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Tag Archives: Art

This looks like a hip one. Interestingly, it includes a Cornelius Cardew composition. He was a big part of my life and is central to my latest book ‘Improvisation Rites’ . I also learnt new people, like Heiner Goebbels, and I looked up Red Krayola, and listened to them for the first time. The question marks indicate that I don’t know the track because it is in Japanese (Japanese readers can see photos of pages below)

01 ? (2007)

02. Heiner Goebbels/ Alfred 23 Harth – ‘Berlin Q-Damn’ (1981)

Evokes, for me, the horror of Kristallnacht 9-10th November 1938

03 ? (1991)

04 Cornelius Cardew and Scratch Orchestra ‘The Great Learning Paragraph 2’ (1971)

05 Charlie Mingus ‘Orignal Faubus Fables’ (1960)

06 Frederic Rzewski – 36 variations on ‘The People United Will Never Be Defeated’. Variation 13 (1975)

I nearly heard this in Athens in 2017 … but lost my iphone in a taxi on the way there. Earlier I had been having a meal with Federic and other members of Documenta 14 in a wonderful cafe in which he was frank in his views. Interesting to hear a US communist!

07 ? (1971)

08 ? (1968)

09 ? (1973)

10 ? (1994)

11 ? (1971)

12 The Red Krayola with Art & Language – ‘Keep All Your Friends’ (1981) from Kangaroo? album

Art & Language are a leading English Conceptual Art group. The Red Krayola experimental US rock band, who remind me of the ethos of the Scratch Orchestra, were formed in 1966 by Mayo Thompson. In 1996 They/he provided the soundtrack for a short film Japan in Paris in L.A.

14 Archie Sheep – ‘Attica Blues’ (1972)

15 Happy End – ‘Turn Things Upside Down’ (1990)

Now here’s an interesting one. This is a Robert Wyatt song done by an English 20+ person left-field political band formed by Mat Fox in the area of London I was squatting in at the time (1983). Their name is taken from the title of a 1929 musical play co-written by Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, with music by Kurt Weill. They played over 150 benefit concerts for miners during 1984 strike. Their last concert was in 2000.

BUT it is also the name, I learn, of a highly influential Japanese band 1969 – 72. Even known as the Japanese Beatles. They are credited with bringing the use of Japanese back into Japanese pop songs (from 2000?). So ‘Happy End’ is quite evocative to Japanese people.

Any Japanese readers who could translate items 01, 03, 07 – 11 please let me know!






e.g. Eliane Radigue – Stress Osaka (1969)

P.S. There’s nine more above. The idea is to choose something new I learn and illustrate it with a uToobe link.

Details via:

Almost forgot to blog my own Agit Disco dispersal event at Farnham. It was the closing event for the Working Press archiving exhibition ‘Building a Better World’ in the magnificent library social space. The Agit Disco project had arisen organically from the music chapter in 1993 The Conspiracy of Good Taste (Free Download new illustrated edition here)


Using the tiniest record deck in the world that was wired up to a more hefty portable college sound system. It managed to cause a rumpus in the library with the Head Librarian loving the arrival of music (studies) whilst one of her staff was bristling about volume and distraction to the upper reading rooms. They had a little set to and the head of Library had to give the other a stern order to put up and shut up!

The Working Press archive book on the round table above is available for free download from here ‘RISE’

It was a small event but a good crowd with selections from Susan Merrick and Emmanuelle Waeckerle.

 Owlboy – Conspiracy

Owlboy | Conspiracy
Tuesday 13 January 7-9pm
Free admission, no booking requiredConspiracy is the latest track by West London-based rap artist Owlboy written as a direct result of his involvement in the London riots in 2011. The music video, a 12-month collaboration between Owlboy, Reveal Poison (an Iranian born, London raised hip-hop artist, writer and ethnomusicologist), Sam Hepworth (producer and filmmaker) and The Showroom, has been produced as part of The Showroom’s Communal Knowledge programme.Conspiracy is the story of many told through one: including original footage and documentation, it re-tells a series of local events that directly resulted from the larger-scale riots of 2011. Chronicled from the perspective of a young person who was not only present, but who was also reprimanded and imprisoned as a result of his involvement, the narrative serves as an integral chapter in the larger media story dubbed the ‘UK Riots’.This collaboration will extend into 2015 with further music video productions, and will feed into Dutch artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s How to work together commission in spring 2015.
63 Penfold Street
London NW8 8PQ
T 020 7724 4300

Showing at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London until the 11th October 2014 M-F 10 – 5.30, Sat 11 – 4pm  The film is a visual performance to an eleven minute section of the soundtrack of Spielberg’s 2005 War of the Worlds, starting 22 minutes in when the war is underway. This is made in a domestic setting in a Tel Aviv suburb by various means: short scenes are acted out in a playful way with the use of domestic tools and everyday objects as plausible sound makers used by foley artist impersonators; children and adults lip sync to the moments of dramatic dialogue and action; the main interior room used is the kitchen. Inserted into this is a restrained use of theatrical props, mainly a rubber severed hand, and short snippets of news footage of war in Israel. The Spielberg sound design, mixed with the music composed by John Williams, is of course high-end and this contrasts, sometimes to comic effect, with the make-do quality of some of the props used to mis-represent the causes of these sounds. To rise to the challenge of the ‘War of the Worlds’ action a lot of things are smashed up including a basketball that crashes through a real window. Alarm clocks, hoovers, blenders, gas flames, spillages and domestic accidents appear to contribute their sounds. Who knows, some of these things may have actually been used by the Hollywood foley artists who are famous for their inventive use of everyday objects. Guy Ben-Ner Soundtrack2 The film is very affecting after the recent Israeli offensive but was in fact made at the time of the previous somewhat smaller scale conflict in 2012. The lightness of the playful action makes us feel the relation between our domestic lives and its comforts and the violence that is inflicted in other parts of the world. Perhaps it is not necessarily as a result of the production of domestic commodities but it is certainly a product of capitalism as a whole. We benefit whilst others suffer. This is all conveyed with frying eggs, children’s balloons, toddlers plastic trikes and the other paraphernalia of family life. Read More »

A ‘French Agit Disco’, an annotated list of songs made by son and mother, Francis Haselden and Sharon Kivland, was offered for an ambitious Agit Disco benefit for London’s Housemans radical bookshop in April 2014, in response to the wider Agit Disco project. Agit Disco is an archive project. It refers to the ‘domestic’ record collections both in physical form in our houses and flats and in our memories. The process of selection is a critical process of second distillation. The first process occurs as particular records, CDs, and MP3s are bought or otherwise obtained from the mass of commercial commodities that reflects systemic interests or constructs a panoply of material which is not conducive to challenging these interests or thinking critically about them. Selectors produce their Agit Disco playlist. Intellectual processes of review, comparison, and evaluation bring into focus the themes and effects of this heritage of listening. Then a collaborative and communicative process happens. The playlist is produced as a real object, a ‘mix-tape’ that can be given, sent, heard by others, or imagined, finding its place in archives to be heard again when the right moment arises, perhaps with others, at a real disco, a party, an after-dinner session. The process generates proposals and statements, and it is important the tracks are liberated from systemic worlds of commodity and become part of another gift economy.

The French Agit Disco song titles and commentary were printed in a slipcase booklet that formed the cover of a plastic CD case containing an audio CD of the playlist. The first nine songs are organised into groups under the following genre sub-headings printed in red: Chansons (from 1957 and 1965), ‘Ye-Ye’ (from 1966 and 1967) and ‘a few chansons from May 68. These are then followed by two songs from 1979 and 1980, and then a final three from 2001, 2008, and 2011.The audio CD that accompanied the booklet was presented as a keynote to that event.

Read More »

Reverend And The Makers have released a song online ‘inspired’ by the recent rioting across the UK.
“It’s free, it’s not a money thing in any way”, says Jon McCLure.

I say to J.M. “How can you say its ‘not a money thing’. Publicity is cash for when you release the next Makers album”. Bandwagon jumping alert.

The art and music worlds are hot for making cash from Uprisings, the sense of a revolt to come that’s been in the air for some time. I’ve noticed them sniffing around… e.g. The commercial art gallerys in and around Eastcastle street, London W1 near my workplace, have been carrying shows with political content recently – there’s a market in peoples kick-back against the recesssion and financial crises. Its good to see the work but there’s something disgusting about the timing – catching radical minds in the net of commerce.

Then again culture needs to respond to what’s happening!

London Riots comments by Reggae music

Lots more on the North London riots on Uncarved by the way…

Spider seen attempting to enter Tate Britain. February 2007.
Spider at Tate Britain
Mark Wallinger’s recreation of Brain Haw’s one man protest in Parliament Square disturbed me.

Its as if the last 50 years of understanding how meaning depends on context has evaporated in the heat of the new global warming enterprise opportunity. Wallinger has suberb skills as a postmodern artist/artisan. This is how the work can be appreciated from a trad art POV. Awe in the face of the skill of its (re)construction.

But what is also happening is that a spectacular copy of revolt is being made that disposses us of the immediacy of revolt. That replaces revolt by its ideal virtualised facsimile reframed by the state. The illusion is that if the sovereigns Blair and Bush  can be sacrificed in the Tate Britain, with no disturbance to the state, then what can our own pettily resourced efforts achieve… Its is a wind up to the desperate to resort to violence, it is the parallel symptom of systemmic feigned indifference, that causes the teenagers to shoot it out. It is a vacination against the possibility of an epidemic of working class creativity.

But maybe Wallinger has put all future rights to the work of art in the estate of the family of Brian Haw. Or something that undermines these commodity effects and can throw this gripe back in my face. I hope so.

Anyway in contrast I found to my suprise the nearby bronze works of the Chapman Brothers, ‘When Humans Walked the Earth’ to be more radical and subversive in their classicbronze casings. I hadn’t been mad about their work in the past finding it often unpalatably extreme for the sake of shock for the sake of attention seeking. This seems to have matured, but the radical and visual analysis seems to have sharpened.