, the ruined terrace of the destroyed Crystal Palace building, the trees, lakes and disused orchestra platform. Best of all, six thousand deckchairs were given away free for the event!

ISEA 2004 took me and around 900 other curious people on a slow motion boat trip from Helsinki, via Stockholm, the autonomous state of Mariehamn to Tallinn in Estonia. With performances, talks, greetings, meetings and general smoozing on board it was a perverse delight to replay the closing scenes of Titanic repeatedly on DVD in my cabin, as above and around me on the nine floors of the ocean liner, talks took place on Tactical Social Fictions, Social Networks of Resistance and Translocal Networks.

September should bring many adventures. Celebrating 80 years of radio in Austria, I’ll be presenting my multi-media work, Double Fold, in collaboration with Mexican visual artist Edith Garcia, fresh from the DVD burner, as part of the Ars Electronica (http://www.aec.at) Long Night of Radio in Linz and Vienna, Austria, alongside Felix Kubin, Sam Auinger, radioqualia and others. You can listen to everything on-line at http://www.kunstradio.at
We then travel this show over to Athens and South Tirol in Italy, in between my flitting across the globe to make performances in San Francisco at SFMOMA and Milan, an improvised musical performance with Simon Fisher Turner at the planetarium in Paris, and just time for some local shopping before slipping back to work.

If you were ever interested in the working methods of artists, including my own practice, then have a read of Private Views:Artists Working Today by Judith Palmer (Serpents Tail). If you’ve ever wondered how artists cope with solitude, public exposure, self-doubt, or the pressures of the market, then this should fill in a few of the blanks. It’s an incisive collection of essays and interviews that offers a rare insight into the lives of many high profile contemporary artists working in the UK today - with contributions from David Toop, Iain Sinclair, Nitin Sawhney, Michael Bracewell, Dalziel + Scullion and many others. Perfect to entertain you on a cool evening.

Opening at the ZKM in Karlsruhe Germany this month is Phonorama: A cultural history of the voice as a medium, where my frequent collaborator Katarina Matiasek and I have created an installation, ‘DIVA’, using images and sound of operatic goddess Maria Callas. It seems likely to be a very striking show, where you’ll be able to hear the first first attempts of artificially created voices, such as the voice of a speaking machine engineered by Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804), a high appointee at the court of Maria Theresia. With the aid of his machine, he wanted to enable deaf people to articulate themselves acoustically. Also on show will be the earliest speaking machines from the 18th and 19th century, exhibited for the first time, and gauges that analyze and reconstruct human articulation and vocal development. As Karlsruhe isn’t easily accessible for many people thankfully a catalogue will be produced and hopefully the show the travel.

Now, I’d better get back to teaching my dummy to speak, it’s not easy being a ventriloquist you know!

Best wishes

Robin

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::: diary dates :::

2004
3 Sept           Re-Inventing Radio: Vienna/Linz Austria
4 Sept           Rhiz, Vienna, Austria
9 Sept           52 Spaces: SFMOMA, USA
15 Sept         52 Spaces: Milan, Italy
16-18 Sept   Triple Bill: Trafo, Budapest, Hungary
18 Sept         Double Fold: Athens, Greece
22 Sept         Starball with SFT: Paris France
23 Sept         52 Spaces: Villette Numérique Festival Paris France
25 Sept         Double Fold: Transart, South Tirol, Italy
2 Oct              Arborscence Festival, Aix-en-Provence, France
8 Oct              Sur-Terre: La Ferme du Buisson, Paris
13 Oct            Lecture/Performance with David Toop: London College of Communications
16 Oct            Nemesis with Random Dance: Bolshoi Russia
17 Oct            Triple Bill: Grand Pas Festival, Moscow, Russia
26 Oct            Lecture: Future of Sound, Royal Institution, London
29 Oct            Lecture/Performance Leeds College of Music UK
30 Oct            Githead: Les Observatoires Evreux France
6 Nov             Play: Musiques Nouvelles Annecy France
11-13 Nov     Lokschuppen: Leipzig Germany
19 Nov           52 Spaces: Eyebeam New York USA
23 Nov           Sciarrino with Alter Ego: Huddersfield UK

2005
13-15 Jan      Triple Bill: White Bird, Portland, Oregon USA
19 Jan            Triple Bill: UC Riverside, California USA
22 Jan            Triple Bill: UC San Diego, USA
28-30 Jan      Nemesis UCLA California USA
30 March        Nemesis Creteil, Paris
15-17 April     RE-TG Camber Sands
5-6 Dec          Sciarrino with Alter Ego Lisbon Portugal

::: listen :::
The Hafler Trio: How to Slice a Loaf of Bread (Phonometrography)
Jack Dangers: Forbidden Planet (Important)
Efterklang: Trippe (Leaf)
FZV: Precedent (Ai)

::: read :::
Ted Hughes: Birthday Letters (Faber & Faber)
Simon Armitage: The White Stuff (Penguin)
Cabinet Magazine 14: Doubles
Urs Fischer: Good Smell (JRP Ringier)

::: film:::
Wire, On the Box, DVD, UK
The Swimmer, Frank Perry, US Father & Son, Alexander Sokurov, Rus
Mirror, Tarkovsky, Rus

::: exhibitions :::

Fashion at Belsay
Belsay Hall UK
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk
29 May – 30 September
Thirteen fashion designers respond to the historic setting and atmosphere of Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. The result is a series of unique installations. Featuring Zandra Rhodes, Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Jean Muir, Shelley Fox with Scanner, Agent Provocateur, Julie Verhoeven and Stella McCartney

PHONORAMA.
A cultural history of the voice as a medium
ZKM | Museum for Contemporary Art
Karlsruhe Germany
http://www.zkm.de
19 September - 30 January 2005

A comprehensivev group show exploring the human voice in art. Featuring works by Judith Barry, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Marcel Broodthaers, VALIE EXPORT, Asta Gröting, Pierre Huyghe, Golan Levin, Katarina Matiasek & Scanner, Tony Oursler, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm and others.

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