At present I’m got typhoid, polio, hepatitis A and a few other nasty little virulent viruses rushing around my bloodstream, having had my injections to travel to India, where I’ll be presenting my work in Delhi next week. In fact, this last month has been a time of adventurous trips, from China to the vast green fields of Wales.
I visited Guangzhou China in preparation for my project in the Guangzhou Triennial (http://www.gztriennial.org), which proved to be an extraordinary voyage. For my eyes, ears, taste buds and nose, so much was unique – from the streets where they would exclusively sell only one type of goods, so an entire area would feature only shoes as far as the eye can see, or else paper bags, or toys, or air conditioning units, to the pet markets with thousands of vibrantly coloured fish, squealing puppies, and boisterous birds. As with many Asian countries the restaurants were the social centre, with deafening conversation and an endless flow of tea. My final night featured a dramatic typhoon as if out of a movie set, with rainwater knee deep and lightning graffiti across the sky.
At a polar opposite I also began my Artist Residency with Cywaith Cymru where I’m exploring the use of language and words in the Welsh communities. So far I seem to have experienced the largest agricultural fairs imaginable, in Anglesey and Harlech, which is an implausible nine-hour train journey from London. In collaboration with the Department of Lifelong Learning, the Welsh Language Board, the University of Wales and the BBC, I’ve been experiencing sheep dog trials, competitions for super sized vegetables and scarecrows, and displays of pigs, tractors and acrobats on horseback. Life can sometimes seem so surreal.
Rather a sad week at present too with the passing of two legendary figures, as Dr Bob Moog went to programme the great synth in the sky, and Luc Ferrari the French composer retired to sleep peacefully. I remember both with fondness; Bob for sharing the wittiest conversation about transsexuals over dinner, and Luc for his endlessly playful approach to life and his enthusiasm for all new music. Indeed our performance at the Planetarium in Paris in 2003 remains a highlight in my recent collaborations. Both will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with their loved ones.
Curious to read a little Scanner history and thoughts on scanning? I’ve recently contributed to the M/C Journal, which was founded (as "M/C - a journal of media and culture") in 1998 as a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture. Check it out here:
I’ve also recently updated my website with a stack of new freely downloadable MP3s. Now you can find everything from BBC commissions, mixes for Vietnamese pop singers, exhibition soundtracks, a remix of my Derek Jarman material, and collaborations with Thomas Brinkmann, Psyburbia, Dangermouse, and others. There’s a feast awaiting devouring, simply click to MP3s on www.scannerdot.com.
My work also features on two recent Audio Dispatch CD releases from free103point9, a nonprofit arts organization focused on establishing and cultivating the genre Transmission Arts by promoting artists who explore ideas around transmission as a medium for creative expression. As a Transmission Artist I am always happy to support projects outside of the main frame of popular culture and these releases, numbers 26 & 27 in an on-going series, go some way to explore new land in sound.
Audio Dispatch 26: Tune (In))) The Kitchen CD presents recordings from the seminal event at New York’s Kitchen, as part of the city wide festival New Sound, New York in April 2004, featuring entire live sets from Peggy Ahwesh + Barbara Ess and my own set, and excerpts from Ben Owen and Damian Catera, a 31 Down public service announcement with instructions for the event, and an excerpt from a Teach(In))) with high school students the following day. What made these performances so unique was that they are designed for a virtually silent environment in which listeners experience multiple live performances in individual radio headsets as opposed to amplified sound within a performance space. Audience members encounter other signals on the FM dial as they navigate among the Tune(In))) frequencies thus considering the radio spectrum as a venue in and of itself. You can pick and choose as you wander around the venue.
Audio Dispatch 27: Crossed Circuits introduces work presented at the Hogar Collection in New York in May 2005, with works by Tom Roe, 31 Down, Damian Catera, Ben Owen, Tianna Kennedy, Scanner and others. The varied works in this exhibit loosely reflected and invoked a blurring of the senses (synesthesia) and celebrated the inherently ephemeral nature of these connections, featuring photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, sound and media works.
September will bring a further delight of travelling adventures. I’m off to Cork in Ireland this week to install and present my work as part of Sound Out, a show curated by David Toop and Danny McCarthy, featuring new commissions by Akio Suzuki, Max Eastley and Christina Kubisch, scattered around the city itself. Then directly off to Delhi India for the opening of the Crosstown Traffic exhibition with a performance at the Apeejay Media Gallery, and a presentation of my Europa 25 National Anthem project for the EU-India Summit.
A moment for a quick battery recharge and then I’m off on tour with Githead (http://www.githead.com) to visit Berlin,Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hamburg, Cologne, Utrecht, Groningen, Brussels, Dublin, Cork and closing in London. Rock and roll can be a charmless beast at times.
So, once more into the world with a battered suitcase and laptop.
Until next time
::: listen :::
Grandaddy: Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla (V2)
Black Dice: Smiling Off (DFA)
Various: Sound of Silence Project (Reconfiguration)
Various: Big Ears (Sonic Arts Network)
::: read :::
Harry Mathews: My Life in CIA (Dalkey Archive)
Julian Baggini: What’s it all About? (Granta)
Jean Baudrillard: The Conspiracy of Art (MIT)
Sylvere Lotringer: The Accident of Art (MIT)
Primer, Shane Carruth, USA
Pickpocket, Robert Bresson, France
4(Chetyre), Ilya Khrzanovsky, Russia
L’Age d’Or, Luis Bunuel, Spain
::: diary dates :::
02 'Sound Out' Exhibition opening Cork Ireland
07 Europa 25: Delhi India
08 Crosstown Traffic opening Delhi India
15 Githead: Alte Kantine Berlin Germany
16 Githead: Barby Club Tel Aviv Israel
18 Scanner: Lecture British Council Office
20 Githead: Logo Hamburg Germany
21 Githead: Underground Koln Germany
23 Githead: Vera Groningen The Netherlands
24 Githead: Le Botanique Brussels
25 Githead: The Sugar Club Dublin Ireland
26 Githead: An Cruiscin Lan Cork Ireland
28 Githead: Garage London
01 52 Spaces: Centro de las Artes Monterrey Mexico
13-16 'Messe in Moll':Soviet Exhibition Hall Leipzig Germany
17-27 Githead European tour Part 2 (tbc)
22 Efficiency: Tivoli Theatre Washington DC USA
28 Parallax Beat Brothers: Now Festival Nottingham UK
29 Cardiff Festival of Creative Technology Wales UK
02 Parallax Beat Brothers: Oxford Contemporary Music UK
03 Parallax Beat Brothers: Brighton Dome Theatre UK
04 Parallax Beat Brothers: Bath Spa, UK
05 Parallax Beat Brothers: Phoenix Exeter UK
06 Parallax Beat Brothers: Warwick Arts Centre UK
12 Deptford X London
14-18 Guangzhou Triennial China
21-22 Praxis: Nanterre France
25 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival presentation
26 All Frontiers Festival Monfalcone Italy
27 ‘Blindscape' with TeZ; Roma Europa Italy
10 Emo Son festival Bourges France
15 Play Along, Palais des Beaux-arts, Lille, France
15 March-Scanner Scans Sciarrino: Lisbon Portugal
29 July – Wave Farm Green County NY
::: ::: ::: :::