February 23rd, 2009


Mad mediahead at Mu

Last August, art digest blog VVORK embedded my Boring Books video (a succession of the most interestingly-dull books I could find on Amazon, accompanied by music by Alvin Lucier). In late January Oliver Laric, an artist and coeditor at VVORK, asked me to participate in a show at Mu Eindhoven, a gallery in Holland.

The show, curated by VVORK, is called The Real Thing -- a reference not to the brown fizzy drink but a Henry James short story about "an innate preference for the represented subject over the real one". In the story, James finds reality lacking because of its "lack of representation" -- "I liked things that appeared; then one was sure. Whether they were or not was a subordinate and almost always a profitless question." That preference for the artificial over the real and that faith in representation over reality is the preserve of (often gay) writers from the 1890s -- James, Wilde, Huysmans. But it's something I understand well, being a mediahead more interested in Wii Tennis than "real" tennis (which begs the question of how real a game can be), more attuned to the internet than the city I'm in.

Anyway, this Friday, February 27th, I'll be making a performance -- a combined tour, concert and talk -- at Mu (map), starting at 8pm and lasting as long as the opening goes on. Then, between 28th February and 22nd March, I'll have a continuous spoken word installation in the show, performed by Mu staff, entitled Whispering Opera. Like Calendar, my piece currently being performed at the Baltic Mill, Gateshead, this will involve whispered titles from Click Opera pieces.

Other artists participating in the Mu show: Cory Arcangel, Claude Closky, Wojciech Kosma, Hanne Mugaas, Marisa Olson, Dexter Sinister, Seth Price. The flyer and more explanation is here.

I'll be blogging from Holland while I'm there, updating via my newly-improved iPod Touch (I finally upgraded to 2.2.1) and its dedicated LiveJournal app. Another free application I recommend is Nakatree Viewer, a little slideshow of the ads for new magazines that hang in Japanese subway cars. There's nothing quite so splendid -- for the mad mediahead, anyway -- as being able to see posters you can't read for magazines you can't buy!