The American Music Show

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The American Music Show began in 1981 and ran until 2005 on People TV, the public access station in Atlanta, Georgia. It was produced by Potsy Duncan, Bud Lowry, James Bond, and Dick Richards. Campy and over-the-top, the show parodied American popular culture with John Waters-esque absurdism. I discovered the show through misterrichardson's page on YouTube, of The Funtone USA Network.







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The Live! Show

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Produced by the Artists' Television Network, the Live! Show ran in 1979 and from 1982-1983 on Manhattan’s Cable channel J. A weekly program overseen by Jaime Davidovich, the Live! Show was a variety show, featuring performances and videos by a host of New York downtown artists. Below you will find the second episode, which aired on December 28, 1979, with appearances by Jaime Davidovich, Carole Ann Klonarides, John Sanborn, Kit Fitzgerald, Lucio Pozzi, Tomiyo Sasaki, Stuart Sherman, The Social Climbers, and Youth in Asia. A playlist of other episodes may be found here.









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TV Party

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TV Party, hosted by Glenn O'Brien, ran from 1978 to 1982 on public access cable TV in New York City. A documentary about the show came out a few years ago, which renewed interest in the show and cemented its legacy. Below is an excerpt from the larger essay "THE TV PARTY STORY", where O'Brien reflects on the concept behind TV Party.

TV Party wasn't based on the Johnny Carson type talk show as much as it was based on Hugh Hefner's shows. Hef's Playboy's Penthouse premiered in 1960 and Playboy After Dark appeared in 1969. The format of both shows was a sophisticated cocktail party, not a desk and sofa set up. It was a fantasy of being at a super-hip, super exclusive jet set party. Hef wore a tux and there were always vixens aplenty on set as well as groovy guests like Sara Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Lenny Bruce.

I loved the concept, compared to the stiff format of the Tonight Show. TV Party was Playboy Penthouse twenty years later and with no money. But TV Party was meant to be much more than a regular old talk show. It was meant to be art and it was also meant to be a political party. That's why you see all of those pictures of Lenin and Engels and Marx and Stalin and Mao hanging on the walls. We were doing "socialist realist TV."

"TV Party is the show that's a cocktail party but which could also be a political party." That was the slogan. My idea was that socialism meant going out every night, and that social action started with socializing. I think we were trying to inject a sort of tribal element into things. That's what happens ...

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Essential Repertoire Festival Kicks Off Tonight at Issue Project Room

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Connie Beckley, Sound Split, 1975

Don't have access to a time machine, but want a taste of the Kitchen's programming during the late 1970s? Look no further than the Essential Repertoire Festival, which begins tonight and runs through the weekend at Issue Project Room. Organized by the experimental music series Darmstadt, the festival will restage works originally performed at the Kitchen's New Music New York concerts from 1979, curated by Rhys Chatham. Composers slated to present their 1970s-era work at Essential Repertoire include “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Connie Beckley, David Van Tieghem, Jill Kroesen, Jon Gibson, Ned Sublette, Peter Gordon, Peter Zummo, Petr Kotik, Phill Niblock, and a special performance of Meredith Monk's Dolmen Music by the M6. Check the full schedule here.

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A Photo Essay of Brody Condon's "Case"

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Organized by the artist Brody Condon, Case is a deadpan reading of the classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer by William Gibson in a rehearsal-like atmosphere. Combining Gibson's 1980s dystopian techno-fetishism with early twentieth-century abstraction, faux "virtual reality" scenes will unfold via moving Bauhaus-inspired sculptural props accompanied by the Gamelan ensemble Dharma Swara.

Case premiered at the New Museum on November 22nd. It will also be performed in summer 2010 in a small outdoor community theater in rural Missouri. The actors for the November 22nd performance include Ray Radtke, Sasha Grey, Lionel Maunz, Sto, Tony Conrad, Sindri Eldon, Peter Segerstrom, Melissa Baxter, Rachid Outabia, Emily Mahoney, Brandon Stosuy, Jee Young Sim, Guil R. Mullen, Brody Condon, and Mallory Blair. The script was prepared by the writer Brandon Stosuy, with sound design by Peter Segerstrom, and graphic props by Breanne Trammell. The event was commissioned and presented by Rhizome and Performa 09.

Below you will find a photo essay of the six-hour long performance, that documents the performance, musicians, and actors at various stages of Case. All photographs were taken by Kristianna Smith.

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Cory Arcangel on Motherboard TV

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Artist Cory Arcangel was recently interviewed by Motherboard TV. The short clip walks through many of his most well known projects, like Super Mario Clouds (2002) and Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 (2009), with additional commentary by Arcangel.

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Guitar Drag (2000) - Christian Marclay

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Future Sounds

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Kabir Carter Performing "Trap" at the Bronx Museum

On November 15, an unseasonably warm fall Sunday, a small crowd of artists and academics armed with pens, notebooks, and cell phone cameras, gathered on the second floor of the Bronx Museum. The afternoon began with a panel discussion on the topic of radio and Futurism followed by a sound installation presented by the artist Kabir Carter as part of Performa 09. As Sergio Bessa, Director of Programs, pointed out-- perhaps facetiously-- Futurism and the Bronx are temporally linked: Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto and the Grand Concourse are both celebrating their centennial this year.

The panel, featuring literary critics Marjorie Perloff and Richard Sieburth, and poet Charles Bernstein, served as a precursor to Carter's Trap [originally titled Drifts and Traps], locating the sound piece within the historical context of the Futurist movement. The live presentation also served as a more complex complement to Carter's current installation at the BMA.

The panel centered on the opposition of the Russian futurists, portrayed as optimistic idealists by Perloff, and the Italian futurists, a group of dystopian thinkers enamored of fascism presented by Sieburth. Perloff began by reading Velimir Khlebnikov's Radio of the Future, an essay predicting the potential of radio to act as a vast concert hall and to disseminate news to the masses. Sieburth, on the other hand, explored Ezra Pound's role in Italian Futurism, focusing on Canto LXXII, a poem of discordant strife describing the author's fictitious meeting with Marinetti in radio hell. Transitioning neatly to Carter's installation, Bernstein then performed a dramatic reading of sections of Marinetti's manifesto, as well as poems by Russian Futurists and the speaker himself.

After a short break, Carter positioned himself at a table with an array of devices: radio ...

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Shana Moulton's "The Undiscovered Antique" at Art in General

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Shana Moulton performing "The Undiscovered Antique" at Art in General

The current exhibition at Art in General is “Erratic Anthropologies", which features Guy Benfield, Shana Moulton, Rancourt/Yatsuk, and Hong-An Truong, who construct narratives through video and performance that investigate a host of social subcultures (from hippie crafters to failed south Florida housing developers). In collaboration with Performa 09, a special series of performances have been organized to accompany the show. Last Wednesday, November 10, Benfield, Moulton, and Rancourt/Yatsuk performed in temporary environments in the gallery space. They will perform again tonight at 7pm. Rhizome Curatorial Fellow Jenny Jaskey writes about Shana Moulton’s "The Undiscovered Antique."

In a crowded room on Wednesday night, video and performance artist Shana Moulton presented the ninth installment of Whispering Pines, a series in which her alter ego Cynthia relishes the life-changing potential of home décor, beauty routines, and self-help mantras. Cynthia’s obsession in this episode, entitled The Undiscovered Antique, focuses on her journey to confirm the value of personally meaningful domestic artifacts á la The Antiques Roadshow. Moulton’s work is a layering of video, performance, and prop staging that is, in its more effective moments, abstract and dreamlike. In the spirit of Sara Goldfarb minus the amphetamines, Cynthia fantasizes about the transcendental payoff of her kitsch consumer fetishes, which include a head massager and footbath. Moulton achieves this sense of escapism by fully integrating her character into a two-dimensional digital landscape: projected objects move in choreographed syncopation with Cynthia’s body, sometimes appearing to control its movement or color its surface.

Moulton’s work makes us particularly attuned to the social structure surrounding its protagonist through its exaggerated and fragmented representation of Cynthia’s environment. It uses this fiction as a means for creating a kind of framed anthropological analysis ...

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Interview with Brody Condon

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Cover of William Gibson's novel Neuromancer

Scheduled for its New York premiere this Sunday, November 22, Case is an experimental adaptation of the 1984 novel Neuromancer by William Gibson. Considered a classic work of the literary genre cyberpunk, Neuromancer tells the story of Case, a fallen super hacker whose glory days have long since ended, leaving him in a drug-addled, regret-ridden state that lifts when a mysterious entity offers him a second chance. Charged, kaleidoscopic, and prescient, Neuromancer dilates on virtual reality, artificial intelligence and a globalized world through the intricacies of Case’s story. Case (2009), conceived and produced by artist Brody Condon, will be a day-long installation and performance that, in the artist’s words combines “Gibson’s 1980s dystopian techno-fetishism with faux ‘virtual reality’ scenes that will unfold via moving Bauhaus-inspired sculptural props accompanied by the Gamelan ensemble Dharma Swara.” I asked Condon a few questions in advance of the New York premiere so readers, near and far, could get a sense of how this ambitious work will unfold on Sunday.

Case is commissioned and presented by Rhizome and Performa 2009: the New York Biennial of performance art, whose theme this year is futurism. It will take place at the New Museum on November 22 from 1-6pm. Viewers may come and go; there is no set time required to stay. Advance tickets are available here: http://www.newmuseum.org/events/384.



Lauren Cornell: Why were you inspired to adopt Case's story in 2009?

Brody Condon: One core theme of Gibson's novel is addiction and transcendence, and is embodied by the hacker Case. The performance will feature Ray "Bad Rad" Radtke, an infamous Midwestern hell-raiser and activist, reading as the main character. This work started as a series of interviews with Ray, which I mashed ...

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