Daily Postings
art : interview

Amy Balkin

by Monica Westin

“Criminal evidence, not scientific evidence, as gathered from sites of slow crimes in progress.”

For the past decade, Amy Balkin has focused on projects concerning climate change, the public domain, and the commons broadly construed. Her work is characterized by ongoing interventions with national and supranational systems—political, legal, and economic in scope—as is the case with the Public Smog project, her ongoing attempt to create a “clean air park” by buying carbon emissions and then keeping them back from use, and also pushing for the Earth’s atmosphere to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In contrast to these explorations that intercede in bureaucratic systems, A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting, which Balkin has been steadily cultivating along with co-registrars Malte Roloff and Cassie Thornton since 2011, uses a form that is new to the artist. This archive moves transiently between global institutions, often as part of a group exhibition, where it grows with crowdsourced (not curated) items donated from places that risk disappearing because of climate change. The documents in the archive thus operate as a kind of worldwide record of loss.

I first visited the archive back in the spring of 2014 when it was housed at Southern Exposure in San Francisco, and I was struck by the variety of objects, many of which are cheap and ephemeral: a tin can, a bottlecap, a clip. A People’s Archive takes contributions of “anything that happens to be there,” including detritus, as long as it weighs less than half a pound and includes an explanation of how the location is impacted by climate change (sinking, erosion, desertification, rising sea levels, and so forth). As of 2015, the archive includes objects from Antarctica, Australia, Cape Verde, Santiago de Cuba, Germany, Greenland, Venice, Mexico, Nepal, New Orleans, Alaska, New York City, Panama, Peru, Republic of Komi, Russia, California, Senegal, and Tuvalu. It’s currently on view and open for contributions at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark.

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music : interview

Little Wings

by Tobias Carroll

“Lil Wayne explains a blade of grass.”

Kyle Field is a busy guy. First and foremost, there’s his work as a musician under the name Little Wings, which first made an impact in the early 2000s with a number of albums released on K Records. Prior to that, Field was a member of the band Rodriguez along with M. Ward. Since then, his music has generally fallen into a sweet spot between easy-going folk pop and more idiosyncratic personal concerns—instantly familiar, yet difficult to pin down. Little Wings’s newest album, Explains, is his first for Woodsist Records. It’s a subdued, sometimes haunting album with tremendous restraint. Field’s crooning warble drifts over a series of melodically flowing compositions that veer from confessional to pastoral.

Field also makes visual art; a visit to his website turns up a host of surreal illustrations, some of which make impressive use of confined spaces. Field’s art and music are two sides of the same creative spark. Perhaps it’s a freeform characteristic that unites them, a dreamlike impetus yanked into the light of day.

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literature : word choice

Three Poems

by Linnea Ogden

The Way We Did It Was

“Going through something”
As though a spaceship made of marsh gas
Hovered overhead
The work of a moment mildewed
Along the edge
The press bed’s relenting skin
Sick at throat with hibiscus
Or rose hips
Our digressions
Black houses on a black street, hanging
Over dog-pawed ground

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art : interview

Monte Laster

by Hunter Braithwaite

North of Paris, west of Texas—Laster’s community-based social sculptures span cultures and continents.

On a hot day in May, Monte Laster and I drove an hour and a half out of Dallas to Castle Rock Mountain, a ranch he had purchased just two weeks prior to serve as the American base for his community engagement platform—the French American Creative Exchange (FACE). I was in town for the first edition of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Soluna International Music and Arts Festival, which commissioned Laster to create a new project based on notions of place, identity, and dislocation. Although he was raised in Fort Worth, Laster has lived in France since 1989, primarily in the disenfranchised banlieue of La Courneuve, a fifteen-minute train ride north of Paris. “I’m 100% Texan and 80% French,” the artist said. Castle Rock was a bit of a homecoming.

When we got to the ranch he gave me a quick tour of the house and grounds, which years of poor upkeep and a recent flood had thoroughly integrated. Then we decided to take a walk. Laster pulled on knee-high snake boots and handed me a pair. There had been a lot of rain, and rattlesnakes would be out. The boots were two sizes too small. My feet didn’t make it past the bend of the ankle. “My father and brother have lived here all their lives,” he told me, “and they won’t go down there without snake boots.” Down there miles of thick brush and cactus scraped together above swampy lowland soil. This interview took place while I was taking my chances.

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film : interview

Thomas Lilti

by Liza Béar

As both physician and filmmaker, Lilti discusses his recent hospital drama and the challenges of medical and artistic practice.

Last year, in 2014, Hippocrates played in Critics’ Week at the Festival de Cannes. This year, Thomas Lilti, the film’s director and co-writer, is back on the Croisette, having just finished shooting his third feature and taking a break from editing. That’s no mean feat for a filmmaker who’s also a primary care physician in Paris and has maintained a dual-career track since his salad days. Hippocrates, of course, refers to the Hippocratic oath and the challenges it faces in contemporary medical practice; in French, as Hippocrate (no “s”), the title is dangerously close to the word hypocrite.

Lilti has exploited to the full his own life experiences in this nuanced coming-of-age drama with strong political undertones. It is told from the point of view of twenty-three-year-old Benjamin (the emotionally supple Vincent Lacoste) as he starts a six-month internship at a large Paris hospital under the dubious tutelage of his father as head of the department. The public hospital, now run by corporate-style managers, is fraught with budgetary problems and ensuing staff and equipment shortages that strain priorities and patient care. The introduction of a second lead character, Abdel (Reda Kateb), an older, already qualified Algerian doctor who’s treated as an intern because of his immigrant status, greatly enriches the script’s dramatic potential as a solid collegial bond and friendship gradually develops between Abdel and Benjamin. Abdel offsets Benjamin’s inexperience and becomes the moral fulcrum of the film.

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music : interview


by Gary Canino

Musician Kai Hugo on conspiracy theorists, cassette tapes, and video confabulations.

Palmbomen II, the recent release on RVNG / Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space label, is the latest electronic incarnation of the LA-based musician Kai Hugo. The amorphous, shape-shifting collection of synths and rhythms could have soundtracked a dream you had dancing in a nachtclub in Zandaam around the time Ross Perot was running for president. And “lo-fi” it is not; one could easily picture these tunes accompanying a Neil DeGrasse Tyson narration at a planetarium, or perhaps an early ’80s Michael Mann film. An alternate introduction to this record could be the tracklist: oddly enough, each song is named for a faceless, incidental X-Files character (e.g., Peter Tanaka, Cindy Savalas, Lorraine Kelleher, Carina Sayles, etc.), and Hugo creates the tense and driving tunes through this array of anonymous characters, detaching them from their original context and creating them anew in a series of SVHS videos.

Palmbomen, or “palm trees” in Dutch, is actually a reference to the fake palm trees that Hugo would encounter in his youth in often freezing Holland, and this record mostly speaks to the longing for a romantic escape to warmer environs. With that in mind, Hugo’s relocation to Los Angeles can at first seem like a paradox, but upon further listening, the record couldn’t have been created anywhere else. There is a pervasive dry heat that runs through it, whether on a Venice Beach pier or in the lobby of the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition on Hollywood Boulevard. Palmbomen II is ultimately an entirely unique experience from start to finish. I chatted with Kai Hugo recently about this paradox, his interest in film, and the future of artificial intelligence.

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film : interview

Michael Winterbottom

by Gary M. Kramer

Crime, gossip, and feeding the media machine.

Michael Winterbottom is one of those prolific, always interesting filmmakers who seems to tackle every cinematic genre he can. He is equally adept at making comedies (The Trip), thrillers (The Killer Inside Me), science-fiction films (Code 46), documentaries (The Road to Guantanamo), docudramas (A Mighty Heart, In this World, Welcome to Sarajevo), social-issue dramas (Go Now), and even that peculiar subgenre of period pieces starring Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People, The Look of Love, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story). He has made lovely, realist family dramas (Wonderland, Everyday) and a romance with explicit sex and music (9 Songs). In his copious spare time, Winterbottom adapts the work of Victorian-era poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, having made Jude, The Claim, and Trishna within a fifteen-year period—even taking the pains, or risks, to set Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the d'Urbervilles in the American West and India, respectively. This filmmaker seems to enjoy raising the degree of difficulty for himself with each new project, and that may be what makes his work so exciting. Every film takes a seed and turns it into something different and special.

Winterbottom’s latest offering, The Face of an Angel,is his semi-fictional take on the infamous Amanda Knox story. Based on the book by Barbie Latza Nadeau and with a screenplay by Paul Viragh, this fictional drama has a documentary filmmaker named Thomas (Daniel Brühl) meet journalist Simone Ford (Kate Beckinsale) in Sienna to prepare a project on a murder case. The truth, for Thomas, becomes blurry while his drug use and vivid dreams suggest he is losing his grip on reality altogether.

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art : interview

Karl Lemieux

by Julian Ross

Projection as performance, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and depicting electromagnetic radiation.

Live presence is not often considered to be a part of cinema, but Karl Lemieux thinks it should be. Using 16mm projectors as his principal tools, the Montreal-based artist employs various tactics to manipulate both the film material and apparatus itself during the act of projection—an approach that results in a distortion of the image. Tapping into the history of expanded cinema, Lemieux sees the moment of projection as the primary site of production. Using multiple projectors, he paints onto film, adjusts the frame rate, and refracts the image by placing glass bowls in front of the lens. While his approach is certainly hands-on, its acceptance of chance means some of the results are out of his hands. His audiences bear witness to cinema in the making.

Lemieux’s live, improvised collaborations with sound artists and musicians testify to his dedication to correspondence: the artists respond to the setting, to the moment, and to each other. Working with Swedish composer and sound artist BJ Nilsen, Lemieux shot footage on the border between Russia and Norway. This would be the basis of their collaborative performance, unearthed, presented at the 2015 Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam. As co-founder of Montreal’s Double Negative Collective, Lemieux’s support for collaboration extends beyond his own artistic output. Together with experimental filmmaker Daïchi Saïto, he has established a film lab and network for avant-garde cinema that has become a resounding voice for filmmaking dedicated to independence.

While often abrasive, Lemieux’s cinema also has a generosity that allows for open interpretation and a space for thoughts to meander. In his film Quiet Zone (2015), co-directed by musician David Bryant (Hiss Tracts & Godspeed You! Black Emperor), this delicacy is applied to a documentary subject who has a severe case of electromagnetic sensitivity. While the space that surrounds her is animated by film processing techniques, her voice and features remain untouched. Screening at Sonic Acts, where this year’s theme is “The Geological Imagination” and many works engage with human impact on the Earth, Quiet Zone reminds us of our fragility as individuals under the enormity of change we have brought about.

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literature : word choice

It’s Private

by Eric Ellingsen

That’s what we said. At the Ows-land-er-be-horde, the office for foreigners, pantheon of come backs of stays of goes, place to renew and apply. You have to make an appointment weeks ahead of time to renew. We made an appointment, then we missed that appointment. But today you don’t have to have an appointment, though it is advised.

So, my wife Hope and I had an appointment to renew, and we missed it. My wife is named after Bob Hope, Hope’s dad Jules says. And I know hope (the concept) fits this story, but it’s also the way it is. I’m a bit torn here—to change Hope’s real name to something more believable but less true. Her name could be Charity. Mercy. I’m friends with a Brazilian Ding. Freelanced with a Corner. I even briefly loved a Brie. The memories burst in on me. I could even make her a heart surgeon, say that gives her the right.

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art : interview

Sarah Ortmeyer

by Stephanie Cristello

Chess, eggs, and dessert.

I scream for when you are happy, I scream for when you are heartbroken. This is how I misread Vienna-based artist Sarah Ortmeyer’s responses to a question on the concept of ritualized happiness that I had asked her during one of our many email exchanges. Of course, the words she wrote were Ice cream not I scream, though the idiomatic childhood rhyme was inescapable in my mind, and my eyes replaced the text with its sound instead—a happy malapropism. We had just discussed the concept of youth, and the mistake seemed fitting. It seemed not unlike something she would write; emotive, oppositional—in that it reflected the same action in two polarizing ways—within the realm of popular reference, and a touch melancholic.

My introduction to Ortmeyer’s work was through her exhibition KISH KUSH at Dvir Gallery, in Tel Aviv, in early 2014. After seeing the documentation online, I began a steady digital communication with Ortmeyer that has continued ever since. The show took on chess as performance—think Duchamp—in an over-the-top installation of life-size photos of female chess champions scattered throughout the gallery in a floor-to-ceiling array resembling centerfolds and pinups. The knights, queens, rooks, and pawns pictured in many of the images of these hottie grandmasters were tossed, strewn, held as props, and staged suggestively. Oversized marble pieces occupied the floor in clusters, sometimes in proximity to the images plastered on the wall, other times in independent huddles in the center of the space. Undermining the idea of strategy was at the center of Ortmeyer’s tactic. The best way to feature the absence of these female chess champions from the history of chess was, in this case, to attack the gendered intellectualism of the game in a way that was so sexualized, so explicitly objectified, that it posed an affront to the myth of male genius so readily performed by modernism.

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literature : interview

Joshua Cohen

by Dan Duray

Tech moguls, syllable counting, computerized criticism, and the singularity.

Most people probably discovered the fiction of Joshua Cohen with the appearance of his short story “Emission” in the Spring 2011 issue of The Paris Review. In it, a man fights for dignity amidst search engine optimization after someone blogs a story he tells at a party, and his name becomes associated with a sex act. That story was later collected in Four New Messages, which James Wood singled out as one of the best books of the year in 2012, writing: “I was excited to read this young writer, and uncalmly await more.”

In fact, the now-34-year-old author already had a lot more. At that point, he’d published the novels Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto (2007), A Heaven of Others (2008), and Witz (2010), a winding, 800-page experimental work about, literally, the last Jew on Earth. If any press releases exist about him they probably contain a line like, “Cohen explores themes human and everlasting with humor, wit, and pathos.” His new novel, Book of Numbers (Random House, June 9), is the culmination of efforts seen in Four New Messages and takes us through the ghostwriting of a tech mogul’s autobiography. The mogul’s name is Joshua Cohen, as is the ghostwriter’s. The novel vaguely follows the structure of the biblical book for which it is named, but its most impressive section is the second, a raw interview with that mogul, which comprises some 400 pages.

The real-life Joshua Cohen also writes the New Books column in Harper's magazine, and as a critic he neither shows off nor pulls punches. In The London Review of Books, he began his review of Jonathan Franzen’s translation of Karl Kraus with the question: “What’s the German for a writer who resurrects a writer who would have hated him?” Born in Atlantic City, Cohen speaks in a way that is quick, vivid, and dense, like William Vollmann mixed with a capo from a Martin Scorsese movie. We conducted this interview at my place, which he had previously likened to “a Tampa drug dealer’s apartment in the ’90s, because everything sucks, but the stereo system is good,” over iced coffee and cigarettes.

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art : interview

Dana Levy

by Naomi Lev

Souvenirs, live doves, and storming in with only your dreams.

As part of an ongoing series hosted by Independent Curators International (ICI), I invite artists to discuss their work in an intimate environment. These talks are a continuation of a larger series of conversations and panels I’ve been initiating with artists from around the globe. Here in New York, the talks focus on Israeli art and artists. These particular conversations aim to explore the artists’ work in relation to place and time. While considering their origins and background, these artists react and examine possibilities of reshaping political, religious, and social structures. The series of articles began with the study of Ohad Meromi’s practice and was followed by revisiting Tamar Ettun’s works, as well as proposing a theoretical curatorial vision of the artists’ works as a whole.

This conversation was arranged in conjunction with the launch of Levy’s new artist’s book World Order, which was produced for her 2012 solo show at The Center of Contemporary Arts in Tel Aviv, and in affiliation with Braverman Gallery and Sternthal Books. The talk took place at the ICI Hub on March 14, 2013 and focused on Levy’s fascination with dreams, her interest in the manmade, and her exploration of nature. It starts with a short story of our first encounter.

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literature : interview

David Winters

by Andrew Gallix

“It seems to me that style becomes a kind of crucible—an acid bath in which the self is broken down, producing something unique, something new.”

Robert Musil regretted publishing the first volumes of The Man Without Qualities due to “the fixity they imposed on his ever-evolving work.” Similar misgivings almost led David Winters to shelve his debut collection of essays, from which the above quote is lifted. In conversation, the young English critic is given to qualifying—and even disavowing—past pronouncements, always returning them, with academic precision, to their rightful contexts. He is loath to see his provisional reflections turned into eternal truths, and wary of being co-opted by some dogmatic school or other. Infinite Fictions (Zero Books, 2015) is thus a snapshot of the author’s state of thinking over the last couple of years: a work in progress frozen in time.  

Spurning any fixed theoretical position, Winters strives to preserve in his own essays the indeterminacy that lies at the heart—but also on the smudged margins—of literature. Given that the novels he writes about resist summation or translation, he has developed a contrarian brand of criticism that gestures towards what radically escapes it.

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art : interview

Perry Chen

by Gideon Jacobs

It’s easy to laugh at Y2K now, but what are we laughing at?“

Chen co-founded the Southfirst gallery in Brooklyn in 2001 before launching Kickstarter in 2009 and becoming a TED Fellow. In between, he lived in New Orleans and worked on electronic music. He left Kickstarter in 2014 to focus attention on his art practice, most recently his archival investigation into the cultural and technological phenomenon of Y2K. That project, titled Computers in Crisis, was recently presented as part of the New Museum's First Look program in conjunction with Creative Time Reports and Rhizome.

Chen’s work as an artist, like the technologies it explores, often answers questions in ways that give rise to more questions. So I asked him the ones that seemed most crucial to understanding the ideals and ideas that lie at the locus of it all. We corresponded over email and chatted over a couple coffees at our shared neighborhood watering hole.

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music : interview

Phill Niblock

by Natasha Kurchanova

Architectural space, intermedia, and the artistry of kinesis.

At eighty-one, Phill Niblock, minimalist composer, filmmaker, and a fixture of the New York avant-garde art scene since the 1960s, is one of the rare artists of his generation still active as a notable presence in the world of new music. If he is not touring or performing, he is making films, composing, recording new releases, or hosting performances at Experimental Intermedia, a foundation and performance space located in his Chinatown loft. Known primarily as a composer, Niblock prefers to be called an intermedia artist as he also makes films, which he frequently screens during performances of his music. Throughout his career, he has practiced photography, taking pictures of jazz musicians in the early 1960s and photographing New York from the late 1970s to early 1980s. At any point, he can search his computer and print out a multi-page single-spaced list of events, including awards, recent tours, new releases, and compositions. (He wrote fouteen new pieces from October 2, 2013 to October 2, 2014 alone!) The slow and deliberate manner with which Niblock moves and speaks belies his titanic productivity. Niblock describes his music as being “without rhythm or melody.” He records instrumental drones on multiple tracks—at times as many as thirty-two—and plays them simultaneously. The resulting sound is dense, uneven, and continuous. Drones do not develop in gradual progression in terms of their form, but instead have a cumulative effect that grows on the listener with every passing second. Slight variations in tone result in continuous oscillations of sound, which, at loud volumes, can be felt as a physical surge that carries the listener along in a wave of constant movement.

Soon after Niblock came to New York in 1958, he began frequenting jazz and new music concerts. As a result of his meeting Elaine Summers—the founder of Experimental Intermedia—in 1965, he joined a group of dancers at Judson Church as a technology specialist. Between 1968 and 1972, he staged four “environments,” a series of installations that included film and slide projections as well as dance interludes.

Niblock’s most monumental film production, The Movement of People Working, has taken over twenty years to complete, from 1973 to 1992. It is a series of more than twenty-five hours of 16mm films and videos made around the world, in such countries as Mexico, China, Hungary, Brazil, Indonesia, and others. In each film, the artist shows people doing manual labor: fishing, repairing boats, stacking hay, carrying heavy loads, and performing a wide variety of physically demanding chores required for survival in basic, pre-industrial conditions. The films are silent, and the workers show no awareness of the camera and the recording process. When projected, the films are accompanied by music that Niblock composes independently from the footage. According to the artist, there is no correlation between the filmed sequences and the music: they are made separately and combined arbitrarily. The connection is made by the continuous impact of the drone, which penetrates the listener’s body and correlates with the ceaseless physical movement of laboring bodies on screen.

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literature : word choice

One Poem

by Tyler Flynn Dorholt

Gramercy Park

When I get off the sun skates in backward & blows the flags into their American fist pump, elbowing wind in the eyes / friendship is that which entirely leaves entirety & jangles the fish back into shade / to parse a line this city thumbs around invisible dogs & where the street fences the bodega with the hands that collect water is again an idea that I have to splash on my face in the lower east gate, taking hand fall & the meaning seconds leave—slant of the slant of these people who will finish their days in squares behind walls / I can’t believe in extension or gesture as in comparison to reaching an arm out we only have to preach from the harm inside ourselves & put hair into fingers before punching the night out ...

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art : interview

Leah Beeferman

by Lucas Blalock

Drawing, the digital, technique.

Leah and I met a number of years ago in New York, possibly at the LMCC Workspace residency, or maybe somewhere before that. I remember her work at the time feeling like vector drawings or very lo-fi computer generated images. I was interested in them in a systems or process way more than in a pictorial way, which seemed to be what the works were asking for. They had a foot in science (they still do), and they read like information. In the time since, we‘ve seen each other periodically but never really had an occasion to talk about the work. Last May, we met up at a two-person show at Fridman Gallery in New York, in which Leah was participating along with Stephen Vitiello. As we walked through the show, I got really excited about the implications of her new work as a model for thinking through a number of contemporary bugbears, particularly regarding our interface with screens and screen-based pictures. As works for the wall, these extremely glossy metallic photographic prints were adroitly challenging basic terms of description. Were they photographs? Or were they screens made more static and material? Leah uses the computer as a drawing tool in the classic sense, as an extension of the hand rendering the spaces of the world, which really resonated with me.

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music : interview

Damon & Naomi

by Tobias Carroll

Silent film, Oulipian lyrics, and keeping it all together.

By any standard, the music made by Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang (as Damon & Naomi) has achieved a remarkably high level of consistency. From their 1992 debut More Sad Hits to this year’s Fortune, the duo has tapped into a beatific sense of melancholy, constantly finding new expressions and refinements of their sound. Throw in the work they did as two-thirds of Galaxie 500, and that winning streak extends even further back in time. The duo has also maintained Exact Change, a small press dedicated to surreal and experimental literature; they’ve also been running their own record label, 20|20|20, for the last ten years.

Both Krukowski and Yang also work in creative disciplines outside of music. Krukowski released several volumes of prose poetry and has written astutely about the current state of the music industry for the likes of Pitchfork. And Yang’s distinctive photography led her to work in film. She recently directed a series of music videos as well as the short film for which Fortune acts as a soundtrack.

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art : portfolio
music : interview

Neil Michael Hagerty

by Gary Canino

Faux reunion shows, B-sides, new-age garage music, and packing albums to the brim.

Neil Michael Hagerty’s creative output over the past thirty years is a tangled and winding road, to say the least. If you were to divide it into three acts, you could start with his membership in the Washington DC scuzz-rock outfit Pussy Galore, famed for their own version of Exile on Main Street, in which they threw the Stones double album into a musical blender and produced a “covers” record that is a true descent into the maelstrom. It wasn’t Neil’s idea, nor was it his band. Then there was the undeniable, meteoric rock n’ roll odyssey that is Royal Trux, Hagerty’s partnership with Jennifer Herrema. The flagship Drag City band, they later signed an infamous multi-million dollar deal with Virgin in the wake of a post-Nirvana indie feeding frenzy. The Trux produced some of the most confrontational, beautiful, hot-shit rock n’ roll records ever committed to tape. Each record—whether the patterned chaos of Twin Infinitives, the roaming free-boogie of Cats and Dogs, or the “accessibility” of the post-major label Accelerator—demonstrated a complex and meticulous deconstruction of the American “rock” canon, if not the entire genre itself. And, against all odds, Royal Trux will return for at least one occasion this August in Los Angeles.

But, one must look to the future and live in the present. After the implosion of Royal Trux in 1999, Hagerty released the solo records Neil Michael Hagerty and Plays That Good Old Rock and Roll, two spiritually shaking albums in the mode of Link Wray’s Three Track Shack run. Breaking from the Trux mold, both albums cathartically diverge from the strange continuity Royal Trux had developed. They are something entirely new, and are all the more compelling for it. This paved the way for The Howling Hex, Hagerty’s main musical outfit for the past decade. In his own words, “Royal Trux is the long haul, and the Howling Hex is something that cannot be destroyed.” The Hex is just empirically there—records of harmolodic blitz were released at a lightning clip, with sporadic (and not-to-be-missed) live shows popping up across the US every year or so.

In the prolific decade since the inception of Howling Hex, Hagerty has also released full-length novels, comic books, narrated audio books, resurrected a recreation of “Royal Trux” with new band members, gone on extensive tours, produced records for Bill Callahan and Hebronix, and most recently, started other potent acts such as Dan’l Boone and the Hagerty-Toth Band.

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film : interview

Masha Tupitsyn

by Charity Coleman

Radical intimacy, technological estrangement, and hyphen as psychic portal.

I once knew a projectionist who carried a notebook with him to every single screening he attended. In that notebook, he would document the film’s format, running time, the quality of the print (including sloppy splices—he refused to watch digital projection), and he always sat in the same area of the theatre. He filled his notebooks with thousands of films. It was a lesson in devotion, a gesture of love: even if he hated the film, he still archived its anatomy. The passivity of “moviegoing” is turned on its head by such active listening, active viewing. Similarly, Masha Tupitsyn’s Love Sounds is a visual-aural dissection that draws the viewer into a more discerning, engaged perceptual experience.

As a meticulous and unflinching archive, its numbers are impressive. The final part of Tupitsyn’s immaterial trilogy, Love Sounds is 24 hours long and comprised of more than 1,500 love-related audio clips from films spanning 85 years (1930s– present). The only images are of a black screen with white titles denoting subject matter. The other two parts of the trilogy are LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (Zero Books, 2011) and Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013).

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music : interview

Circuit des Yeux & Bitchin Bajas

Barbecues, Night Train, and La Monte Young.

Haley Fohr and I first met in the summer of 2010 in Chicago, where she played one of our “Bitchpork” festivals in Little Village. She kept coming back to the city to play and eventually moved here in the fall of 2012. We started hanging out more and have become close friends. I've had the pleasure of working with her on the Circuit Des Yeux records Portrait, Overdue, and In Plain Speech, out now. I've watched Haley grow in her music, personality, and spirit in the best way over the last few years. We recently met up during a beautiful Chicago sunset in Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park with a bottle of Chilean wine and a joint to talk about our upcoming shows, records, how long they can sometimes take, and making music like its a painting.

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