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The Abject in Pop Music
Notes from talk on Evaporated Music at Queensland Art Gallery for the exhibition VIDEO HITS, Brisbane, 2004


1. Post-90s = stylists as authors of VCs

2. Stylists as surface fabricators + performers as mannequinns

3. Pop audiovision as clothed mannequinns

4. Art appropriation of such Pop audiovision replicates only the fabric - poorly

5. The so-called Art of VCs is the result of a stylist re-inventing the notion of a 'director' within the supposed novelty of digital technologies - hence Gondry & Cunningham as retarded replays of Georges Milies trickery and spookery

6. Note - all links to advertising and industry supply evidence 'stylism'

7. Pre-90s = Pop audiovision was a reviled/maligned discourse

8. Performers were their own material - cc. Michael Jackson

9. While Post-90s Pop pretends to don image, Pre-90s pop that survives is less appropriated and more transmogrified - pop as plastic surgery - as internal reconfiguration

10. Evaporated Music = Pop as plastic surgery - the effect is not to drag, mime, portray or mimic the styled-mannequinn of Pop audiovision, but to become it from within via the operations of granular trans-audiovision

Image is Aspirin. Sound is Sperm.
Unpublished email questions on Evaporated Music for research for the catalogue to the exhibition VIDEO HITS, Queensland Art GalleryBrisbane, 2004

Are there particular aspects of music video form, style or content that you find interesting in relation to your artistic practice?

I like cheap videos where the performer is visceral. Hopefully they get hurt when shooting the clip. I like sweat, not glycerine. I hate any clip that looks like a photo shoot, probably cos I hate photography, though I like hair a lot.

Do you like music video? Do you think it is an important cultural form?

Videos died long ago. In a i-pod era where even my dead grandmother is a computer nerd, intelligence has spread like mould in the fridge. Everything is validated now, especially video-clips. I prefer the original MTV-era of Twisted Sister when clips were reviled for their crassness. Music video is now a thoroughly unimportant form because of its recognition as art. My favourite form of video is the UK Top of the Pops. Perspex music stands that wobble on shaky stages; make-up that doesn’t look good under cruddy BBC lighting; an audience who have no idea who they’re looking at. Gary Glitter is solid gold.

Are there particular bands or directors whose videos have interested you? Perhaps there is a clip (or clips) that have made a strong impression on you and may even have had some influence on your practice.

David Bowie – Sorrow, Boys Keep Swinging, Fashion, Day In Day Out
Madonna – Bad Girl, Human Nature
Michael Jackson – Black or White, Ghosts, Scream, Thriller
Prince – Kiss, Mountains
Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi
Sly & Robbie – Boops
The Art OF Noise – Beat Box Diversion 2
Sir Mix A Lot – Baby Got Back
Herb Alpert – Keep Your Eye On Me
PIL – Seattle
Herbie Hancock – Rockitt
Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Shoot It Up
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Missy Elliot – I Can’t Stand The Rain
Yoko Ono – Walking On Thin Ice
Metallica – One
Public Enemy – Night Of The Living Baseheads
Kate Bush – Cloud Bursting
Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day
The Jacksons – Can You Feel It
George Clinton – Atomic Dog
The Melvins – Lizzy
Janet Jackson - Nasty
The Skatt Brothers – Life On The Outpost

What are some of the reasons for the way you use music/sound in your work? How do you think the soundtrack affects the viewer's experience of the video images (and vice-versa)?

Image is aspirin. Sound is sperm.

What are your thoughts today on the relationship between music videos and other cultural forms such as video art, film, television and advertising? (I know you have published on aspects of this at various times).

Too difficult to answer. See  Rock  CD notes to Honeysmack's ROCK, 2003.

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