Magazine article Artforum International

Mark Mothersbaugh

Magazine article Artforum International

Mark Mothersbaugh

Article excerpt

2011 WAS A GOOD YEAR to celebrate de-evolution! Being proved correct in this context hasn't always been a cause for joy, but here are a few of the things that brought me happiness:

1 POLYSICS, OH! NO! IT'S HEAVY POLYSICK!!! (Sony Music Entertainment Japan) I first came across this group while touring in Japan. Observing a Polysics show in Tokyo is a lot like attending a political rally [Diagonal]aerobics class [Diagonal] religious event that seeps beyond the traditional borders of entertainment.

2 THE OCTOPUS PROJECT HEXADECAGON

Peek-A-Boo) After observing the Octopus Project for some time, I have become interested in their structured chaos onstage. They represent another way to think of organized sound as a response to our culture. Along with Polysics, they are one of my favorite examples of music as social experiment.

3 JERUSALEM (Music Box Theater, New York, April 2-August 21, 2011) Wes Anderson and Randy Poster recommended this play written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Ian Rickson, and it was one of the best stage performances--and best uses of music on a stage--I have ever seen. The set looked like a malevolent painting come to life.

4 DJ CHRIS HOLMES Watching Chris Holmes work made me finally stop dismissing DJs as a bunch of guys just standing on other people's art and helped me understand the beauty and importance ov the medium. He also has some great crackpot (or not) theories about aliens that make me want to believe.

5 YIP-YIP, BONE UP (self-released) I'm a million years old, and I've heard a lot of music, but I'm always happy to be pleasantly surprised. Yip-Yip did that for me.

6 8 BIT WEAPON, TRON TRIBUTE EP (self-released) Tron could never have happened and we would all still be here--except for 8 Bit Weapon, maybe. Their sounds remind us that pop music is only a small part of the palette of audio surrounding us, and that there are those toiling away, recognizing this greater wealth of available chatter.

7 CIRCUIT BENDERS My brother Jim was the first circuit bender I ever knew, but that was in 1974 and we didn't have a name for it yet. This practice of taking commercial electronics--oftentimes the cheapest, most moronic things out there--and subverting them into unique sound- and music-creating devices is an important cultural phenomenon. …

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