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Why did Andy Warhol decide to enter the music business by producing the Velvet Underground, and what did the band expect to gain in return? What made Yoko Ono use the skills she developed in the artistic avant-garde in pop music, and what in turn drew John Lennon to visual art? Why, in 1980s West Germany, did Joseph Beuys record a pop single and artists such as Walter Dahn, Albert and Markus Oehlen, and Michaela Melián form bands? What role does utopia play in the pop music and art of Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, and Fatima Al Qadiri? And, vice versa, did dystopias of transgressive imagery and noise lead the artist group COUM Transmissions to make music as Throbbing Gristle? In Double Lives in Art and Pop Music, Jörg Heiser argues that context shifting between art and pop music is an attempt to find solutions for contradictions faced in one field of cultural production. Ever since Duchamp’s readymade und Hugo Ball’s sound poetry, the definition of art has widened and dissolved to a point where nearly anything geared toward an art audience can be considered an artwork. Today it has become convention to praise art as a way of questioning conventions, not least in regard to conventional borders between disciplines, media, and genres. However, heroic claims of dissolving borders have become a way of kicking at doors that are already wide open—in a political and economic environment defined by neoliberal deregulation and flexibilization geared toward new markets, and permeating every social and cultural sphere. It has thus become increasingly important to discuss the relationship between different fields of cultural production. This book does just that, looking closely at the careers of artists and pop musicians who work in both fields professionally. Historically, these figures provoked cognitive dissonance, but the seeming acceptance and effortlessness today of current border crossings can be deceptive, since they might be serving vested economic or ideological interests. Exploring the intertwined histories of pop and art from the 1960s to the present, Heiser shows that those leading double lives in art and pop music may often be best able to detect these vested interests while pointing toward radical alternatives.

JÖRG HEISER – Double Lives in Art and Pop Music

Restock expected to ship 1st August The second issue of Spectres is devoted to the concept of resonances, with contributions by Maryanne Amacher, Chris Corsano, Ellen Fullman, Christina Kubisch, Okkyung Lee, Pali Meursault, Jean-Luc Nancy, David Rosenboom, Tomoko Sauvage, The Caretaker, David Toop, and Christian Zanési. To resonate: re-sonare. To sound again—with the immediate implication of a doubling. Sound and its double: sent back to us, reflected by surfaces, diffracted by edges and corners. Sound amplified, swathed in an acoustics that transforms it. Sound enhanced by its passing through a certain site, a certain milieu. Sound propagated, reaching out into the distance. But to resonate is also to vibrate with sound, in unison, in synchronous oscillation. To marry with its shape, amplifying a common destiny. To join forces with it. And then again, to resonate is to remember, to evoke the past and to bring it back. Or to plunge into the spectrum of sound, to shape it around a certain frequency, to bring out sonic or electric peaks from the becoming of signals. Resonance embraces a multitude of different meanings. Or rather, remaining always identical, it is actualised in a wide range of different phenomena and circumstances. Such is the multitude of resonances evoked in the pages below: a multitude of occurrences, events, sensations, and feelings that intertwine and welcome one other. Everyone may have their own history, everyone may resonate in their own way, and yet we must all, in order to experience resonance at a given moment, be ready to welcome it. The welcoming of what is other, whether an abstract outside or on the contrary an incarnate otherness ready to resonate in turn, is a condition of resonance. This idea of the welcome is found throughout the texts that follow, opening up the human dimension of resonance, a dimension essential to all creativity and to any exchange, any community of mind. Which means that resonance here is also understood as being, already, an act of paying attention, i.e. a listening, an exchange. Addressing one or other of the forms that this idea of resonating can take on (extending—evoking—reverberating—revealing—transmitting), each of the contributions brought together in this volume reveals to us a personal aspect, a fragment of the enthralling territory of sonic and musical experimentation, a territory upon which resonance may unfold. The book has been designed as a prism and as a manual. May it in turn find a unique and profound resonance in each and every reader. Spectres is an annual publication dedicated to sound and music experimentation, co-published by Shelter Press and Ina GRM – Groupe de Recherches Musicales.

Spectres #02 – Resonances

Facsimile edition of the trailblazing periodical Art-Rite "Edited by Walter Robinson, Edit DeAk, and Joshua Cohn, Art-Rite was published in New York City between 1973 and 1978. The periodical has long been celebrated for its underground/overground position and its cutting, humorous, on-the-streets coverage and critique of the art world. Art-Rite moved easily through the expansive community it mapped out, paying homage to an emergent generation of artists, including many who were—or would soon become—the defining voices of the era. Through hundreds of interviews, reviews, statements, and projects for the page—as well as artist-focused and thematic issues on video, painting, performance, and artists’ books—Art-Rite’s sharp editorial vision and commitment to spotlighting the work of artists stands as a meaningful and lasting contribution to the art history of New York City and beyond. All issues of Art-Rite are collected and published here. Featured artists include Vito Acconci, Kathy Acker, Bas Jan Ader, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Gregory Battcock, Lynda Benglis, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Trisha Brown, Chris Burden, Scott Burton, Ulises Carrión, Judy Chicago, Lucinda Childs, Christo, Diego Cortez, Hanne Darboven, Agnes Denes, Ralston Farina, Richard Foreman, Peggy Gale, Gilbert & George, John Giorno, Philip Glass, Leon Golub, Peter Grass, Julia Heyward, Nancy Holt, Ray Johnson, Joan Jonas, Richard Kern, Lee Krasner, Shigeko Kubota, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Babette Mangolte, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rosemary Mayer, Annette Messager, Elizabeth Murray, Alice Neel, Brian O’Doherty,Genesis P-Orridge, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, Judy Pfaff, Lil Picard, Yvonne Rainer, Dorothea Rockburne, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, David Salle, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Serra, Jack Smith, Patti Smith, Robert Smithson, Holly Solomon, Naomi Spector, Nancy Spero, Pat Steir, Frank Stella, Alan Suicide (Vega), David Tremlett, Richard Tuttle, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner, Hannah Wilke, Robert Wilson, Yuri, and Irene von Zahn." 678 pgs, 27 × 21.5 cm, Softcover, 2019.

Art Rite

Originally published in 1974, Stockhausen Serves Imperialism is a collection of essays by the English composer Cornelius Cardew that provides a Marxist critique of two of the more revered avant-garde composers of the post-war era: Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage. A former assistant to Stockhausen and a champion of Cage in England, Cardew provides a cutting rebuke of the composers’ works and ideological positions, which he saw as reinforcing an imperialist order rather than spotlighting and serving the struggles of the working class. The author also provides constructive criticism of his contemporaries Christian Wolff and Frederic Rzewski for utilizing politically progressive content, yet failing to work in a musical form that would appeal to the proletariat. Cardew’s music does not escape his own scrutiny: the book contains critiques and repudiations of his canonical compositions from the 1960s and early 1970s, Treatise and The Great Learning. Complimenting Cardew’s essays are writings by Rod Eley, who contributes “A History of the Scratch Orchestra,” and John Tilbury, who contributes an “Introduction to Cage’s Music of Changes.” Stockhausen Serves Imperialism was initially published in a single edition by Latimer New Dimensions in 1974 and this edition is the first time the book has been published in its original form since. Cornelius Cardew was an English composer and musician. He became well known in the 1960s for his experimental music and as a proponent in the United Kingdom of avant-garde composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and La Monte Young. He was one of the founders of the Scratch Orchestra and an early member of the free improvisational group AMM. Several of his works from this period are considered hallmarks of post-war experimental music. In the early 1970s, Cardew abandoned avant-garde music and devoted his work to the people’s struggle, becoming more directly involved in left-wing activism. His music from this period took the form of class-conscious folksongs that prioritized drawing attention to social issues over formal innovation. Cardew maintained a critical cultural stance throughout his life, later going on to denounce David Bowie and punk rock as fascist. He took an active role in progressive politics as a co-founder of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Part of Britain. He was killed in a hit-and-run accident in 1981 under circumstances that many consider mysterious. 126 pgs, 22 × 14 cm, Softcover, 2020.

CORNELIUS CARDEW – Stockhausen Serves Imperialism

Edited by Lawrence Kumpf with Joe Bucciero and Mark Harwood. Contributors include Henning Christiansen, Thomas Groetz, Diedrich Diederichsen, Dick Higgins, Lars Morell, Per Kirkeby, Bjørn Nørgaard, Helmer Nørgaard, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Anton Lukoszevieze, Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, Michael Glasmeier, Ute Wasser- mann, Stíne Janvin Motland, Mark Harwood, Lucy Railton, Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Lia Mazzari, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Francesco Conz, and Emily Harvey.  The third issue of Blank Forms’ journal is released in conjunction with Freedom is Around the Corner, a retrospective exhibition and performance series devoted to the work of pioneering Danish composer and artist Henning Christiansen (1932–2008). Perhaps best known for his collaborations and artistic affinities with notable artists such as Joseph Beuys and Fluxus members like Nam June Paik and Dick Higgins, Christiansen, who worked primarily on the remote Danish island of Møn, moved beyond his Fluxus roots to create a vast, often ineffable body of work that spanned music, performance, film, and visual art over the course of a fifty-year career. Yet Christiansen’s work has remained under the radar, even in the ten years following his death: only a few of his recordings were available until recently, and his prolific compositional and visual outputs have rarely been performed or exhibited in the United States. Freedom is Around the Corner—the exhibition, the performance series, and the journal—seek to present Christiansen’s life and work in a holistic manner that befits his dynamic practice. Like previous issues of the Blank Forms journal, Freedom is Around the Corner collects a combination of newly discovered, never-before published, and newly translated materials; in this case, many of the materials were found in the Henning Christian- sen Archive during the exhibition’s curatorial process. The issue begins with the first of four newly translated interviews with Christiansen himself, conducted circa 2006 by the German writer Thomas Groetz. Two others, conducted by Francesco Conz and Michael Glasmeier in the 1990s, come later in the issue; together these three interviews, which had only existed as audio recordings before, offer a well-rounded picture of the late-career Christiansen through his own, good-humored lens. The fourth interview, a more experimental text conducted by Helmer Nørgaard, was originally published in Danish in the magazine DMT, in a 1986/87 issue devoted to Christiansen. In this issue we’ve created a translated facsimile of that DMT issue, which also featured texts on Christiansen by his prominent Danish collaborators, the writer Lars Morell and the artists Per Kirkeby and Bjørn Nørgaard. We hear from other Christiansen collaborators through correspondence—including in transcribed letters from Emily Harvey and Dick Higgins, whose messages to and from Christiansen were recently discovered in the Archive—and through interviews, including newly conducted interviews with his wife and longtime collaborator, Ursula Reuter Christiansen; Bjorn Nørgaard, who spoke with Christiansen’s son Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen; and later musical collaborators Werner Durand and Ute Wassermann. Except Nørgaard, these collaborators will all speak or perform as part of the Freedom is Around the Corner programming; a section of this issue features many of the other performers as well, younger artists who have grappled with Christiansen’s legacy. Represented through interviews (Lucy Railton), original artworks (Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Stíne Janvin), and essays (Mark Harwood, Anton Lukoszevieze of Apartment House), these artists demonstrate the lasting and diverse impact of Christian- sen’s work on today’s musical landscape. Lukoszevieze’s essay introduces a newly translated libretto for Dejligt vejr i dag, n’est-ce pas, Ibsen, a 1964 opera with music by Christiansen and libretto by Hans-Jørgen Nielsen which Apartment House, commissioned by Blank Forms, will perform twice during the run of the exhibition. Taken together—and even more, in conjunction with the exhibition and performances—the texts in this journal provide an in-depth look, previously unavailable, especially in the United States, at a towering but overlooked figure in the postwar musical as well as artistic avant-garde. Support for Freedom is Around the Corner comes from the Nordic Culture Point, the Nordic Culture Fund, Snyk, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Consulate, Goethe-Institut, the Danish Consulate General, Music Norway, and Ultima Contempo- rary Music Festival.

Blank Forms Journal 3: Henning Christiansen – Freedom is Around the Corner

A biographical essay which explores the origins and influences of Charlemagne Palestine, as well as themes related to his life and artistic practice—spirituality, music, performance, avant-gardism—together with an acute analysis of his main works. The study is followed by an interview with the artist, which provides a clever balance between personal anecdotes and reflection. Born Chaïm Moshe Palestine in Brooklyn, 1947, Charlemagne Palestine joined as a child the Stanley Sapir Jewish choir to lower the effects of his stuttering through singing. Raised in a family from Odessa, he was torn between a traditional spiritual education and his interest for all artistic experimental forms. His practice of singing, carillon bells, organ and piano allowed him to develop, as early as the 1970s, a physical and vibratory relation to space. His performative experiments function through an activation of locations, machines or organisms with which he enters into a dialogue. This state of putting into a trance his body and that of others (stuffed animals, machines, audience) participates in the creation of a performative community. “Meshugga” is a Yiddish term used by Charlemagne Palestine to define his approach and his work's aesthetics. He refers to his recent exhibitions (at the Kunsthalle in Vienna, 2015, and at the Witte de With, 2016) whose titles, GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt, Judaise the Wagnerian idea of a total work of art. The repetition of letters, which renders the already complex articulation of the title even more difficult, is a strumming in itself, a beat of the tongue. Charlemagne Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s, intended by the composer to rub against audiences' expectations of what is beautiful and meaningful in music. A composer-performer, he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist. Palestine's performance style is ritualistic; he generally surrounds himself (and his piano) with stuffed animals, smokes large numbers of kretek (Indonesian clove cigarettes) and drinks cognac. See also Charlemagne Palestine; Charlemagne Palestine & Z'ev; Charlemagne Palestine & Rhys Chatham.Marie Canet is an independent curator, art historian and professor of aesthetics at the École des beaux-arts de Lyon.

Palestine, first name Charlemagne – Meshugga Land

The Second Sound is an imaginary conversation based on the testimonies of musicians and sound artists on the role of gender and sex within their field. Gathering anonymous testimonies from artists of different backgrounds into a single stream of (often contrary) opinions, the book addresses discrimination as a paradigm of otherness, the possibility of gendered music and sound art, and how sound artists and musicians navigate the field. The Second Sound raises questions such as: How do life circumstances find their way into music and sound art? How does music reflect historical and social structures? What does discrimination do, and how can we navigate around it? Is the under-representation of women and LGBTQ people in the field a symptom or a cause? Is art itself gendered? And can it reflect the gender of its maker? Is a different way of listening needed to more accurately understand those voices from outside the historical canon? Although this book raises more questions than it answers, it came to be a pledge for embracing artistic differences, for the richness of contextual listening, and for honesty in the expression of concerns and doubts. The responses seem to suggest that understanding differences by theme and not as predetermination is a way to provide freedom in a field of seemingly abstract art. Based on the contributions of Adam Smith, Amandine Pras, Amelia Diamond, Amnon Wolman, Amy Reed, Andrea-Jane Cornell, Angela K. Roberts, Barnabas Yianni, Benjamin Mawson, Benjamin Silva-Pereira, Cedrik Fermont, Camila Durães, Carl Golembeski, Cath Meeson, Christina Clar, Claire Williams, Dave Phillips, Dell, Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Diego Garcia, Elizabeth Veldon, Frederik Croene, Furchick, Gívan Belá, Godfried-Willem Raes, Gretchen Jude, Guy De Bièvre, Hannah Reardon-Smith, Jason Kahn, Jorge Bachman, Julie Cambier, Hery Randriambololona, Hilary Jeffery, Ian Shanahan, I.v. Martinez, Jerry Gordon, Jez Riley French, Jim Denley, Joanna Bailie, Jodie Rowe, Joe Bates, Jorge Bachmann, Joseph Foster, Joseph Kudirka, José Villalobos, Julia Teles, Julie Cambier, Julito aka Magnata, Katarina Glowicka, Keenan DuBois, Korhan Erel, L.S.Rosenberg, Larissa Loyva, Liselotte Sels, Matthew Shlomowitz, Max Aggropop, Michael Tuttle, Mila Dietrich, Monica Benet, Nevin Eronde, Nurse, Okkyung Lee, Olivia Block, Omer Eilam, Pak Yan Lau, Pali Meursault, Patricia Janssen, Paula Daunt, Paulo Alves, Pei-Wen Liu, Pete Shepherd, Pia Palme, Pierre Favrez, poemproducer agf Antye Greie, Primož Sukic, Raiza Coelho, Rebecca Hunt, Roel Heremans, Romy Rüegger, Ruta Vitkauskaite, Sally Greenaway, Sarah Snider, Scott Mc Laughlin, Silvia Tarozzi, Steffi Weismann, Stijn Dickel, SusannaFerrar, Szilvia Lednitzky, Travis Johnson, Valeria Merlini, Vera Bremerton, Vesna Tomse, Wendy Van Wynsberghe... Julia Eckhardt is a musician and curator in the field of the sounding arts. She is founding member and artistic director of Q-O2 workspace in Brussels. As a viola player, she has been involved in various collaborations with composers and improvisers, such as Phill Niblock, Pauline Oliveros, Stevie Wishart, Jennifer Walshe, Wandelweiser-composers, Christian Wolff, Antony Coleman and many of the young generation. She has taught and lectured at art institutes in Leuven and Brussels. Eckhardt is the editor of Grounds for Possible Music – On Gender, Voice, Language, and Identity.

The Second Sound – Conversations on Gender and Music

Edited by Lawrence Kumpf. Contributors and featured artists include Onyx Ashanti, Amy Cimini, Marcia Douglas, Kazuo Imai, Werner Durand, Peter Gente, Heidi Paris, Robert Ashley, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Spencer Gerhardt, Adrian Rew, Paul Cummings, and Walter De Maria. Taking its name from Maryanne Amacher’s visionary, unrealized opera, the fourth issue of Blank Forms’ journal, Intelligent Life, features a select group of unpublished, newly translated, or otherwise rare texts that augment our organization’s concerts, publications, exhibitions, and archival initiatives. The issue opens with a short literary essay by the author Marcia Douglas, in which a deep bass riddim guides a deaf narrator and a reincarnated Bob Marley through important sites in Rastafarianism’s development. Next come two interviews with crucial (though very different) figures in postwar avant-garde music: the Japanese guitarist Kazuo Imai and the American composer Robert Ashley, along with pianist and frequent collaborator “Blue” Gene Tyranny. The previously unpublished interview with Imai was conducted by Blank Forms’ Editor and Artistic Director Lawrence Kumpf during Imai’s first trip to the United States, in 2018, and finds the artist reflecting on recent work with the collective Marginal Consort as well as his foundational experiences playing with two other titans of Japanese experimentalism, Takehisa Kosugi and Masayuki Takayanagi. The interview with Ashley and “Blue” Gene, meanwhile, first published in German in 1984 on the occasion of a staging of Ashley’s opera Atalanta, was translated for the first time into English for this publication. Intelligent Life continues with a series of longer pieces showcasing a diverse set of complex practices and histories, beginning with that of Detroit-based artist Onyx Ashanti. Onyx contributes his own Octavia Butler-referencing “sonocybernetic manifesto,” first published online in 2016, which exists simultaneously as theoretical treatise, memoir, and practical guide to his idiosyncratic technology-based practice. The manifesto is bolstered in this issue by a rare and extensive interview, conducted by Blank Forms’ Curatorial Assistant Adrian Rew in 2018. Following this exploration of Onyx’s life and work, the issue dives deeper into mathematics, with a comprehensive essay on Catherine Christer Hennix’s engagement with intuitionism and other esoteric approaches to math, written by the mathematician and musician Spencer Gerhardt. Gerhardt’s lucid, previously unpublished essay serves as a necessary complement to Blank Forms Editions’ forthcoming collection of Hennix’s abstruse, mostly unpublished body of writing, Poësy Matters and Other Matters. The issue continues with a sort of titular essay, a rich analysis of Amacher’s Intelligent Life—the first such piece on this work—by Amacher scholar Amy Cimini. An incredibly prescient work that sought to upend any remaining vestiges of traditional operatic form and staging, Intelligent Life tells the story, set in 2021, of employees at Supreme Connections LLC, a futurist sonic entertainment corporation that formed following the collapse of a failed algorithmic music recommendation service. Cimini traces the technical and theoretical innovations with which Amacher imbued the work, situating it amid a detailed explication of Amacher’s still-overlooked practice. Intelligent Life—the journal issue—then concludes with a lengthy interview with the artist Walter De Maria. One of the few interviews De Maria gave in his lifetime, this one, created for the Archives of American Art in 1972, sheds significant light on De Maria’s early intellectual and artistic development as well as his work as a musician. Although he largely stopped playing music by 1970, and although few recordings of his efforts exist, De Maria played alongside musicians ranging from Lou Reed to Don Cherry to Henry Flynt, establishing himself early on as a force in jazz and avant-garde circles in both the Bay Area and New York City. Taken together, the texts compiled here present a kaleidoscopic view of the last fifty years of experimental art and music in the United States and beyond, mining the conceptual, technical, historical, or otherwise marginal details undergirding artists’ lives, ideas, and approaches that may otherwise remain buried.

Blank Forms – Journal 4: Intelligent Life book