Wednesday, March 07, 2012


There is a lot happening these days including the forthcoming Collider-4 exhibition of CODEWORK at the Emily Davis Gallery. This exhibition will also premiere my new concept album made in collaboration with electronic sound artist Chad Mossholder. The album is titled Micro-Cinematic Essays on the Life and Work of Marcel Duchamp dba Conceptual Parts, Ink, and we anticipate the eventual worldwide release of the work some time in late April.

Exactly what is this work?

Micro-Cinematic Essays on the Life and Work of Marcel Duchamp is a collaborative "conceptual art" album featuring my own writing and vocals (much of it recorded using my iPhone Voice Memo app) and the sound design of electronic music composer Chad Mossholder. The work consists of nineteen experimental tracks that we refer to as "close readings" focusing on the work, language, notes, and influence of Marcel Duchamp on contemporary forms of remix practice. Many of the tracks actually remix my own voice with the voice of Duchamp. An exploration into glitch, microtonality, and the spectral analysis of recorded voices over time, Chad and I surgically alter the aesthetic frequency of what is often referred to as "the artist's voice" and, in the process, invite the listener to rethink the interrelationship between critical writing and critical listening.

It should also be noted that this work is made possible thanks to a visiting artist residency for both Chad and I at the Centre for Creative Arts at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

I am also diving headlong into the final phases of postproduction on The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics, my latest art commission with the Abandon Normal Devices festival in Manchester, UK, as part of their 2012 event held in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympics. The video trailer for this elaborate work of transmedia narrative will premiere at a press conference for the London Cultural Olympiad on Friday (more on this soon).

Meanwhile, here is a sampling of recent reviews for my latest book of experimental contemporary art theory, remixthebook, published with the University of Minnesota Press:

A theorist and artist, Amerika takes "source material everywhere" as his mantra, and in remixthebook he weaves together works by everyone from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Stephen Colbert into a quasi-poetic theory of "remixology." He argues that our technology-laden consumer culture allows for innovation but kills creativity, forcing artists to approach self-expression in a new way. Rather than creativity, he emphasizes the search for novelty; art that re-presents source material simply to create a sense of newness. Because Amerika considers life an "on-the-fly remix of who we are," it doesn't matter whether that source material is emotion, a walk by a lake, or another artist's work. Regardless of where you find inspiration, or from whom you steal your source material, Amerika is unequivocal: "Somehow you have to find a way to make art."
Art Monthly:
Carrying on from where Nicholas Bourriaud’s 2001 book Postproduction left off, artists not only 'sample' material from other sources, they also 'remix' or 'mashup' cultural content in order to channel it as 'postproduction mediums' – of the spiritualist variety – who draw inspiration from the field of 'open source lifestyle practice', which roughly translates as the domain of everyday life. Amerika, in the performative role of a writer as remixologist, refers to the quotes and citations he uses from writers like Allen Ginsberg and Ronald Sukenick as samples, and the reconstitution of these samples into book chapters as remixes. To apply this logic to artists, Robert Rauschenberg's combines could be seen as paradigmatic examples of remixological art, and Ryan Trecartin's trashy, consumerist net-nightmare films as highly evolved. Things are further convoluted in remixthebook by an almost complete lack of punctuation, the stanzaic and occasionally concrete layout of text, and Amerika's penchant for wild lexical agglomerations like 'chaosmosis' and 'destinarrativity'. The overall effect is akin to reading a sprawling epic poem written for cyberpunks. But it is fun.
RealTime Arts:
remixthebook (and its accompanying and equally important online portal of the same name, of which I will write later) is too lyrical, too poetic, too inclusive and at times too joyous to really be described as a manifesto. In a sense that’s what it is because it makes manifest Amerika’s thinking about the places, practices and (yes) politics of art, creativity and the artist medium in networked digital culture. But it also enacts (performs) Amerika’s practice by doing what it says. That is, rather than being an extended didactic panel that describes (de-scribes, un-writes) his artistic practices, it is inscribed by the practices of which he writes. It is an extended theoretical, creative work whose subject matter is the work itself.
Keywords: remixthebook, Mark Amerika, Art Monthly, RealTime Arts, Bookforum, Marcel Duchamp, postproduction