Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Someone once said "you are where you were when." By this, I think they meant that by being in a particular place and time during a crucial transitional period of your life-long philosophical investigation, part of your fate will have already been determined. This happens at different stages in people's lives and it's always fascinating to see where/when that happens to particular artists you either know or study. These hypersensitive transitory moments can be strung together so that they sometimes take years, and the longer the better. In many ways, it's all about channeling your astrophysical journey into the future unknown as you become the person you have somehow imagined yourself to be. Sure, the social Others you interact with (intersubjectively jam with) have a lot to do with who you are when; it's not just you. But when all is said and done, it is you who have managed to position yourself inside this Darwinian pool of potential emergence.

For alternative artists and underground writers especially, one could say that the places where you experienced some of your most seminal moments of personal transition are embedded in your psychic DNA and that at root you will always be the person you were becoming then, and for now are just an expanded version thereof. For my collaborator and friend Nile Southern, this would be the Lower East Side of New York in the early to mid '80s (me too).

Remember, MTV was just getting started, and was ripe for what we now call avant-pop intervention. Right now, avant-artists playing with new media technology might be experimenting with the net, blogging, social software, Google Earth, HDV, mobile phones, or even the dreaded "locative media." But back then it was the music video that begged for underground hacking.

The best example I know of this kind of mid-'80s styled music vid intervention was the 24-year-old Nile's music video direction of "Trust Me" performed by the awe-inspiring Mistress of Art herself, Phoebe Legere, one of my faves. Check out the vid now posted by Sexbrain at Youtube:

There are a few famous artists in the clips including the late Larry Rivers.

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