utorak, 1. siječnja 2013.

X-TG [ex-Throbbing Gristle] - Desertshore/The Final Report (2012) + Genesis P‑Orridge

Raspadali se pa se opet spajali pa opet raspadali. Genesis P-Orridge naspustio je 2010. Throbbing Gristle pa je trojac nastavio bez njega, no uskoro je Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson

umro (u snu). Chris Carter i Cosey Fanni Tutti nastavili su kao dvojac i 2012. dovršili dva albuma na kojima je Christopherson radio neposredno prije smrti.
Carter i Tutti u suradnji s Nikom Colkom Voidom izdali su i live album Transverse.
Genesis pak nastavlja svoj transhumanistički show i pobunu protiv gena. Cijeli planet je samo muzej.




Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti pay tribute to their departed TG comrade Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson with the completed versions of two works initiated by their close friend. Before he passed during his sleep on 25th November, 2010, Sleazy was at the stage of organising vocalists to suit his re-imagined version of Nico's classic (anti)rock LP 'Desertshore'. In tandem, he was also working on 'The Final Report' - which was to be Throbbing Gristle's last musical dispatch from the frontline of technology, art and performance - both from his Bangkok laboratory and with Chris & Cosey at their studio in Norfolk. It should be noted that Genesis P-Orridge left the group earlier in 2010. Duly, C&C shipped Sleazy's unique studio to theirs in order to pay tribute the best way they could, expanding upon his and their original ideas for the re-envisioned 'Desertshore' with vocals performed by a circle of close friends - Antony, Sasha Grey, Marc Almond, Blixa Bargeld, Gaspar Noé - providing them the opportunity to properly bid their friend farewell both individually and collectively on the last song 'Desertshores'. The completed result is heartfelt, sombre and bleeding with expression, a sound as slow and purposeful as a team of horses pulling an obelisk to its resting place. By this point, you feel they've rightly got something to note in their ultimate disc, 'The Final Report'. The culmination of nearly 40 years of research and practice, from Coum Transmissions through their numerous, fractious phases, Chris & Cosey develop their final recordings with Sleazy using both his "esoteric audio equipment" and their own to oscillate between ritualist drone, stygian sub-techno pulses and mind-expanding noise traversing the interzone of electro and acoustic, synthetic and human. At times it almost feels light-headed with redemption and resolution, but effectively it's ten tonne dark, an elementally powerful and absorbing testament to Sleazy and Chris Carter's restless technical innovation and Cosey's freeform sonic sensuality. No doubt, it's a fittingly special conclusion to this chapter, and an essential listen. - boomkat

Some bands employ what could be termed as an "antagonizer," a random element thrown into the frame to cause willful destruction. Einar Örn fulfilled such a role for the Sugarcubes, providing mazy spoken word rants that butted up against Björk's singular tone. Throbbing Gristle were a band of four antagonizers, an unlikely amalgam of headstrong individuals who somehow found space to work together. Their history is well documented and doesn't need repeating here. This is about an end, not a beginning. Just as the origins of TG make for fascinating reading, so too do the final days of the band. This release, containing a full album cover of Nico's 1970 record, Desertshore, plus an album of new material titled The Final Report, doesn't bear the Throbbing Gristle name. It revolves around original members Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, Chris Carter, and Cosey Fanni Tutti, who performed as X-TG after Genesis P-Orridge suddenly quit Throbbing Gristle during a seemingly-fruitful reunion. X-TG's shelf-life was short-- Sleazy passed away in November 2010 after the trio played just two shows under the name.
P-Orridge's departure is still causing acrimony between the band members, including a recent Twitter spat between h/er and Carter. Five years ago, when things were more harmonious, the group staged an ambitious summer residency at the ICA in London comprised of six two-hour sessions based around Desertshore, the results of which were to be used on their interpretation of Nico's record. P-Orridge provided vocals on the songs, and the raw materials were even released as a 12-disc CD-R set. The idea of covering the Nico album belonged to Sleazy, who passed away shortly after P-Orridge left the band in 2010. It's hard to imagine the conflicting emotions Carter and Tutti must have gone through when finalizing this project, although the fact that it's born out of chaos and animosity feels fitting. But this is no last snarl of anger. It's a relatively sedate affair compared to the broader body of TG work, a contemplative pair of albums that feel like an extended goodbye note, executed with the kind of careful thought required when handling precious materials left behind by a friend.
The problem of how to fill the P-Orridge void on Desertshore was solved by bringing in a series of guest vocalists, including Antony Hegarty, Marc Almond, and Blixa Bargeld. Wildcard contributions come from porn star turned musician/actress Sasha Grey and filmmaker Gaspar Noé, with Tutti filling out the vocal duties on two tracks. The idea of using guest vocalists originated with Sleazy, whose typically obtuse selection of singers included singer-songwriter Jake Thackray and famed children's TV animator Oliver Postgate. Here, we get a series of artists sticking firmly to their strengths. Bargeld gets closest to the spirit of Nico, curling a nicotine-stained vocal around "Mutterlein" that transforms it from muted drama into a whirl of waltz-time color. The overall tone for the piece is set by Antony, who casts an astonishing sweep of vocal darkness over "Janitor of Lunacy", all set to reverent electronics and horns that snake up in the mix toward the song's close. Antony, like the rest of the cast, wisely chooses not to stick too close to the source material.
There's little in Desertshore that sounds like TG or Sleazy's work in Coil. Instead this is a one-off strain of inspiration, similar to the excellent Carter Tutti Void project. Sometimes it dips into torch song territory, such as on Almond's stirring take on "The Falconer". At other times there's light pouring in, with Tutti's two vocal turns alternating between strident ("All That Is My Own") and pillowy ("My Only Child"). Carefully tweaked beats and electronics run throughout, providing the album with a crisp aesthetic bedrock. Occasional growls of analog synth feel like a sharp reminder this is three members of TG thrashing around on a short leash. But fundamentally there's a feeling of respect, a sense of bringing to life a vision from someone who couldn't be around to complete it. Diehard fans may not be looking for that kind of sentiment from a band that staked its reputation on anything but respect, but looping Desertshore back to the noisier side of the group would have been a shift into a redundant cul-de-sac. What binds the work of Sleazy, Carter, and Tutti, plus many of the guest vocalists, is a sense of forward momentum, of leaving the past behind.
The Final Report is a less essential document, consisting of a series of tracks the three members worked on prior to Sleazy's death. There's incredible depth and detail to the arrangements, with deathly chills pumped through the sparse material ("Breach") and a choking sense of claustrophobia packed into more layered work ("Stasis"). Nothing feels quite complete, and perhaps that's the point. "Um Dum Dom" drifts into a fog of spooky ambience and just stays there, its low vocal moans effectively ripping tiny holes in the surface at all the right spots. At times it feels like there's something missing, and it's certainly tempting to wonder how The Final Report would feel with P-Orridge's involvement. It's when they move out of the somber mood pieces that The Final Report gains an unusual shape of its own. "In Accord" is full of peculiarly contorted electronics that feel like they're deteriorating at the hands of the players in real time. Even better is "Gordian Knot", a track full of vocal manipulations that positively glower.
Where Desertshore and The Final Report connect is through a fascination with reaching the point where beauty gets tangled up with ugliness. It's something that ran through Nico's career from start to finish, where fashion model looks slowly sagged into heroin addiction, where a rare kind of musical talent faded pitifully into the shadows. By tapping into that feeling Sleazy was unwittingly creating what would be a poignant final chapter to his own career, a slightly madcap idea that gathers more emotional gravitas than he ever intended. We shouldn't search too hard for meaning in his choice of final statement; this is someone who could flit between directing Van Halen videos and making records as affecting as Coil's Musick to Play in the Dark albums. But Carter/Tutti have done great justice to his idea here, rounding off the concept by filling this album with a sense of loss that sinks into its core. In the documentary Nico Icon, Nico's aunt described her as "dreaming and boundless, seeing something that wasn't really there." Desertshore effortlessly taps into that feeling.- Nick Neyland

At the live preview of some of Desertshore at Newcastle's AV Festival in March this year, there was in the room a sense of remembrance ritual for Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson. As I wrote here, the set by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, film screenings and performance by Attila Csihar created "a portrait of who [Sleazy] was (and always will be): the questing spirit voice and adventurer, a great wit, a transgressive explorer." It suggested that what was to come from the sessions then underway at Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti's Norfolk studio would have a significance beyond the mere practicalities of finishing off a friend's album.

This idea of a commemoration is reinforced in the tangible sense via the packaging for Desertshore and The Final Report (how often are we able to say that mere packaging has emotional heft?). A white, shimmering tablet, you open it to find on the left a card on which is written "A celebration of the longstanding, treasured friendship and unique creative partnership between Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti 1975 - 2010". The booklet that accompanies the release reads "Dedicated to Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson," while opening it fully reveals a gorgeous photographic portrait where he looks like a professorial building site foreman, a steady gaze above salt-and-pepper beard and moustache and firm, tattooed arms.
This is so clearly a deeply personal project intended uniquely to pay tribute to a departed friend and artistic voice that to approach Desertshore, as some have, as a mere Nico covers album or sad product of the final disintegration of Throbbing Gristle would be a crass and disingenuous error. Instead, like the Buddhist Endless Knot symbol embossed on the sleeve, with its perpetual, interwoven band, Desertshore is an exploration of undercurrents that flowed and flow around the work of all involved.
Musically, initial parallels between Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and Nico as experimental artists are self-evident. Desertshore was a startling album for its day, fierce and uncompromising. With Nico's vocals, John Cale's turbulent and see-sawing drones accompanied by crackles and knocks of abstract sound, it was arguably far ahead of its time. Yet for all the supposedly difficult sonics, Nico, just like Coil and Throbbing Gristle, was an artist of contrasts, who delved into the very flesh and stuff of which we and our emotions are made.
Nico, because of her gender, was always cruelly treated by posterity. In Lou Reed's case, an unusual voice and an enthusiasm for heroin made him a canonical hero, oozing the cliches of rock's glamour. Not so for Nico, who refused to fit the limited roles then allowed to women in pop - doe pretty or soulful. In the eyes of most, she became a harridan outcast, wandering Europe, a drug-addled, easily exploited mess.
You only need listen to her Desertshore (or, indeed, The Marble Index or The End) to understand that rather than a wailing Teuton, Nico brought into her music bright flares of light against the dark, in a journey to discover what it is that makes us human. On 'Afraid' she sings "you are beautiful and you are alone". I've always found it one of the most heartbreaking lines in popular music, sounding as it does so cruelly internally directed. This doomed musing is pop's equivalent to Ophelia walking slowly into the water, scattering flowers. Or take 'The Falconer', where a beautiful piano part rises out of the murk, or the unaccompanied choral lullaby 'My Only Child', or Nico's son Ari's innocent vocals on 'Le Petit Chevalier' - I always believe my ears can pick out her whispering his cue, an unbearably intimate moment.
These are the subtleties that also elude so many when approaching Throbbing Gristle, or Coil. Too often the myth has obscured the truth of what they were trying to achieve - a journey towards an essence of the human via music, art and sound, an awareness that transgression can lie at the very core of beauty. Therefore by these two entities of Nico and the remnants of Throbbing Gristle meeting in this ether, a sort of understanding is achieved, an exposing of detail, a strange magic (with a 'k' on the end, if you like). What's that pulse at the beginning of X-TG's 'Janitor Of Lunacy' if not a heartbeat? The music from the death factory has become a celebration of what life unfettered can achieve - what Sleazy did achieve.
Sharing this celebration, and opening it up to become universal, are the guest vocalists, who take Nico's voice and song somewhere new, hymning to Sleazy as they do so. After the initial Throbbing Gristle installation at the ICA in June 2007, it was Sleazy's idea to feature these guests (who at one point might also have included Oliver Postgate, creator of Bagpuss). He then worked on music back in Thailand, which after his death was expanded by Chris and Cosey to create these tracks as they collaborated with Antony Hegarty, Marc Almond, Blixa Bargeld, Gaspar Noé and Sasha Grey.
Musically, anyone who saw later performances with Throbbing Gristle or the brief glimmer of X-TG will be familiar with the potent sonics at play here. There's a lot of low end, half-tangible wisps of sound that are suddenly whisked away; hulking, powerful rhythms and cutting brass. There are lighter textures too, strings and what feels like a bouncing Jew's harp. It's fair to say that Nico's original album is hardly the most libidinous record in existence, but some of the success of this Desertshore is that much of its humanity is sexual - rightly so, for Coil, Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey have always been sex people. It's to this rich backdrop that the vocalists - arguably all also sex people of varying types - bring Desertshore to life.
'Janitor Of Lunacy' is utterly compelling, one of Antony Hegarty's finest ever vocal performances. There's an unholy drama to it, a high note tracked against his own backing vocal in a lower register. The music makes a virtue of restraint, quiet drones and the occasional report from brass. Its partner comes in Marc Almond's performance of 'The Falconer': warm, red and glorious, a similar turn to that which I saw him do at another tribute event, for Jacques Brel at the London Barbican. Perhaps the most traditional song arrangement here, the schizophrenia of the Nico version is smoothed by strings over a simple electronic thrum, a melody picked out at the end. The whole effect is of the sense of decadence and loss - you can easily imagine both both featuring in a Derek Jarman musical set at the end of the world.
In opposition to these comes Blixa Bargeld. The Einsturzende Neubauten singer is an inspired choice, obviously able to capture the correct emphasis of the two German language tracks 'Abscheid' and 'Mutterlein' in a way that a non-native speaker never could. On Nico's original these are relatively flat. Here, Bargeld teases the latent poise and portent out of the former, while the latter becomes at once hectoring and curiously jaunty as anguished noise plays in the background.
The film world delivers the most unusual vocal interpretations, perhaps because actress Sasha Grey and director Gaspar Noé are less accustomed to being recorded singing. Noé, present on the most violent backing track (and the most reminiscent of the stomping force of late-period TG gigs) is guttural and barely human for 'Le Petit Chevalier', the little boy of Nico's song grown up to realise all the monstrosities that our species has created. Seemingly the most controversial of the performers (a repellent air of misogyny has greeted her contribution) Grey violently subverts 'Afraid'. Her odd, cold, slow vocal twisting "you are beautiful and you are alone" so it no longer feels sung into a mirror, but becomes a cruel domme taunt.
Which leaves us with Cosey Fanni Tutti. Firstly, 'All That Is My Own' is one of the most potent tracks on this album, a dense and heady backing reminiscent of Carter Tutti Void's Transverse with a heavily processed Cosey vocal that becomes an incantation. By violent, dramatic contrast - which makes it even more affecting - is 'My Only Child'. When I interviewed Chris and Cosey for the Stool Pigeon back in 2011, Carter remarked that Sleazy "started out as the baby of TG, and then he became like the daddy." Cosey then added, "It's funny, he always used to call me 'mum'," This couldn't help but come to mind when considering this record, with Nico's lyricism so concerned with motherhood. Perhaps the sweetest we've ever heard Cosey sing, the lyrics of encouragement to an infant to understand the potential of their life ("My only child be not so blind / See what you hold / There are no words no ears no eyes / To show them what you know") emerge, startlingly, from abstract murmur. Followed by a track where many of those who knew Sleazy repeat the line "meet me on the desertshore," there's a powerful emotional punch to the end of the album.
Desertshore is a monument to Peter Christopherson and Nico alike. In a way, the fact that this isn't coming out under the Throbbing Gristle moniker makes this even more pure. TG were an idea, not a mere band or group. By fulfilling their dear friend's wishes, on Desertshore Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have paid him a glorious, beautiful tribute that, like Nico's original album, celebrates the glowing eddies of sex and life and death. In this, and by redefining Nico for our own age, we remember two human souls whose like we may never see again, but whose art and spirit endures for all time. - Luke Turner

 Tutti, Christopherson and Carter, formerly of Throbbing Gristle
Of all the bands who've staged reunions over last decade or so, perhaps the most vexing was that of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle. The four members' intention was presumably to see what new artistic paths they might forge together, almost a quarter of a century after they split acrimoniously. And yet reunions are almost unavoidably predicated on nostalgia. Delightful as it was to hear audiences deliriously greeting music as relentlessly negative and unpleasant as Slug Bait or What a Day, the very idea of a reformed TG playing what you might loosely term "the hits" to a rapturous response – or even performing a classic album live in its entirety, as they did on the 30th anniversary of their legendarily punishing debut, The Second Annual Report – seemed somehow at odds with the very essence of Throbbing Gristle, whose frontman Genesis P-Orridge once claimed: "We try to imagine the audience are already dead and then we don't have to refer to their wants or desires or feel we're trying to pander to what they want us to be." Furthermore, here was a band who set out to be the very antithesis of a rock group – "to burst open the blistered lie rock'n'roll culture was telling about rebellion and transgression", as the sleevenotes to this two-CD set put it – behaving suspiciously like a rock group.
A TG fan troubled by this might have felt reassured by the announcement of the Desertshore project in 2007. Here was an idea only Throbbing Gristle would come up with: a complete reworking of Nico's fearsome 1971 album, the initial recording sessions for which took place in front of an audience at the ICA. You could never have confused the latter with a gig: the sessions began at noon and went on for 12 hours, with the band members "bickering, recording, playing back, retaking, wandering about, joking with each other, and drinking cups of tea" rather than engaging with their audience. The initial results were released on a 12-CD box set, but the album project was derailed: first Genesis P-Orridge left TG midway through a European tour, then Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, apparently the driving force behind the project, died unexpectedly in his sleep in November 2010.
His bandmates Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti's decision to finish the album as a tribute to Christopherson, using guest vocalists, has proved controversial, despite the fact that it doesn't bear Throbbing Gristle's name – a brief war of words erupted on Twitter with an aggrieved P-Orridge – but listening to it, you are grateful they did. For one thing, the choice of source material is inspired: by the early 70s, Nico was a very Throbbing Gristley kind of artist – more indebted to the European avant garde than anything in the rock canon, her vision so bleak and parched and confrontational it virtually defied audiences to enjoy it. In addition, the original Desertshore album is so sparse it allows a lot of room for interpretation: its spaces are filled here by clanking rhythm tracks, droning synthesisers, bursts of fearsome guitar noise and mournful, foghorn-like blasts of brass.
It is a resolutely downcast listen, as you might expect given both the grim tenor of Nico's songs and the circumstances of its creation. The final track, featuring an array of voices – from Mute Records' founder Daniel Miller to avant-garde artist Vicki Bennett – each bidding Christopherson farewell with the words "meet me on the desertshore" over a backing of spectral piano chords and echoing electronics is incredibly moving. Equally, there is real beauty amid the darkness. The moment when Antony Hegarty's vocal emerges from the murky noise of Janitor of Lunacy is genuinely spine-tingling: his voice has become a familiar sound, but as with his guest appearance on Hercules and Love Affair's Blind, a different musical context reminds you what a strange and unique thing it is. Marc Almond's version of The Falconer, meanwhile, is gorgeous and richly melodic – not adjectives often associated with the oeuvre of Throbbing Gristle, but ones that equally apply to My Only Child, sung by Tutti. While Almond approaches his song in full-on tragic diva mode to considerable effect, Tutti's voice is plaintive and unadorned, and the song's melody has an oddly Christmas carol-like quality, the music behind her crashing and booming.
Desertshore is paired with a second CD, featuring recordings Carter, Tutti and Christopherson made together under the name X-TG shortly before the latter's death. They're the kind of threatening electronic studio improvisations that provide the bedrock of Throbbing Gristle's original back catalogue. They feel more fresh and potent than anything on TG's 2006 studio album, Part Two: The Endless Not. It's as if abandoning the Throbbing Gristle name, and the legendary reputation that went with it, somehow freed the remaining trio to explore at liberty and make music full of intriguing possibilities. That was precisely the point of Throbbing Gristle in the first place: as a result, Desertshore/The Final Report ends up a perfect epitaph, not merely for Peter Christopherson, but for the band whose name isn't on the cover. -

The covers album – it’s hardly the most respected or well-mined form of musical expression ever. Even in more progressive areas of musical expression, covers projects that don’t have their tongues lodged in their cheeks, and are genuinely worthwhile, are usually few and far between. This is only more overt with covers of entire albums: as Simon Reynolds notes in his book Retromania, Beatles reworks by artists like Laibach in the eighties were, amongst other things, the next logical step in an ongoing “tribute-through-desecration” process that had began as the covers album gained momentum in the 70s.
Throbbing Gristle, trailblazers of what is now industrial noise music, never recorded a covers album in their original incarnation. However, they did allude to the medium with 1979’s ’20 Jazz Funk Greats’ LP. With its straight-faced cover art of a squeaky clean TG on a flowery clifftop, along with its wonderfully misleading title, it could be one of the most successful practical jokes ever played in modern music. Interestingly, it’s easy to imagine that TG might have recorded a “tribute-through-desecration” style piece, featuring caterwauling, piercing deconstructions of any number of canonical sixties works – stripping them of their decency and isolating some deviant sexual undertone that had rippled by unobserved in the album’s original form. But that’s partly what makes this “re-imagining” of Nico’s third album – a project dreamed up by TG member Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and completed by two of his remaining bandmates, following his sudden passing in 2010 – all the more extraordinary. ‘Desertshore’, completed in part to honour Christopherson’s life and work, is devoid of any irony or playfulness, and reveals a serious, multilayered appreciation of its source material.-  Robert Darnell

Beginning life as a Throbbing Gristle album back in 2007, this cover album of Nico’s Desertshore has had a tumultuous life. Its four parents went through a divorce when Genesis P-Orridge left the group in 2010 before unexpectedly losing Peter Christopherson a month later. Desertshore was Sleazy’s baby but Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have done their best to foster it and give it the chance it deserved. The end results are unsurprisingly mixed, the range of guest vocalists that have replaced P-Orridge are varied in background and skill which has not served the source material well but taken as a whole with its sister albums, The Final Report and แฝดนรก (Faet Narok), this is as good an ending to Throbbing Gristle/X-TG as possible as well as being a fitting tribute to Sleazy and his work.

X-TG’s version of Desertshore starts strongly with Antony Hegarty’s rendition of "Janitor of Lunacy." Antony gets deep into the role of Nico, capturing the haunted beauty of her words in his own unmistakable way. The music is a amorphous swell of cornet, organ, and that heavy bass throb which betrays the origins of this group. Followed by Blixa Bargeld’s first (of two) outstanding performances, "Abschied," I am thinking that this is going to be one hell of an album. Bargeld brings a completely different emphasis to the piece and makes the words his own. Combined with X-TG’s fine interpretation of the music, retaining the melody but completely redesigning the mood, this is a standout track on Desertshore. Furthermore, they prove that this is not a fluke on his version of "Mütterlein," where Bargeld’s voice and the abrasive backing track come very close to the best moments of TG Mk.II, indeed there is even a flash of the same energy and excitement that runs back to even Throbbing Gristle’s "Discipline."
Yet, Desertshore takes a significant turn for the worse with Sasha Grey’s appearance on "Afraid." Nico’s original is a masterpiece of poised tenderness but Grey manages to deliver it in such a morose, deadpan way as to destroy the power of the song completely. Grey’s voice is too dreary even for a Nico song! Similar Gaspar Noé’s "Le Petit Chevalier" seems superfluous, especially considering his voice is buried under a lot of processing. While I understand the appeal of using non-musicians who are like-minded in terms of their approaches in other media as it has worked well for them in the past (such as Throbbing Gristle’s use of appropriated recordings and Coil’s collaborations with Judy Dench and the anonymous person on "Who’ll Fall"). However, Noé seems to be lost here and Grey confirms for me that music is not her forté.
These disappointing moments are balanced by the other performances. In particular, Marc Almond’s attempt at "The Falconer" is superb. It does not hurt that "The Falconer" features the best version of Nico’s music by Chris, Cosey and (possibly?) Sleazy. Out of all the guests, he and Antony plunge furthest into Nico’s psyche without aping her vocal style; though occasionally Almond sounds like he is channelling Nico through his own vocal chords. This eerie effect is enhanced by a double-tracked harmony with himself, reminiscent of P-Orridge’s singing along to a guide of Nico’s original vocals during The Desertshore Installation recordings.
Cosey also gets close to the spirit of Nico on "All That Is My Own" and "My Only Child," without sounding like she is just copying the original recordings. These two tracks sound closest to Chris and Cosey/Carter Tutti and are propelled by their distinctive rhythms, the former has a sharp edge to it whereas "My Only Child" has a light, warm glow at the centre of it. Both pieces are good but unfortunately do not reach the same dizzying heights as the originals or the better tracks on this album.
The album closes with a new song by X-TG, "Desertshores," which is more of a redux of Nico’s album than an entirely original work. Multiple voices ask for us to meet them on the desert shore, reinforcing the idea of a desert shore being more than a geographical idea but the interface between this life and the next. While the preceding tracks feel like the completion of unfinished business, "Desertshores" is instead a direct farewell to and from Sleazy (whose voice is also included in the work). The other voices are all friends of Sleazy, all wishing to meet him again.
While I am glad to finally hear Desertshore it is not the album it could have been. Between Sleazy’s death, Genesis P-Orridge’s departure, the variance of the guest vocals and the amount of time that has passed between the early sessions and its release, it was always going to be difficult to fully deliver on Desertshore. Especially when it will be compared to not only a perfect album by Nico but the epic Throbbing Gristle box set of The Desertshore Installation. Though, such is life, and Chris and Cosey have done a tremendous job on completing what must have been a tough, emotional work for them. If Sleazy was here, I am sure he would have been pleased. - John Kealy 

X-TG - Desertshore: The Final Report

X-TG - Desertshore: The Final Report

Radically reworking a Nico album, Throbbing Gristle leave Genesis behind...
On many levels, there is a heavy note of farewell hulking around this recording. Most significantly, it’s almost certainly the last notes we’ll ever hear from the 36 year old entity that is/was Throbbing Gristle. The groundwork recordings for their ‘reversioning’ of Nico’s 1970 LP Desertshore took place as a public ‘installation’ at London’s ICA during 2007. Now, though, the contributions of lead vocalist Genesis P-Orridge have been eradicated from the mix, and this outcome has been reworked into a virtual remix project involving the ‘other three’ (Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson) and a succession of guest vocalists. There has been a nasty Twitter spat about it between Genesis and Carter/Tutti, and releasing the project under the name X-TG has surely only poured more gasoline on the fire. There’s also the fact that it’s one of the last releases to feature the late TG founder/Coil member Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson, who died in early 2011, effectively removing yet another pillar of the Industrial edifice. And then there’s the song “Abschied” (“Farewell”) itself, second in, a heavy-lidded, lurching slugbeat with Einstürzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld snarling a lullaby calculated to induce nightmares.
TG covering Desertshore – how random is that? Well, it was Sleazy’s predilection for Philippe Garrell’s 1974 film Les Hautes solitude that triggered it – a lengthy, agoraphobic dreamscape in which Nico is successively abandoned, courted, abases herself and screams hysterically, like a fucked-up damsel in some saintly Renaissance painting of vast mythical landscapes, deserted beaches, waterfalls and ice floes (imagine Hipgnosis doing a Temptation Of St Anthony).
But, carved in Chris & Cosey’s razor-sharp electronic textures, this is mostly a pretty libertarian take on Nico/John Cale’s original arrangements, as it needed to be. Desertshore is really only the jumping-off point (Beachy Head?) for an album of ultimately rather bleak electronic songs. The early bars of “Janitor Of Lunacy” provide an expansive opening, with Cosey’s trumpet fanfares, a stately vintage drum machine plod, and the magnificent emergence of Antony Hegarty’s falsetto, which churns the song into something as anthemic as Sigur Rós. Actress and former porn star Sasha Grey makes a reasonable fist of Nico’s blankness on “Afraid”, while Marc Almond’s unmistakable expressiveness has the opposite effect on a lushly treated “The Falconer”, the album’s weakest link. French film director Gaspar Noé delivers “Le Petit Chevalier” like one of those news reports where a witness’s voice has been disguised, while the backing track thunders more like an advancing army of orcs than a knight gallant. Strangely, the one German speaker, Blixa Bargeld, is the least appealing, the bombast that sounds so effective in other contexts coming over heavy handed and self-parodic here.
The strongest performances, in fact, come on the two tracks vocalled by Cosey herself. “All That Is My Own” – the song that contains the album’s evocative title – is plastered into the mix via some digital mask; while she takes “My Only Child” arrestingly straight, in a delicate, entranced reading that recalls Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. Additional coda “Desertshores” is a new, ambient piece that samples various TG associates saying “Meet me on the desertshore…”. It’s a moving end, not least as an unofficial wake for the late Sleazy, and completely attuned to the mourning tone of Nico’s own music. It could also be a send-off for TG itself, except that the absence of P-Orridge revives that bitter taste. But then, on the second CD, comes The Final Report. Provocatively named, since it clearly gestures back towards the Annual Reports of Throbbing Gristle’s late heyday, it’s nevertheless very much in the soundworld of Carter Tutti’s recent work. Tracks like “Um Dum Dom”, with its ticking intro, or “Gordian Knot”’s splurge of granulated vox all contain a latent urgency, and remind you that the ‘industrial’ sound associated with acts like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails et al ended up in a very different place from TG’s fluid, improvisatory approach. “The End” is a faltering hum, a last cranial rumble of adieu from TG’s infernal machinery. Bring on the asset strippers!
Rob Young
Chris & Cosey
Why Desertshore?

Chris: The concept was entirely Sleazy's idea. Nico’s album had always been a huge favourite of his. He proposed a cover version in 2006. We all agreed it was something we could get our teeth into. None of the ICA material is on this final release. The backing tracks we used at the ICA were never meant to be on the final album anyway. They were there as guide tracks for the vocals.
How hard was it to get away from Nico’s distinctive sound?
Cosey: Sleazy's vision was to re-imagine the songs, and to do that I felt I needed to make them my own yet I wanted to retain that deep sense of emotion, strength yet vulnerability that's unique to her voice. Her melodies are so hauntingly beautiful that it's quite difficult to find an entry point.
Chris: We wanted the other vocalists to sing their part however they wanted. The only guidance we gave them was that whatever they sang might end up sounding completely different after we'd finished with it.
Has the Gristle throbbed its last?
Cosey: Throbbing Gristle is no more. When TG 4 became 3, we and Sleazy formed X-TG. The Final Report is a selection of the last recordings we did with Sleazy. A kind of signing-off Report, but I also view it as celebrating our time with him.
 - www.uncut.co.uk/


 Carter Tutti Void, Transverse

The peaks of Transverse, of which there are many, arrive when it's barely possible to detect a human hand at work amid the fracas. At times it sounds like a group of machines engaged in an uneasy standoff on stage, about to push each other over the edge. This is a live recording, captured on tape at Mute's Short Circuit Festival in May 2011, performed by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, Carter Tutti) and Nik Colk Void (Factory Floor). Unusually, for a live recording, there's a transformative energy at work here, akin to the rare sense of magic you sometimes get at shows. The kind where everyday worries slip out of your mind, where the part of your brain that flips into figuring out what the musicians are doing on-stage is dislocated, where fanciful notions of music being some kind of "higher power" don't seem so silly after all. This might be a place they never return to-- plans for the trio to work this way again don't look promising according to a recent interview. For the moment, we should just be grateful they left this document behind.
It makes sense that Void would find her way to Carter Tutti, especially as the nascent Factory Floor records owe a considerable debt to some of the pair's early Chris & Cosey recordings. Check out the stringy electro backing and darkly moaned female vocals of "Love Cuts" from Songs of Love and Lust-- both strands Void and her band would prominently thread into their sound several decades later. Transverse doesn't go down that route; instead, it bears more of a resemblance to the harshly processed machine noise of Chris & Cosey's Trance record from 1982. But it's a fatuous task to draw too many comparisons here, as the four tracks on this record, all coming in around the 10-minute mark, don't feel like a world too many people have inhabited before. It's both loose and rigid at the same time, with stringent 4/4 beats providing the backing for some increasingly inspired guitar and electronic work from the trio.
Talking about this as a collection of individual "songs" feels wrong. Instead, each piece picks up where the last left off, with short breaks for audience applause in-between. It's a testament to how absorbing it gets that the applause often feels like an intrusion. When the pulsing thug-beat of "V2" gets to its all-consuming peak, where it feels like a giant robot gone haywire, stomping on skyscrapers and crushing them to dust, it's easy to blank out the fact that other people were there to witness this recording. In many ways this feels like the true promise of industrial music being capitalized on, before it got utilized as a scare tactic to lure in impressionable mall-goth teens. But on Transverse there's something distinctly unpleasant, something downright nasty, worming its way through the tracks. It's there in the piercing, eardrum-perforating electronics of "V1", and it’s there in the lethargy-fueled "V4", which sometimes resembles rotten sewage slowly pumping through a drainpipe.
There are moments of beauty here, too. The shortest track of the bunch, "V3", is the lightest of the four, with a treated female vocal (either Void or Tutti, it's impossible to tell which) veering close to the kind of seraphic mannerisms Karin Dreijer Andersson often displays. It's a welcome dip into serenity, a relief from the all-conquering storm brewing elsewhere. That's part of the great strength of Transverse. There’s subtlety and force vying for air, with all three players possessing an intuitive knack for knowing when to turn from one to the other, and knowing how to prevent the intricacies from getting lost when the dial bleeds into the red. These tracks come entirely from improvisations, with barely any practice beforehand. But the level of detail in the electronics-- from tiny, meticulous twists to vast plates of metallic sound-- makes that claim feel like a deception. Most people who hear this won't have been at the show. Most people who hear this will wish they were. But, like all great live albums (Live at the Apollo, Double Live, After Dark), it will make you eternally thankful that someone had the foresight to hit the record button.-Nick Neyland







Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Interviewed by Technoccult Part 1: TOPI Status Update

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Photo by Seth Tissue / CC
Klint Finley: How’s the new TOPI going? What’s the status?
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Actually, it’s rather gratifying. You’ve probably been to the Ning. And there’s that world map at the front which shows where there are active people and it’s almost obliterated the world map at this point. So whilst the activities are still somewhat limited, and directionless to an extent, what it does demonstrate to us is that there is still a serious appetite, curiosity, need for some of the ideas that we put into hibernation for a while from the TOPY with a Y. There was always the plan to have T-O-P-I, the One True Topi Tribe. That was always part of the strategy from the very beginning. But the first decade of T-O-P-Y, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, was… not the kindergarten exactly…. but that was sort of a filtering process to reconvene the idea of magic in a contemporary, demystified way in public culture. And that was almost too successful and we actually ended up in exile as a result of the threat that was perceived by the British establishment.
Ironically, they attacked us when we had already said that we were going to disband that version and become nomadic. The last thing we sent out to people was printed on what you send wedding invitations on, it was gold embossed card and it just said “Changed Priorities Ahead, TOPY Nomads.” Which was actually a sign, a street sign. We were driving along the road coming back from looking for a big house, a community headquarters in the north of England and there were road works going on and there was this big sign that just said “Changed Priorities Ahead.” And it was one of those moments where we went “That’s exactly what we were hoping to do.”
So the intended idea there was that we were closed down, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, in the hope that those who had really started to comprehend on their own, in their own way, what we were trying to say – which was to bring people around to using an intuitive personalized version of magic – to get those individuals to understand that we were a non-hierarchal, non-Masonic, post-”museum of magic” network.
In other words, a lot of people did their 23 sigils and then they would sometimes write and then say “What happens now?” and we would just say “That’s it. You don’t get a prize. You don’t get a new instruction. You don’t suddenly have a special title. If you’ve not figured out how to really discover and express your true desires by now then you’re never going to get it. Most people did understand that but there were some that expected a prize and were disappointed.
So we had reached the point of dismembering it and deconstructing the ten year project and the next step was to find a location to then go into the One True Topi Tribe. We looked at an old hotel in the north of England, we looked at the farm in a place called Arbor Low in Yorkshire, which actually had a stone circle on the grounds of the farm, which is where we used to have the TOPY Global Annual Meetings over a long weekend and we would camp out and we would do rituals outside in the stone circle. It is a beautiful place. So we were seriously looking at different locations. And then we, meaning myself and my family, decided to go to Nepal to do some research and to work with Tibetan Buddhist monks that we had come to know. And then come back and built the One True Topi Tribe but as you know that got interrupted by the British government.
So we went into hibernation and then Thee Psychick Bible got published. And during the next few months after that was published, we started to get lots and lots of e-mails and letters and meet people at concerts and events. They were saying, “We really want to know more about this. Why is isn’t it still going on?”

In between, there was The Process and Transmedia, wasn’t there? [1]
There was, yeah. There was the Transmedia. That was just an ad-hoc bridging phase. It was kind of a separate topic, but basically as you probably know we’ve been interested in The Process since the sixties and collecting lots of documents and books and so on. I eventually got to know Timothy Wyllie and Father Malachi McCormick and some of the founders. And it always was part of my culture engineering side to reinsert The Process into public culture but rehabilitated to get rid of Ed Sanders’ destructive, dishonest propaganda used to discourage people from really looking into The Process.
So one thing we’ve often done with Austin Osman Spare in the original TOPY, and with piercing and tattooing with Modern Primitives and then with that website with The Process. We inserted things that we think were both useful and needed to be reassessed and reevaluated in popular culture because they had become relevant again or more relevant than ever. So we shared things that we find inspiring and said “This is really inspiring to us and it’s changing our ways of perceiving things, you might want to really check this out.” So that’s been very effective as an ongoing process of culture engineering. So that was really what that part was about. It was to just prepare the ground for the books that came out.
The original, Love, Sex, Fear, Death book that came out from Feral House, that was originally going to be by myself and Benjamin Tischer, who runs Invisible Exports gallery. The original structure was going to be reprinting all the key magazines in full color and then a long essay and then interviews with the key founding members that we had done. At the time that we were assembling all the materials, Feral House changed the basic structure and handed it off to Timothy Wyllie. And so it became two books basically- the Timothy Wyllie anecdotal version and then the follow-up one with the facsimiles. We didn’t mind because the whole point was just to get that material out there again. However it actually happened isn’t so important as long as we could re-launch the information back into the culture.
So while we were doing that, we were always testing the ground and observing. Thee Psychick Bible really revealed a whole new generation of people who are incredibly curious and really hungry for more information about the original TOPY and wanting to actually find a way to apply that to their lives again. But, of course, we have an old TOPY proverb: “Never return to the previous character.” And so there’s no point to us in doing TOPY (with a Y) again and the ultimate point of the next step was always to do the Tribe. Because when people say “What’s the Psychick Cross?” we say “That’s how you recognize people who are your people, your chosen family people who at least on some level have similar interests or you can communicate with more easily than Joe Public.”
And all my life, the ultimate project has always been to set up experimental communities that create their own mythology, their own rituals, their own techniques for mind expansion, for maximizing whatever potential they have in whichever form, and leaving that behind as a legacy, some kind of work or alternative way of living. Not as a “running away into the countryside and being a farmer” hippie thing, but something that’s normal, practical. And the state of the economy and the state of the world as it is at the moment tends to suggest to us that there’s an inevitable collapse. That the economic system that we’re living in is fatally flawed. It’s based on the idea of infinite consumption and infinite growth. But if you have a limited amount of resources, even if you count the planet as one of the resources, there is a point where there’s no more. We can’t consume forever. There’s actually a natural limit.
The way things are set up is to treat things that are scarce as if they aren’t scarce and things that are scarce as if they aren’t. So energy, for example, we treat as though it’s not scarce at all. And individual labor like people are not scarce at all. There’s plenty of people but we sort of treat people as if they were scarce in certain ways. [2]
Well, in terms of western capitalism, the powers that be, as far as we’re concerned and we’ve written about it in Psychick Bible that they think of human beings just as a resource like the cows or sheep, whatever. And in the industrial revolution, it suited the people who control societies and economies to have a more educated, healthier workforce. So in the west you’ve got more education, better healthcare, better housing and so on, because they needed strong, healthy people to work in the factories.
As we got more technological, they’ve ended up with all these workers who they need less and less of. So now human beings are actually a redundant factor using up food, air, energy and everything else and they don’t really need us anymore. And if they could get away with just erasing us, they would. The people who are at the top of the pyramid of power and in control of economies are ruthless. It would not bother them at all to reduce the population to whatever they need because they see themselves as a separate set of species, and in a sense they are. We see it more in the west because it was started in England with the royal family, the aristocracy. We even say they’re “Blue Bloods,” a separate species, a more divinely touched species, chosen by god. But in fact they’re gangsters. Most of them get in that position by murdering rivals which is like the mafia.
So, anyway, we were sitting back and we were looking at the world outside and Lady Jaye actually said in the early 2000s “The economy is going to really suddenly crash really hard.” And at the time we did have some shares- and she said, “You’ve got to get rid of those shares.” So we sold them and within two or three weeks everybody lost all that money, when everybody’s shares became worthless for a while. That had made us really start thinking about it more and we thought, well, when it goes, if you’re living in a city, who’s going to be better prepared to survive? Hells Angels, Bloods and Crips and gangs, even survivalist fanatical Christians because they’ve already got loyalty to a group. They’ve got basic core belief. They’re prepared to protect themselves and fight for themselves. They’re more mobile and more paranoid so they’re more able to provide it. People who just live in their apartments in the suburbs and do their 9 to 5 jobs are going to be devastated literally and physically.
Or the Mormons. They are really well-situated for a collapse. They have an international structure, so that if all the Mormons in one city are displaced there are other places they can go. They have physical buildings. They have savings. They have food supply. It’s like their whole religion is built around being ready to take over if there’s a collapse.
We were in England and our car broke down and we got picked up by a breakdown truck and the driver happened to also be a fire inspector, he was moonlighting. So we were chatting and he said “They’ve just finished building a brand new Mormon temple in that town.” And we said, “Oh, yeah, the Mormons are a little bit strange.” And he said, “Strange? I’m the fire inspector so I had to go and inspect it to see if it would pass all the tests and be allowed to be open.” So he went in and he checked the temple and they said, “Do you want to go downstairs and check the offices?” and he said, “Oh, sure.” So they went downstairs underneath the temple and there were all these cubicles and people in there with computers and they were all basically collecting the names of people who were dead, anybody, because you know, they’re trying to save everybody by baptizing them.
And so we looked at them and then he said, “Everything is fine and safe.” And they said, “You don’t want to see the rest?” And he said, “The rest?” He said, “Yeah, there’s another 5 floors going down.” So he went down and there was a huge reservoir of fresh water. And as you say there was a huge floor just for food and supplies and then there were all these schools and meeting halls and then lots of places. Basically all the Mormon temples have bunkers underneath them because there’s no need for planning permission when they go down. Some of them have ten different levels and, as you said so rightly, those are there so they could order their people and swarm in and go below ground and wait to have a crisis. One has to assume that they have weapons too.
So they’re thinking ahead. And so that makes you think what about everyone else? Is there an alternative way for people like us, the misfits, bohemians, the radical thinkers, people who ultimately are social problem solvers in the long term? Most of the real solutions to perception, reality and magical descriptions of the way that we are or what we may become, the creation side of beingness. What about us? Can we come up with something that’s non-destructive and non-violent but also an alternative way of living? And what would it be? What would it look like? Obviously you have to start to share resources.
And so we began thinking about setting up the One True Topi Tribe, initially as a discussion group and say, is it possible, and if it’s possible, what would it look like? What are you prepared to give? What are you prepared to surrender? And how much do you really want to survive, or even if there’s not that much of a crisis, how much do you really want to change your behavior and the way you do life? How real is your hunger for real change and for evolution and for new thinking? And what would that look like?
Of course, for myself, we’ve lived in communes and community situations almost all my life, tended to do collaborations in groups and networks, rather than do the divined inspired individual which is to me not that interesting. And that’s always been the ultimate plan, to find a way to set up a community, more of a village than a commune, but a community based on creation, magic, revelation and the exploration of unlimited visions of reality, consciousness, everything.
Is this connected to the idea of the cut-up? I know that a lot of your work, almost everything, kind of comes back to the Gysin/Burroughs cut-up method. So how does that apply to TOPI?
Well, one of the basic questions that the original TOPY was designed to address was in order for the human species to truly evolve we have to change our behavior. And the question is, is it ever going to be possible to change our innate behavior? Because at the moment we, as a species, we are at a primitive larval state of consciousness. And one of the things we often say is, how could there ever have been a second war? If there’s a war the first time, it’s novel and people don’t understand what the results are going to be, but surely when you’ve seen people maimed, decimated, crippled, wounded, grieving, everything destroyed, children lying dead and crippled… surely we would never ever let that happen again. It would be just too horrendous, too vile, to ever, ever let that happen again. And yet as a species, thousands of years later, almost everybody is at war in one way or another. New York communities, nations, belief systems and religions are still locked in this idea that one person’s opinions can be forced on another by violence. And that’s a really sad, pathetic state of affairs. So the first question was, can we possibly change? And if we can, how?
Burroughs said to me right at the beginning in ’71, almost as a sort of a test: “What I want you to think about, Gen: is it possible to short circuit control?” But somehow in my mind that got switched to: “is it possible to short circuit our behavior?” And then we look back and we thought, where does it come from? In the earliest prehistoric, or should I say preastoric because it’s neutral- in the earliest preastoric times human beings were just struggling to survive like any other animals. And so the male of the species was, in the DNA, this aggressive gene, an aspect that was about survival and it makes sense when everything – the environment, the weather, the predators – everything is about getting into survival, that, yes, we need to have an aggressive program in our behavior.
And it’s because of that that we’re still here, that we’ve managed to take control or have an effect on the physical environment whereas in the beginning we had not mastered the environment. Now, to some extent, we’ve mastered our environment and we’ve created some credible post technological, digital, futuristic environment worldwide. But we haven’t bothered to apply the same kind of research and resources to changing the way we think and behave. We’re out of whack. We still have this primitive, violent program genetically rooted inside us and yet we’ve changed the environment so that we can go into space, we can look at atoms and particles, do all these amazing things. But we’ve not valid as a species, as a whole, to even really apply the same resources to developing ourselves.
And one of the things about Tibet that fascinated us was that something like 70% of the population meditated for thousands of years in order to look at perception of consciousness. And that seemed to have got far enough along in their mapping of other dimensions outside and inside time to be able to drop the human body, the container of their mind, their consciousness and still retain a sense of individuated self in an immaterial space so much so that they can reincarnate in another body and remember who they were to some degree. The Dalai Lamas, as you probably know, had to go through this test when they found there were lots of items that belonged to the previous Dalai Lamas and mixed it with the ones that didn’t belong to that Dalai Lamas and the child has to pick out only the ones that were his before. Otherwise they’re not the Dalai Lama. And that, plus having met certain Tibetan masters, has convinced us that it is possible to transcend mortality and return.
So if they can do that, by sheer force of will and hundreds of years of focused meditation, what would we be able to do as a species if we devoted all those resources that go into war and weapons and useless things? If that was applied just to developing the consciousness of everybody. And why do we think that they attacked the psychedelic Sixties so strongly? Because it was- the moment when millions of people worldwide were suddenly trying to invade and explore other realms of consciousness, no matter how much it was like a bull in a china shop compared to a Tibetan monk, they were still breaking through ideas of reality and ideas of invitation.
So what you say then is TOPI is about cutting up behavior and cutting consciousness or am I just going too far with that idea?
GPO: No no no, it is. Because when we were doing COUM transmissions actions, we started doing them on our own, the solo one, and found that we would go into trans states and would do things occasionally like drink poison and cut myself and it would heal without a scar and start speaking in tongues and have an out-of-body experiences. We also ended up in hospital a couple of times in intensive care because we didn’t know how to repeat it in a safe way. It was very random. Sometimes the combination of sound, physical discipline and stress would trigger an amazing alteration of consciousness but sometimes it wouldn’t. We didn’t know how to make it happen when we needed to. And that’s when we stopped doing COUM because we thought this is getting really interesting but also very dangerous. We need to go back and think about this. Who might know more about these things that have been happening? Shamanic cultures. We started to look into Native American shaman and Siberian shaman and go and travel to the jungles, illegally, of Burma. We started to try and get more information about those states.
At the very least we thought more of the problems in the west especially is that inevitably a certain small ratio of human beings are born everywhere who are innately shamanic, innately magical or mystical. And in some cultures like Tibet, like certain, to me, much more sophisticated cultures, like Native Americans or the Hopi or whoever- If somebody demonstrates the potential to gift of shamanism they’re immediately taken to the wise people, and they’re told how to be safe, how to control these gifts and how to even expand these gifts and also how to share them in a positive way. And sometimes people are born who are conduits for this amazing shamanic energy but they don’t even realize people, we would say people like Brian Jones or Jimi Hendrix, people in popular culture who are so tuned to universe but completely clueless about how to protect themselves from this incredible energy and that’s what burns them out and destroys them. And it must happen everywhere even to people who just live in ordinary suburban families everywhere at random. So there are people all over the world who are intuitively and naturally gifted with the potential to be shamanic, healing, mystical people and there’s no one to help them and there’s not somewhere to go and be trained and have it explained and have a safe place to discover and explore these gifts.
And so that was another aspect of the TOPI. Let’s make a place. Let’s find these people. Let’s just say, do you feel a bit like this, like we do? Are you confused? Are you isolated? Does the status quo seem stupid, bigoted, hypocritical and not giving you the pictures that you’re seeing in terms of reality? Here is a place that will give you some encouragement and share what we know and you can share with us. And maybe that way we can all move forward a little bit. And then with ritual we, wanted it to be just a cut-up. Because if behavior is, if you like, genetic on a certain deep level, how would you break up something that’s ingrained, something that’s been inside our DNA thousands and thousands of years? And that’s where Burroughs and Gysin gave us the clue, which is DNA is a recording and behavior is locked into DNA, as well as society.
So, if it’s a recording, how could you cut up that recording and how could you cut up behavior? By cutting it up, by making random associations, by breaking the linearity, the logic, the continuum, and by breaking it up, reassembling it in apparently random ways, that breaks down all the expectations that we usually fall foul of and gives you the chance and space to maybe see, as Burroughs used to say about cut-ups: “Let’s see what it really says.”
And so, we saw magical ritual as a cut-up of behavior. That’s why we didn’t want a “museum of magic” of doing the banishing rituals and naming the names and all this Egyptian stuff. What’s actually happening here that’s- the names and all the languages and all the frippery and all this baroque nonsense. What are we actually seeing here that in a sigil, the orgasm, opens up the deeper mind and the other minds so at one moment they are all open and interconnected and you can post a message in it. You can call it magical, you can call it neurolinguistic programming, whatever you want to call it. But it works, and that’s all that matters. Or it seems to work a lot more than it should.
So that’s where we started to apply the cut-up and breaking expectation, breaking the linearity over and over and over to create new spaces, new collisions, new perceptions that you couldn’t get to any other way because we’re so trained by language, culture, society, family, education, economy. We’re so trained and so sucked in to this material solid established form of living and life and being and the hardest thing of all is to break it, truly break it.
Let me ask you, because I know you know more about Tibetan society than I do. I honestly don’t know that much but I’ve been led to believe that there was still a pretty significant element of control in Tibetan society on the part of the Lamas over the rest of society.
Oh yes.
So how do you protect against that? Because you’ve been having somebody who’s dedicating, you know, huge parts of their lives towards meditation and theoretically being compassionate but then they still have these patterns of control? [2]
You still have that, it’s very much like the Roman Catholic Church on one level. This whole hierarchy and this whole bureaucracy and it becomes this really ponderous massive edifice with thousands of years of scrolls and interpretations and documents and subgroups and cults and teachers and so on. Of course. And that’s why with TOPY we wanted to just strip away all their names and all the idea of of ownership of ideas and ways of breaking down behavior. Our basic philosophy is look for what’s useful and use it but don’t get sucked into the game.
We were in Kathmandu we just heard that Scotland Yard had raided our house and we couldn’t go back. We’d lost everything over night. We went into town and we used our American Express card and got all the money we could get on it which was $5,000 and then we went to see Samye Ling and through the interpreter he said, “Guess what, you’re an exile and now we’re exiles.” We laughed. And he had been talking a few days before this saying that his monastery which is right on the border of Tibet just inside Nepal and the Himalayas, that they were having real ecological problems because they had no electricity, so they were cutting down the trees in order to have heat, in order to cook. Especially in the winter which you can imagine are incredibly cold.
But there was a project that was being run by somebody, I don’t remember which groups or some aid organization, where they were supplying these small electric turbines which was basically just a big metal tube with a turbine in it, and because mountains are so high and all this watering, you basically just put this into a really fast flowing stream, guide the stream into it and it spins the turbine and makes enough electricity for a whole monastery to cook and heat and it’s not destroying anything, it’s just using the speed of water. And the cost of one of those is $5,000. And so having known that we’d lost everything we owned, we said, “Here’s $5,000 so that you can have your monastery without destroying anything else.”
Now some people would say that that was irrational and stupid to do because we also had two children. But what happened without anybody knowing that we had done that was we went back to the hotel we were staying at which was owned by Tibetans and without knowing anything they just said, “You can stay here as long as you want for free because we know you’ve done things for Tibetan people. We’ve been doing the same thing for the refugees all through the winter at our expense.” And then we went to the hotel room and we sat down and we looked across the room and we noticed this brown envelope, this suitcase, and we thought, oh yeah, when we left home about eight months ago we just put the mail in that envelope, threw in a suitcase, thinking we’ll read it later.
So for no conscious reason we just started to look through the envelope and amongst the bills and things was this postcard from Michael Horowitz and it said, “We were with Wynona,” – Wynona Ryder, is it was her father – he also looked after Timothy Leary’s archives. “We were at the Psychic TV concert and it was the most psychedelic thing we’ve seen since the Acid Test in ’66.” Then it said, “If you ever need a refuge, call this number.” So we walked back into the center of Kathmandu to the one international phone, because at that time there were hardly any international phones, and we rang the number and said “Guess what, we need a refuge.” And Michael said “Come over, you can stay as long as you want.” So we then rang Wax Trax up, our record label at the time, and said “We need tickets one way to America.” And they bought them for us instead of giving us royalties. And then we got to San Francisco. We moved in to Wynona Ryder’s old bedroom.
Then a few days later in a phone call Michael said “Someone wants to talk to you.” And we picked up the phone and it was Timothy Leary and he said “Genesis, I’ve been through this. I was an exile and on the run too. They were trying to get to my archives. Just come to LA, stay with me. We’ll do something.” So we went to LA. He gave us his old car which was actually parked at Michael’s and we started doing lectures with Timothy Leary about oppression, exile and control and that’s how we started to make money and find an apartment. But that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t just thrown everything away.
So how do you know those moments or if that’s the right action to take? By the years of doing sigils and looking as deep as you can into your true motivations, what you really need. So many of us will say something but it is not really what we need to say, we do it in shorthand. There’s an example that we did with a Apache shaman and he told us he went around with certain people and said, “Tell me what you want, if you could have anything you want.” And one person said, “I want to go to America.” And he said, “Impossible. It will never happen.” “Why not?” And he said, “Well, where is America?” And he said, “Well, I meant I wanted to go to Las Vegas because I’ve always wanted to go in a casino and gamble.” And he said, “That you can do. But you can’t go to ‘America.’ You can’t stand on all of it at the same time.” And we do that so much with language and say just the tip of what we’re thinking instead of what we really want to say and that’s true in the way we behave, and in the way we even dialogue with our inner mind and with ourselves.
And so sigilizing and trying to strip away to the truth of what you want is one of the best disciplines of getting clearer and clearer to any given moment in terms of your response to things that happen. And so you’re always making choices that lead you towards your current final dream or next point that you want to reach.
And that’s why the more you can learn to have this ongoing critical self-dialog. “What do I really want?”" What I’m really saying here and learning through this exercise is cutting up logic and learning all different things coming at the same time and then selecting, sifting through and becoming more and more honest with yourSELF (self in capital letters) and becoming more and more in tune with that really specific you with no camouflage, no issues, no concerns with how you’re viewed by other people and how society views you et cetera, just exactly what it is that you really think and see and want to achieve. It sounds easy and it’s not. It’s not at all. And that’s why these different ways of approaching just stripping back that real desire that’s so important and so useful.
But by keeping and using cut-up in different forms you maintain an edge because the hardest thing is to stop yourself getting back into habits. You start to take it for granted. You’re doing quite well and you’re seeing quite well so that’s okay. You can’t ever by the time you got that you keep pushing and pushing yourself all the time, double checking.
One of the things that really started me on this path was being in the Exploding Galaxy in 1969 and it was a very rigorous psychological commune. There were no walls. You couldn’t sleep in the same place two nights running. You couldn’t wear the same things two days running. You shouldn’t have your hair the same two days running. You shouldn’t eat the same two days running. Anybody could stop you at any moment in the day and just say, “Stop, how come that’s the same as it was yesterday? Why haven’t you learned to do something different? Why do you use a knife and fork?” And so on. And so you’d be pushed constantly to rethink, am I doing this because it’s the right way, the clearest way, the quickest way, the most effective way, or am I being a bit lazy or am I just doing it because this is the way I’ve always done it? And that was a really deep grounding that we kept ever since. And we added the tool of the cut-ups to it. But the basic motivation, the central way of being, is the determined rejection of habit.

Responses to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Interviewed by Technoccult Part 1: TOPI Status Update

  1. A.Lizard says:
    The big problem with a survivalist future is that one can hide from short-term massive social trouble and temporary collapse of vendor networks of everything from food to spare parts for one’s computer. Without a recovery of civilization, lifestyle retrogression (1940s? 1920s? is inevitable) based on high-tech going away is inevitable.
    Post 1980 technology depends on the existence of a consumer critical mass big enough to make the network that connects an African native grubbing in the dirt with retail consumer electronics products stores selling finished electronic products economically practical.
    Without that network, even a billionaire can’t get a new computer once things like CPUs go past their use-by dates, complex electronic parts have wear-decay mechanisms built in. Could that network created in an age of cheap oil be recreated after collapse? I am rather pessimistic.
    The billionaire class and for that matter, the 1% simply is not a large enough group to keep that vendor network going.
    Maker scene is cool, as is the concept of decentralizing knowledge of how things work. But one’s 3D printer is useless junk if one can’t get the specialized and specially prepared raw materials delivered regularly, and one won’t be building solar cell power controllers with Arduinos if there aren’t any.
    The TEDiverse vision of future abundance based on expanded resource availability (e.g. asteroid mining work in progress) cutting edge technology makes sense and is necessary. However, TED explicitly does not question wealth distribution and inequity in society, and if the current pattern of the profits from all gains in productivity going to the 1% continue, even if society doesn’t hit a tipping point followed by crash and burn, that critical mass of consumers will be transformed into a mass of serfs living at subsistence level and not buying enough high-tech goods and services to keep the hamster wheel going.
    No solutions at this time, just wondering how the billionaire class and their centi-millionaire enablers like Romney rationalize pursuing a course that’s going to bite them in the ass as hard as it’ll bite us.
    Wish this site had a preview button for posts.
  2.  Hypnoshield says:
    I’ve spent many decades pondering the reasons behind war and aggression. I’ve looked at the popular explanations, which point to survival of the fittest mutated for modern society, or perhaps a virtual world created by some species similar to ours who like to play games, but what I currently find the most likely is that our world is some kind of farm. It seems that our emotional energy is some kind of food for some other entity.
    Just take all of the countries we have invaded, (Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, etc…), and ask why the people running our country didn’t just control the leaders of those countries with all of the technology acquired through projects like MK-ULTRA, MONARCH, and many other projects. We didn’t have to invade and occupy their countries; but if we had only changed their nation’s foreign policy by controlling their leaders, their citizens would never have ended up in a state of constant turmoil and terror. Someone or something, somewhere, wants large groups of people on our world to live in perpetual fear. You can call them devils, demons, parasites, whatever you like, but I think if we don’t accept the fact that there is a species of some kind feeding on our pain, we will never find a way to break the cycle of destruction.
    To that end, I think people need to start focusing on finding a way to create devices that can either harness, or at the least detect human emotional energy, (think Monster’s Inc.). Once it is proven that we do create a powerful source of energy from our emotions, it makes sense that something out there will feed off such energy. Just like the pink slime in Ghost Busters 2. It wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood predicted the future, lol. Pioneers in the psychiatric field made quite a few remarkable discoveries that have since been debunked and the larger part of the literature destroyed. Just look at how hypnosis, mesmerism, orgone, and many other discoveries were emasculated after showing very convincing evidence of the existence of an energy connecting human consciousness to a vast network, or super-consciousness.
    While I think human nature can be barbaric, I think you are correct to question how we could see the horrors of war and still be willing to repeat it. I think most people have more good in them than Hollywood leads us to believe. I think the only way we would go to war after seeing its previous horrors, would be if someone had gained control of our society’s leaders, and fooled the people into believing it was necessary.
    We are food.

    • Robert says:
      Michael a. Hoffman covers this in “secret societies and psychological warfare”. He says that serial killings (zodiac, Manson, son of Sam etc. ) are joint operations of government agencies and occult groups intended mainly for the manipulation of mass fear for witchcrafty purposes.
      Spreading the “energy of Satan” and all that from Kenneth grant.

  3. Paul says:
    That’s interesting, Hypnoshield, and I think it’s very well stated. Those sorts of ideas have always had a strange and strong appeal to me, and I’m just wondering whether you know of any places where I might seek out information in a similar vein. Off the top of my head I’m thinking of Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites, The Matrix films and The Gnostic Religion by Hans Jonas. Possibly Gurdjieff or his some of his students have more or less explicitly similar ideas? I don’t know, maybe something wants humans steeped in strong emotions like fear and finds that constant war is a useful expedient to ensure that people radiate the desired form of energy, but if people somehow managed to give off a different emotional scent then their flavor would change, thus drawing them to the attention of more benevolent demons who have different tastes? I’m interested in finding/reading others who share a lively interest in this.

Douglas Rushkoff in conversation with Genesis Breyer P‑Orridge

“The bottom line is that the human species has to realize the human body really is just a cheap suitcase.” 
When Tim Leary called and asked if I’d pick up Genesis P‑Orridge on my way down from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I knew enough to be afraid—but not a hell of a lot more. As founder of industrial music pioneer Throbbing Gristle and cult-inspiring acid-house follow-up Psychic TV, P‑Orridge was known for soliciting mail-in pubic hair and semen samples from his fans, tattooing his wife’s labia, and staging mock abortions on video. When those tapes were interpreted by clueless police as real satanic murder rituals, it became impossible for Genesis and his family to return to England without danger of imprisonment.
The near-universal notoriety he received in the U.K. was even more than Genesis had bargained for, and his marriage didn’t survive in exile. Sensing a kindred spirit, Leary—who had once lived in exile as an escaped convict—invited Gen to decompress at his Beverly Hills home, just one cliff down from the Sharon Tate house, which was then being occupied by Trent Reznor.
When I found Gen at the designated coordinates—an underground shopping-mall parking lot—I was surprised to find him with his two daughters, then about seven and ten. They spent the entire six-hour drive fighting in the backseat as Gen tried every threat and bribe he could think of to quiet them. Over the next decade, it was the challenges of the mundane that we bonded over more than any artistic or cultural ideals.
Sometimes he’d come stay at my apartment when he’d get in a fight with his second wife, Lady Jaye (Jackie Breyer P‑Orridge). Meanwhile, I’d come to Gen for encouragement whenever my personal courage didn’t quite match the temerity of my ideas—or if I was getting pounded on a bit too hard by a critic or online forum. Gen’s the one who convinced me to get married (“See what’s behind door number two”). Yes, we contributed to one another’s projects and conceptual framework, we worked on a few book projects together, and for a year or so I even played keyboards for the newly reformed Psychic TV (PTV3) and experienced Genesis from the other side of the stage and recording booth. But our real value and connection to one another always concerned navigating or, in his case, erasing the boundary between our personal and creative lives. For while my life might be dedicated to understanding and exploiting media, his life and body became the medium itself.
Gen’s most recent project is a cutup experiment called Pandrogeny for which s/he and Lady Jaye underwent gender-challenging plastic surgeries to look more like one another. Jaye’s sudden and unexpected death left Genesis Breyer P‑Orridge as not just one half of a couple but one half of a real-life art project.
S/He wanted to talk about it with me, and for posterity, as soon as possible. So, just a week after Jaye was buried, I showed up at their Ridgewood apartment with a tiny handheld video recorder, and we took a subway ride into Manhattan for Gen to do a bit of the kinds of banking one does after a spouse dies.
—Douglas Rushkoff

I. Rebelling Against DNA

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: Maybe we should start at the beginning, for those who might have no idea what Pandrogeny is about. I mean, you have big breasts and wear women’s clothing. What’s the difference between Pandrogeny and transvestism or transgender?
GENESIS BREYER P‑ORRIDGE: Well, the main difference is that Pandrogeny is not about gender, it’s about union. The union of opposites. One way to explain the difference is very easy: with transgender people the man might feel that he’s trapped—the person feels they’re a man trapped in a woman’s body, or a woman trapped in a man’s body—whereas in Pandrogeny you’re just trapped in the body. So Pandrogeny is very much about the union of opposites, and, through that reunion, the transcendence of this binary world and this illusory, polarized social system.
DR: Doesn’t that happen in sex, anyway?
GO: Of course, the orgasm. When people have an orgasm together that’s a moment of Pandrogeny. And when people have a baby, the baby is pandrogynous, sexually. Because it is literally two people becoming one.
DR: So then these memes—this ability to transcend polarity and gender— are already at our disposal. Why do it the way you are, through surgeries and implants and all this medical activity, all the social challenges of getting into the ladies’ room as a pandrogene? How do the literal cutting and pasting of gender traits dissolve these polarities any more than they underscore them?
GO: Well, as you know, it went in steps. In the beginning it was very much romantic. Jaye and I decided we didn’t want to have children. But we still got that urge to blend, to merge and become one. I think the heart of a lot of the romance in couples, whatever kind of couple they are, is that they want to both just be each other, to consume each other with passion. So we wanted to represent that. First we did it by dressing alike. Then we started to do minor alterations to our bodies. Then we decided that we would try as hard as we could to actually look like each other in order to strengthen and solidify that urge. So it was initially a very self-centered thing to do. But once we started to think about it, we realized that it was a bit like William Burroughs and Brion Gysin in The Third Mind, where they said the two of them together would no longer be the writer of the piece; it’s the two things cut up and being reassembled. That was the product of The Third Mind—the cutups. We thought if we used each other as separate artists, or individuals, and we cut ourselves up, maybe we could create a third entity, which is the pandrogene. So that’s very much the third being, a new state of being. Burroughs always used to talk to me about how you short-circuit control. And Jaye and I talked a very long time about that. And we decided that DNA was very much the recording—the tool of control. Perhaps even DNA is a parasite and we’re just the vessels at its disposal.
DR: Yeah, we used to talk about that. “Breaking sex” as the rebellion against the code of the DNA. Even death might be a DNA program and not—
GO: —a necessary one.
DR: Which formed the basis of Tim [Leary]’s and Bob [Robert Anton Wilson]’s ideas about life extension, too.
GO: So we decided to start approaching that and what that would do— what the effect of that was. Obviously, one way human beings have to change is to change their behavior, and change the binary system that’s been in place in all societies for thousands of years. So that’s when you get into evolution. You know, in the beginning, in prehistoric times, people were… This isn’t easy for me, because I keep just thinking about Jaye being dead.
DR: Well, that’s the thing; I mean, the real question under the questions we’ve been asking….
GO: The bottom line is that the human species has to realize the human body really is just a cheap suitcase. It is not sacred. We do have the potential to radically redesign ourselves, for better or worse. Our destiny as beings is to keep on evolving. It’s not to think you have reached a perfect state and all we need is new toys. The human species is still behaving in prehistoric ways on both the macro and micro levels. “If it’s different, attack it; if it’s other, attack it; if it threatens our resources, if it threatens our perception of how we replicate, then it must be eradicated….”
DR: So then instead of activism being this thing you do, it’s this thing you are.
GO: Or want to become.
DR: But, then, Jackie’s passing. Do you experience that on two levels, then? On the level of half of the pandrogene?
GO: Yeah. But I also experience it as a person who is fifty-seven and has been indoctrinated for most of my life to accept a binary world. And feeling a great sense of loss just in a romantic way, as an emotional person. Conceptually, I see that she has just broken through the final perceptual barrier. The human species won’t exist if it carries on replicating pointlessly. I think it’s very clear what we were concerned about when we began this, which was the ever-increasing polarization and reduction of ideas into dogma and paranoia, and this posturing that there’s a right way and a wrong way: I’m right, you’re wrong, and therefore I must attack you. And the whole idea of Pandrogeny is to make that irrelevant, and to bypass that. If we were all pandrogynous, physically and/or mentally, it would be impossible to be at war, because there wouldn’t be a sense of difference all the time.
DR: So does the project continue? You as a lone pandrogene?
GO: It’s not convenient. Because there are lots of things we had in mind that would use both of us in the projects. So I have to try and figure out ways to represent those ideas anyway.
DR: Or start on the new ones. I mean, gender may be an artificial duality perpetrated by DNA and all… but what about death? That’s got to be the biggest, baddest duality of them all. It’s not so very hard to see through gender as a social construction. An illusory divide, like you’ve shown. But death is entirely more convincing. We die, and the people to whom we’ve passed our genes take our place. Death feels like DNA’s last laugh, its final tyranny over us.

II. Performative Mash-ups

DR: I played our PTV3 record for a Rolling Stone critic who shall remain nameless. He said, “Well, it’s competent. But this song is a copy of the Doors, this song is a rip‑off of old Pink Floyd, this song is The Velvet Underground.” I always understood that we were emulating certain things about the Doors with one song, maybe, or emulating certain things about Floyd with another, but I didn’t see it as stealing, copying, or even as tribute, in the sense of some tribute band. PTV was “sampling” this way before samplers even existed. It’s not just mindless appropriation, is it?
GO: No, it’s a knowing cross-reference, because young people today don’t have any sense of the history of their own music. You can go down St. Marks to those record shops and mention the Doors and they’ll say, “What? Who?” They don’t know who any of these people are. They buy Interpol but they don’t know about Joy Division. [I’ve] always found it really suspect when musicians or writers act as if everything is divinely inspired and they’ve never been influenced by anything. It’s just all theirs. They’re unique. Brilliant. And, in fact, I’ve always felt that everything is a continuum. It’s important to serve as an educational foundation as well as just an entertaining or a conceptual one. So you cross-refer people to what did influence or inspire you. Every band that’s around today starts off by trying—consciously or not—to be like their favorite band at some point or other in its career. That’s how you begin.
DR: Without ever saying it.
GO: Absolutely.
DR: And without even knowing what influenced that band. Or, better yet, they try to hide the influence by camouflaging it or changing a few chords. They deny the influence because they’re ashamed of it—as if it undermines their claim to originality. Unlike, say, the Talmudic rabbis: whenever they would talk they would say, “Well, as the great Rabbi Eliazar said to the great Rabbi Hillel said to the great Rabbi Moshe…”
GO: Mm-hm.
DR: And only then would they add their own insight to the tradition. Acknowledgement of lineage makes the new contribution stronger and more pronounced. But in this culture of copyright and ownership and money, it seems as if claiming unique ownership is somehow more valued than claiming lineage or reference or heritage. To have been influenced might mean you owe someone some money.
GO: Well, for a start, you’ve got to remember that we grew up in the ’60s. There was a point in 1969 where we actually did light shows for Pink Floyd. We would hitchhike down to the UFO Club and the Arts Lab in London and be in the squats in 105 Piccadilly. That is my era, and I’ve been consistently creating music and art ever since then, without any break. So if anyone has the right to sound like or cross-reference their own era, it’s me. They seem to forget that we’re a ’60s band in terms of the person leading the band. And so we’re not actually plagiarizing, we’re merely being absolutely consistent with our origin, and actually deliberately directing people toward the more exciting parts of that heritage.
DR: And PTV predates computer sampling and mixing…. I mean, so the way you cut and pasted in that era was not by cutting and pasting tape of other bands, it was by cutting and pasting styles and sounds that you actually performed. It was a performative mash-up as opposed to a digital one. And for cutup to work, there has to be a loosening of our sense of ownership.
GO: Absolutely.
DR: And this reaches an extreme in an era of Napster and hip-hop and remix and even television commercials using pieces of songs reinterpreted by others.
GO: But we’ve done all those. We’ve already done all those. The only thing we never did was a straight-ahead psychedelic-rock band, which is my first love in my record collection. And, yes, it’s absolutely and utterly selfish to make an album that we really enjoy all the way through. So what? You know, we’ve always made albums for our own interest, anyway. The audience is somewhat of a luxury on top.

III . It’s all revolving around bathrooms again.

GO: In Phoenix, there was that whole furor about PTV playing in the bar, because I was transgender and he wasn’t letting anyone come into the club who was transgender. And that got mentioned on a little local newspaper site, and then I was getting phone calls from FoxNews and ABC. Same day!
DR: You would think that would be good for business, though.
GO: Well, not really, because the gig was the same night, so what you’re basically talking about is not being able to play exactly when we were going onstage.
DR: They were claiming it had to do more with the bathrooms, because they wouldn’t supply a transgender bathroom?
GO: Apparently, what happened was that at the first club, called Anderson’s, a few months before, one woman came from the women’s bathroom and said she had looked under the door of one of the stalls and seen somebody with their feet pointing the wrong way, which to her meant somebody who was transgender or a transvestite was standing up to pee. And she was appalled, shocked, outraged, and she complained. So the owner of the club then banned all transgender people from the club. Oh, of course, I assumed when he said “tranny” he was referring to transvestites, but there’s a difference. Transvestite is very different than transgender. Many transvestites who are heterosexual males feel that they have to dress up as a woman sometimes.
DR: Or would like to.
GO: Yes, or would like to. And transgender women identify as being female and would never stand up, no matter how far along in the change they are, because that would be strange to them to stand up, because they always sit down. So it’s really only about transvestites, it’s not about transgender people at all. So he banned everyone from the club, and then there was this little local scandal about it, a big story of was it violating rights to free expression and civil liberties and so on. And then they discovered Psychic TV was coming to play—some of the more active gay/lesbian/transgender people—so they started emailing us, saying, “Did you know that the club you’re going to play at has banned ‘transgender people’ and transvestites?” Of course we said no. Then one of the activists told the owner of the club, “Do you realize that you’ve got Psychic TV on tomorrow and the lead singer is a tranny?” So he of course was caught off guard and said, “I had no idea; I have nothing against transgender people, per-se.” So they said, “Well, we want to come see them play, but we’re not allowed to go! Isn’t that a little bit of a contradiction in terms? The singer can sing—lead tranny—but we can’t watch.”
DR: No, it’s like the old days: big black performers in the clubs that black people couldn’t go to.
GO: Yeah, it is very much like segregation. The whole thing. It’s interesting to me that it’s all revolving around bathrooms again, and the use of facilities, shall we say. So at that point the promoters talked to the owner of Anderson’s, and he said for this one night he would let me use his personal private bathroom. And that way the people in the women’s toilet wouldn’t be bothered, the guys in the men’s wouldn’t be bothered, and I would have somewhere to go pee. And I said, “Oh, that’s not appropriate.” He also said he would put armed guards in all the bathrooms to prevent anyone from misusing them. I said, “No, I can’t play under those conditions.” So then the promoters tried to find a new venue, and they found a new venue called The Sets, which is another club.
DR: Right.
GO: We moved all our gear over there, and we’d just started to load in around six. And then the promoter came over with the guy who ran the club and said, “We are ever so sorry, but you can’t play here tonight.” So we said, “Why?” “ Well, we’ve been getting phone calls, threatening phone calls from the extreme right-wing people in town, the Christians and so on. And we have also been getting phone calls from the transvestite/transgender/ gay/lesbian alliance saying they will demonstrate outside.” And it turned out that the club owner said that’s not really it, it’s that the people who own the building, which was a shopping mall, had rung him up and said, “If you let those people play they will take away [my] lease.” And the insurance company rang up and said they would close insurance coverage as well, because they were afraid there might be a riot because of this tension. So then we were suddenly stuck with having to move again, and by then it was around eight o’clock in the evening. And we finally ended up at a really run-down biker club. They were more than happy to let us play, but it was a tiny stage. I couldn’t even take my bass off, and Eddy had to play with three drums. It was not the appropriate space.
DR: Did people come?
GO: Oh, it was packed. And there was a really nice moment about halfway through. Because it was so packed—it had been 110 degrees that day, and everyone was drenched with sweat. So I just said, “You know what? This is when the whole gig goes topless.” So I took my shirt off, then the rest of the band did, and then about half the audience did.

IV. Coyotes and Kalis

GO: All the ways Jaye and I experimented with Pandrogeny while she was still alive, they all kept leading us to the fact that the human species is stuck in a primitive behavioral loop: underlying behavioral patterns that are still based on a sort of clan mentality from the Stone Age. That the male of the species protected the women and children because they were a resource that they needed in order to continue the clan, and how any other clan would steal that resource, literally, but also try to encroach on the food supplies and shelter and resources of every kind.
DR: In the current conversation, you’re either supposed to be pessimistic and ecological, or to accept the infallibility of human ingenuity and evolutionary capacity.
GO: But our evolution—mine and Jaye’s—is about behaving, it’s not about resources. The basic point is that in the very early stage of human existence, when we were fighting to survive the Ice Age and for survival against sabertooth tigers, it actually served humanity’s purpose for the male to be controlled by an embedded program to attack anything that threatened its resources.
DR: Anything other.
GO: Anything that’s different or other. That helped us survive! But that was a very different environment, and we haven’t bothered to change that behavior pattern at all. We’ve just made more and more incredibly complex and sophisticated and intricate environments.
DR: And natural selection is inappropriate in this situation because…
GO: …because there are so many people at risk for the sake of a few who still work with that basic template. And unless we change that behavior— which is based on a very polarized dualistic system and very much about using violence and intimidation to maintain a status quo—if we don’t change, then we’re doomed.
DR: So you change the self? Through external changes like breasts?
GO: It’s all to help the human species change its behavior. It happens because humans see themselves differently. That’s the thing. If you change the way you are physically, we all know that it changes the way you perceive things. For example, somebody who becomes a quadriplegic perceives the world differently.
DR: Just as someone who gets what are ultimately artificial breasts will end up perceiving things differently and being treated differently?
GO: This is what we felt was at least symbolically represented in the pandrogene: the commitment to absolute change, for the greater good and for the individual good. It’s the whole thing: change the means of perception and you change the world.
DR: Well, they definitely changed for the people immediately around you.
GO: Then I think it could happen on a macro level, and that level, too.
DR: Yeah. I mean, the funny thing—the thing I’ve always enjoyed about it most—was how it played with the minds of some of your hard-core fans. I always found the original group, the boys and girls calling themselves “Coyotes” and “Kalis,” somewhat sexist—entrenched in very stereotypical gender roles.
GO: Well, that’s not what it was about.
DR: But it’s certainly where a lot of guys, especially, took it. You were the most pierced, scarified, and scary person they had to look up to. For many, the neo-primitive thing was at least in part a form of daring machismo.
GO: It’s funny because Jaye used to walk down St. Marks Place with me and say what you were just saying, basically. She’d look around at all these people with their piercings here, there, and everywhere, and their tattoos, and she’d say, “I blame you for this.”
DR: And when we played that first Psychic TV show after you got the tits—to be onstage and see those guys’ faces when they realized they had to come to terms with seeing Gen like this. They had all been modeling what they thought was Gen’s, for lack of a better word, machismo. “Oh, he can stick a spike in his balls and survive…. But now the person I’ve been ‘modeling on,’ whose tattoos I have on my skin, is now crossing a boundary that is really frightening to me.” That was the greatest gift you were giving them, I thought. - www.believermag.com/


from http://www.arthurmag.com/

 As originally published in Arthur No. 2 (Jan 2003), with accompanying photography by Shawn Mortensen…

‘The whole planet is the museum!’

Author-theorist Douglas Rushkoff takes tea and talks shop with veteran mindboggler/conceptualist/artist/visionary Genesis P-Orridge, best known for his work as co-founder of seminal industrial outfit Throbbing Gristle and leader of neo-primitive-shamanic ravists Psychic TV

I met Genesis in the early ’90s in the Bay Area. He needed a lift to Timothy Leary’s house in Beverly Hills, and I needed an interview for a book I was writing about viral media. We spent about six hours in the car together, trying to impress one another with our strangest thoughts while Gen’s two daughters fought in the back seat.

We’ve been friends ever since.

I guess it’s about ten years later, now. I’ve gotten married, become an author and university professor, while Gen has been kicked out of the UK forever, gotten divorced and married again, replaced his teeth with gold ones, and done some other stuff to his body that I’d be scared to. Still, in spite of our outward differences, we’re on the same path, and often use one another for guidance along the way.

See, if you’re going to be an artist or writer or magician, you’ve got to navigate through some treacherous zones. If you’re not traversing new territory (or at least forgotten territory) then why write instead of just reading? And many of these regions and be culturally, intellectually, physically, and psychically challenging. Disorientation can’t be avoided—it is the rule. Panic is the thing you have to watch out for.

So, Gen and I have these long talks every month or so. Sometimes they’re data dumps, and sometimes they’re progress reports. This one is probably a little more the latter, coming as it does on the release of Gen’s new book, Painful but Fabulous: The Lives & Art of Genesis P-Orridge (Soft Skull Shortwave). —Douglas Rushkoff

Dougas Rushkoff (DR): Your new book has served for me as an occasion to look back on the history of cut-and-paste, as well as its tremendous influence on art and culture every since. Cut-and-paste can even be understood as a first, rebellious step towards the attainment of genuine co-authorship. From a broad, historical perspective, it seems to me that we move through three stages. We begin by passively absorbing the information that’s fed to us—the datastream. Then, maybe with the Protestant Reformation and the printing press, we gained the ability to interpret this information for ourselves, to some extent. Then, with cut and paste, we achieve the ability to take what’s been presented to us and move it around a little bit. We can create new meanings through transpositions of what’s there, but that’s limited, in a sense, to a kind of satire or self-conscious juxtaposition. And now, finally, with computing and the internet, with the ability to actually author what for lack of a better word would be ‘original’ material, now we move into artistry. But a truly interesting moment was that first cut-and-paste moment, that first moment of, “Okay this is being fed to us, BUT we can do this with it, or to it, and get something else.” I’d be interested in hearing from you what was it like to be part of that moment.

Genesis P-Orridge (G P-O): Well… The preamble would be this: in the early ‘60s, somewhat parallel to my becoming aware of the beatniks, I started to discover Dada and Surrealism. The first time I’d heard of cut n paste, I think was Brion Gysin giving Raoul Hausman and one or two of the Dadaists the credit as one of his inspirations. He said they would cut up words from one of their poems, putting them in a hat, and then they’d draw words out of the hat, and make a new poem. What had happened was that more emotionally based artists, the ones who were actually involved in feeling human as well as just glorifying creativity, had become very disconnected from the concept of linearity, the concept of Reason, all the material concepts of the world. They had just experienced the first world war, which had led to this Armageddon, this hell on earth, and this was their reaction against what they saw as that war’s cause: the misplaced celebration of Reason, the control over information and culture in society, the harmful repression of irrationality, which has backfired.

That’s really where the first step came, that disconnection from, and obsession with, a finished, perfect result that was ‘owned’ by the artist that made it. One of Brion Gysin’s greatest poems, which I didn’t understand until very recently, was ‘Poets don’t own words.” He would do a permutation: “Poets don’t own words, words poets don’t own, own words poets don’t” and it was only recently that I actually experienced it in a visceral way, that that’s been the big change. This is what you’re talking about: that we are blessed, or gifted, or pushed, by various events to deal with the information that’s coming at us, and that society and culture are, if you like, a solidity that’s based on the inertia and linearity. This solidity is oppressive, and in order to even begin to be anything one might label ‘free’ or ‘liberated, you have to, as Burroughs used to put it, ‘First you have to short-circuit control.’ Because control is ultimately an oppressor. Control really does contain all the feedback loops of consumer culture that you’ve talked about so astutely.

I’m know I’m going in a weird loop here, but basically the point is that during the middle of the last century, the idea of having to be an Artist who owned each thing fell apart. The Dadaists did live events. They did collaborations. They did The Exquisite Corpse, where they would do a drawing, fold it, next person would draw some more, fold it, and then the result was the art. And of course no one could say with any of these activities, ‘I did that.’ They all did it, but it also made itself. That process intrigued the more interesting artists from then on.

Now, it’s always good to look at what’s happening parallel to the art world in science at the time, whether it’s called ‘alchemy, or ‘science’ or ‘physics.’ Here, the big moment, really, is just after the Second World War, when we learnt to split the atom and we also learned to split consciousness with psychedelics at almost exactly the same time. Then you had people like Brion Gysin and William Burroughs learning to split the cultural atom with cut-ups in a much more methodical and conscientious way. Instead of it being a reaction against the Horror, it was actually a considered and very carefully and very meticulously observed process of… Well, in a sense they challenged themselves: How do we short-circuit linearity and control? Let’s experiment, and let’s be methodical, let’s CHOP THINGS UP—just like a scientist would!—and see what the building blocks are. And in their case of course, the thing to chop up would be language. So they started to chop up words.

I came in around this point, where suddenly it’s ALL up for grabs. I was born in 1950, so in 1960 I’m ten: my mind’s beginning to really think, make thought processes as well as just observe and absorb, and so I was really blessed in that the material world, the world of consciousness, and the world of accepted forms of writing and painting and music, all suddenly came up for grabs. They all became malleable. To many people, the rulebooks were thrown out. I don’t think it’s just coincidental—I think that it was a very important evolutionary moment, that we still haven’t fully grasped. As you said, it’s TOTALLY affected the culture on every possible level—on television all the adverts are just cut-ups!—to degrees that most people haven’t even considered yet.

I was being educated in an English public school and the basic bumper sticker for those is, We’re building the leaders of tomorrow. The ‘leaders of tomorrow’ were supposed to be the shepherds and farmers of inertia: to maintain the status quo, the Establishment. There was a book that came out that was called The Shock of the New. [pausing] Let me think about what it felt like. I’m just trying to track back. I remember, this seems weird to say this, I remember the Cuban missile crisis. I remember going to school, being told, You may not come home tonight because there might be an atomic war. And I was on a bus, with my face on the window of the bus, and I suddenly imagined the glass just melting around my face. I imagined there being an explosion, and the result of that being me, enfolded in molten glass, preserved in this shell of molten atomic glass. That image somehow simultaneously suggested the idea of preserving oneself, and that the shell that is oneself is invisible and transparent, and that in fact everything I’d been told about reality just wasn’t true. [laughing] Don’t ask me why that image made that happen for me! But that was my epiphany, and that was when I decided to seek out alternative methods of reporting upon experience.

In a way, I think that what we’ve always looked for is methods and media and techniques to report back upon what experience is and what being alive is. And as social life and civilization and Western Culture, which is what I know, as they have developed and become more and more complex, you would think that that implies we would be seeing some kind of shimmering atomic kaleidoscope that would be really vibrant and exciting, and constantly getting more complex. But the irony is that Western civilization seems to be more and more like threads binding rather than atomic splitting.

So what happened was, I was given a tape recorder by somebody at around the same time. Because I had very little tape, it just became natural to go back and use the tape more than once. It didn’t take long to notice that as I used it, I got these weird intersections of sound. So, on my own, by a mixture of poverty and desire, I discovered that I could actually change the order of time and reality and information. And it was exciting. I started to look for other ways of describing what I was feeling, because what I was being told was a description of being alive and reality just didn’t fit what I was feeling. As I said, I came across the Surrealists, the Dadaists and the Beatniks. At that time, it was not well documented that the beatniks were cutting up and pasting. But because of my own experiments and these little bits of information from the Dadaists, when I did see little references to tape recorder experiments, it had a really profound resonance for me, and I started to seek out all the information I could, and later on get to know the Beats too. And at the same time I started getting involved with all the underground press and so on.

What you really end up doing is, you surrender to the idea of oblivion. At some point you have to wipe absolutely clean every preconception that’s given to you both by the senses and by the culture—the ‘datastream’ that you talk about. You have to actually at some point dismiss it totally, and then you can start to make choices about what you wish to allow back in.

DR: I have always understood the kinds of shifts you’re talking about as the same kind of shift in perspective that occurs through a full-fledged renaissance. If you look back at the original “capital-R” Renaissance, what do you really have going on there? Perspective painting, successful circumnavigation of the globe, the printing press, calculus, and then the sonnet (which is really just an extended metaphor). Each of these 15th-cenutry innovations is all about being able to see three dimensions where there had formerly been two—or being able to relate two dimensions to three as in calculus, or being able to go around the globe, which is to experience the planet as three-dimensional rather than as flat. That’s renaissance . And we’re going through a similar shift, now. From the 1940s to the present, you have a series of analogous innovations. Instead of being able to circumnavigate the globe, we can blow the globe up!

G P-O: [agreeing] Or go into space and look at it.

DR: Indeed, or go into space and see it from a distance—which is just another increase in perspective. Instead of the printing press, we have the Internet, which rather than just allowing the individual in his drawing room to interpret a piece of literature, enables him or her to write one and then disseminate it through the whole network. Instead of just having perspective painting which allows you to see three dimensions on two, you get the holograph, which allows you to see four dimensions on two: the bird waving its wings, or the girl winking her eye as you walk across the plate. And then instead of calculus, which allows you to relate the second dimension to the third, or the third to the fourth, you get fractals, which is about fractional dimensionality: this thing has two and three-quarters dimensions, and what does that mean? Instead of the sonnet, which gave us the extended metaphor, we get hypertext, which allows us to make anything into a metaphor for something else—it’s all potential allegory.

Now, take a look at the results of the original Renaissance and the newfound ability of people to interpret their own culture and religion. For most of Europe that meant overturning the Catholic Church. It led to the Protestant Reformation, and eventually to bloodbaths. But before then, it was an extremely positive possibility being presented—that every man can interpret religion for himself.

And we are going through something like that again, obviously at a much faster pace, between say 1940 and the year 2000. That’s why we’ve had all these ideologies passing through until very recently—this increased amount of dimensionality, this sense of ‘Anything goes, so what do we want to bring back in?’ Which is what happens during any Renaissance. It’s as if a renaissance is a moment of shift in dimensional perspective which allows for the implantation of a new idea. Renaissance means you’re going to have a rebirth. Literally, a “renaissance,” or re-birth, of old ideas in a new context. What do we want to let back in? There’s a bit of a battle over ideas, over which ideas are going to make it back in now that everyone has the ability to re-frame this thing. Maybe what we’re in now, in the 21st century, is this struggle over authorship, this struggle over story, this global debate over narrative. In other words, whose narrative is going to be used as the template for the next several centuries or more?

G P-O: And of course the answer is no one owns the narrative anymore. That’s the thing that’s disturbing and frightening so many people, is the displacement of ownership in a very, very fundamental way.

DR: It’s a sense of ‘We won. But: uh-oh.’

G P-O: Well yeah, because even DNA is no longer a finite fixed program. DNA was once God’s book, you know. Well, now we can engineer the genetic book, the thing that’s the nearest we have to a source book of the ‘intended unfolding.’ There is no longer a fixed unfolding. For the first time we’ve actually almost surprised ourselves. Instead of us looking in the mirror, the mirror has literally dissolved. Maybe that’s what that glass was about! That metaphor.

The point you’re making is absolutely right. I was looking at the television just yesterday on the news and there was a person from a Muslim country and they were talking and they said, ‘Well you’ll never understand because you’re all Christian.’ And their assumption is still that the narrative in the West is ultimately a linear narrative that has an author, that its an unfolding linear story; and that if you’re not Muslim, you must be Christian, and that your whole behavior is based upon Christian dogma, because theirs is based on their dogma. So, for this Muslim, that’s obviously that’s the problem: it‘s Muslim dogma versus Christian dogma.

But the problem isn’t that at all. The problem is that we in the ‘West,’ are in their sense, amoral. We don’t care! Most people over here DON’T CARE what religion people are, and most people in the West don’t label themselves ‘Christians’ or anything else. The majority in the West are irreligious. They don’t have a faith. I’m not saying that’s a good thing—I’m saying it’s a fact. They’re a godless people. And in a sense, maybe, God is supposed to be ‘The Author.’ In the past, God was the ‘ultimate author.’ Well, guess what? We always said we wanted to challenge god and be like god—and now we have! We’ve just fallen, you know? [laughs] It’s as if the story of the fallen angel—Lucifer—has just happened. In a way, we’ve just started to reap the rewards of having decided to ask the questions.
DR: [agreeing] Right. Lately, I’ve started to wonder, ‘What if the painful truth is that we really are a fungus on a rock, hurtling through cold and meaningless space?’

G P-O: [laughs] Oh, I think about that every day!

DR: To me, it doesn’t really matter, because just as easily as the idea that God could have created us with meaning, is the possibility that just as life emerged from this cold and meaningless rock, and that meaning can now emerge…from us!

G P-O: I absolutely agree with you. This is our great opportunity to grow up as a species, and stop being larval. Because ultimately I think we’re still in a larval, primitive stage. Because there’s no other excuse for the way that we treat each other. If this isn’t primitive and pathetic and early behavior, then as a species we really are in trouble!

DR: And just as it’s a painful moment for any child to realize that his parents aren’t gods, it’s a painful moment for a civilization to realize that its god is not a parent.
G P-O: And that it’s actually making itself.

DR: Right. We are the adults here. We are in charge.

G P-O:Hence, it is painful—but fabulous. And that, in a way, is the whole point of the book. That’s why it’s not written just by me. This is dealt with in the book. What happened was, it became impossible for me to make a book that was both by me and about me, because I don’t even know if ‘me’ exists. And whoever ‘me’ is, is shifting and changing too—because one of things I’ve done is cut-and-pasted identity. I’ve taken it even further, you know?

DR: I ran into the same problem in my own SoftSkull book too [the novel Exit Strategy, published earlier this year], which is that if I’m writing a book about our ability to co-author the reality in which we live, how can I do that as a solitary author? So I had to put it online and let people contribute live to it.
G P-O: I think that’s one of the ONLY authentic and the nearest to an honest answer with any integrity is that you have to actually surrender to the fact that we’re in a moment where there is no need for genius to be individualized. Also, it’s not that healthy for it to be individualized because it continues this hierarchy thing. Hierarchical society means injustice, it means that certain numbers of people will follow other people and do damage based upon sort of an unthinking state of mind. So we’re at this amazing point where we have to actually say that no particular person has answers. It’s a collaborative effort.

You’ve always said, and we’ve agreed, that what goes on in art is usually the metaphor for what’s REALLY going on. So when you do an open source book, or I find it impossible to assemble a book about my art that isn’t done by a collective, at the end of it all I can say is, ‘Well, the art is actually the fact.’ Everybody did the book, and the rest is kind of the evidence that that happened, but that’s not the stuff. The pieces of art aren’t the art anymore. It really is the process of not just making it, which is the earlier idea that we had in the art world, but now it actually, truly is the process of Being that’s the only thing that really has any integrity right now.

DR: Talking the talk IS walking the walk.

G P-O: It’s just the classic conundrum which is, I’m using words to describe the fact that they’re useless. Of course, the response to that has always been, ‘But there’s such joy in talking about it.’ [laughter] And then you get back to the cut-up, of course. BECAUSE we’re so aware that, especially in a linear way, language has become this controlling factor–that every word is loaded with meaning and history, that each word is a hologram, and each hologram has all kinds of hidden agendas from all the people who have utilized it–

DR: Your language is an incantation, whether you realize it or not–

G P-O: Absolutely, so how you, at least to some degree, protect yourself and give yourself space to breathe and consider the moment, is to break those patterns that you’ve inherited, and surprise your own holograms. What I mean is this: From the moment of being able to hear words, my nervous system has been trained to an English language program in England, which of course would be different to my body and nervous system being trained in America with the English language. So I’ve got this incredibly inert, inherited, and not self-determined nervous system, that is on a day-to-day basis primarily it expresses and receives information with language, in terms of functioning with other beings. And that makes me very vulnerable because I didn’t pick that program or language! So how can I get some kind of independence from that program? It’s almost like doing karate with a blindfold on, rather than with your eyes open, because… If you’re in a cave, and it’s completely dark, and you know three people are going to attack you, and you have your eyes open, part of you is distracted by, still trying to see the enemy. But if you actually put the blindfold on in the dark, you wouldn’t think about seeing! And you might just hear that tiny bit better that might save your life.

It’s that kind of analogy, that the cut-up gives you that breathing space, in a sense a moment for survival as an intelligent and autonomous being. For me. So, if you take all the words and cut them all up and give yourself the opportunity to have these unexpected collisions, to have things revealed that you would just have forgot, filtered out, were lazy about and so on. It is just SO radical when you start to do it. The sense of empowerment and freedom from expectation…

DR: When you do it consciously—dis-assembly, re-assembly, compression—it’s almost identical to creating a sigil. [A sigil is a picture used in magical incantations. Like the symbols we use for letters, today, they are composed of drawings and symbols that are condensed into simpler sets of lines that can be remembered and meditated upon.]

G P-O: That’s true, and there’s a whole section in the book all about creating sigils, and some of the possibilities of them.

DR: The strange thing about the sigils is not so much hearing about them or figuring out how they function, but the almost-always surprising truth that they WORK.
G P-O: Yes. [laughter] This is mind-boggling, isn’t it?
DR: I don’t believe in magick, exactly. But I know that sigils work, if they’re created the right way. And sometimes they work so well that they almost come back at you as a joke. Like Grant Morrison was telling me about this big sigil that he wanted to meet Superman, and he was sitting on a park bench and Superman walked up. But it was a guy working at a convention! He treated him like he was Superman, though, and had a great interview. So sometimes it’s obviously not going to be that magical, in the sense of a puff of smoke or something. And obviously if you pick something too specific, you end up getting it, which can be scary.
G P-O: As they say, be careful what you wish for! It’s like the genie-in-the-bottle thing, isn’t it? You’ve got your wishes, except with sigils you get more than three.
DR: Right. And you can work sigil magick completely though language I suppose, but it affects realms way beyond the linguistic ones.
G P-O: Oh yeah. Well, it’s the whole Butterfly-in-the-West Indies thing, isn’t it? I think what’s really important is, if you make a decision to work within life, you let go of the scientific concept of matter being only objects. You see that culture is a material, and that language is a material, and that time is a material, and emotions are material. Basically you think of everything in terms of matter, and all matter is ultimately flexible, fluid, manipulatable and malleable. (Of course, as science and physics goes on, it keeps on confirming everything that we’ve speculated anyway. There’s not been any dissent yet about this, from what I’ve looked at in scientific.) If you start to cut things up and re-assemble them, at first it’s kind of fun. You go, Well ooo that’s nice. But it really does seem to be more than that—cut-and-paste seems to be one of the few practical ways that any person can use to truly re-wire the inherited neural system and the DNA program. You can re-wire what you were given.
DR: That’s why for me the open-source software movement is such a terrific allegory and practice for accepting the fact that we live in a malleable reality. Or certainly for accepting that a hell of a lot more of our world is programmable software than we’ve previously thought. There might be some hardware down there somewhere, but we haven’t got close to that yet. People are starting to accept that they have indeed been the programmers, whether they were witting or not, and that they’re actively programming the world we live in. I think it’s healthy for people to realize this. I think that then they start to experience everything—from their bodies to the air we breathe—as a medium through which they can create and transmit their story. 
G P-O: Absolutely. Well you know that Burroughs and Gysin used to say, In a pre-recorded universe, who made the first recording? I’ve thought about that a lot. And what it led me to wasn’t so much wondering about that question, because I think you’re right, it doesn’t matter, actually, but what it did make me realize is that the entire planet is a recording device. That, as you and I are speaking now, on this planet, there is, certainly it seems that way, and we’ll probably find more, there’s some kind of data recorded—whether it be fossils, geological strata—
DR: [laughing]: Or the digital cassette that we’re recording on right now.
G P-O: —basically everything that’s happened so far is still here, recorded. On the planet, and in the planet. And there are people in New Guinea living in different centuries to the ones we’re living in. The people in the Kalahari are living in the pre-Stone Ages. So we actually still have the pre-Stone Age, parallel to the next phase, which is, because some people in the West and Japan and so on, high-tech societies, are already in the future, so allllllll the realities humanity has programmed through history are still here simultaneously! We’re actually layering more on top. So what we really have is a point of intersection, which is the earth, and everything that’s ever been manifested is still here. That’s not just a concept, this is actually HOW IT IS.
I mean, I walk down the street and if I meet somebody that I know who’s from Nepal, I also quite deliberately through my own interest, I remember I’m talking to somebody who’s from a different century, in terms of where they grew up. That doesn’t mean anything in terms of their intelligence! I have to remind myself that there’s ALL these stories happening simultaneously, all the stories are unfolding simultaneously. Each individual being, walking by, is the center of their own particular universe, in terms of subjectivity. You’re the only person who’ll be in your world every second that your world exists. And your world is all the things you perceive while you are—theoretically—‘alive.’ And that is your unique universe, because you do go out into what’s out there just the same as I do. So this place is just amazing, because there’s billions of universe clustered on this point of intersection, and all the stories going right back are still here too! We have trillions and trillions of universes, many of them mobile, because they’re in human bodies, all clustered in these tiny, tiny concentrated places.
DR: That’s why the real artistic act is not one of authorship but one of resonance. You know, being open to these conversations…
G P-O: Yes, it’s remaining open to dialogue. It’s not about the ego—look at me, I’m a great artist, I have something in the Tate, you know? That is SO redundant. Museums? THIS IS THE MUSEUM! The whole planet is the museum! I call all of that The Museum of Magic, because it’s all about illusion. That’s the whole illusion.
We really are in a new place. And as people kind of grasped almost immediately, the Internet is, they knew it would be a metaphor, but it’s actually also a reality. Yes, we are actually building some kind of new brain. A global brain, as Howard [Howard K. Bloom, author of Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (2000)] would call it. That’s actually going on. These AREN’T abstractions.
That’s the thing that I think that we’ve got to get hold of.
DR: What words of encouragement would you have for the passionate but still currently amateur and underappreciated young artist who might be reading ARTHUR at this moment, who makes her cut-up tapes and homespun zines and online blogs, and yet there’s not anyone willing to pay for what she has to say, not that many people coming. But this person feels she’s resonating with everything that you’re saying now, or might be saying in one of your books…
G P-O: Well… In doing this book, I had to go right back to childhood and look at my entire unfolding so far, as a character. I had to look at everything. And one thing that immediately struck me as significant is that I’ve always worked in collectives. I’ve never had this need, or this motivation, to identify myself as the sole source of anything. ‘Oh, it’s because I’m clever that this happened.’ No. All the time I say, over and over again, we just did what was inevitable anyway. And that’s the important thing, is the people should LET GO of the concept of success and celebrity and fame and fortune. That’s not important. Of course we’d all love to have whatever it might be that represents for us–which is mainly not worrying about bills, for me! I think that although Warhol was wonderful, he did us all a great disservice by making celebrity into this red herring. And I think that people will find that if they just, as I used to say, ‘change your own bedroom and you can change the world.’ It’s about self-discovery and it’s about collaboration and collective action, WITHOUT any kind of narcissistic, secret agenda. That’s over. You know, sometimes someone for whatever reason happens to be chosen to represent a collective metaphor, as a person. That’s why I chose a fictional character, Genesis P-Orridge, in the first place. Neil Megson is the artist, not Genesis. Neil Megson created this fictional character, and then let loose that character to see if it was true that you could cut and paste a person, and what would happen if you put a truly flexible and malleable being out there.
D: But ‘Genesis’ is still the author of the book.
G P-O: Actually I don’t think it says that. I think if you look it doesn’t say that at all. It says it’s by everyone else.
D: Oh, right. “With text by…”
G P-O: Yeah. See?
D: Well, Neil’s not on there.
G P-O: No, but he’s discussed in one chapter. So no, I don’t put myself as the author. I’m not the author. I’m blessed to have let other people do it for me! [laughs] This is an open-source book, see? I said to everybody, Look you’ve got carte blanche for once, no one’s gonna censor you, you can use me as an excuse to say something you’ve always wanted to say, I don’t care, I don’t have to agree with you, use ‘Genesis P-Orridge’ the idea to say whatever you want, and if you need Genesis P-Orridge the idea to trigger something, feel free. And that’s basically how the book happened, as you know. And that’s why I love it so much. Because I got to see it happen too. I was just as much of a witness as anyone who reads it. And of course truly I do feel incredibly humbled and honored by the amount of positive energy that people gave me based around this character, that they HAVE found that something was useful for them. And at the end, the last page says, ‘To be continued.’ For the very reason that this isn’t over, this is an ongoing thing. I don’t know the end. That’s why there’s all these different faces in there. Which one is me? I don’t know. Funny thing is none of those is how I look now, so…
It’s all about letting go of those preconceptions, and not being afraid to not exist in a sense, because even as you are theoretically here and present, you still don’t really know if you exist. It’s incredibly liberating when you let go of that need, and let yourself become fictional–as well as knowing you’re fictional. Because actually we all are fictions. We’re all just stories unfolding.
D: And until you accept that you’re fictional, you don’t stand a chance of writing your own story. You get too bogged down.
G P-O: In answer to that question, then, with those people, right, that you want me to encourage them. However this may sound, this is the basic exercise I’ve used. First of all is the classic Sufi thing, which is ‘Always try to go to sleep feeling that the day you’ve just had, something extra was added into the word’—something that you’re proud of, or pleased about. It may be that you cleaned a room. Or you wrote a nice postcard to a friend. Or made a phone call to Mum. It doesn’t have to be grand. Something happened that day, that wouldn’t’ve happened without you being alive, something that is somehow to you a positive thing. Feed the dog, stroke it, whatever. That’s one thing to do. The other exercise is to be able to think at any moment during the day, whenever you’re doing something… like if you’re writing a letter, think to yourself, ‘If I died now, and my life was judged by what this letter is like, would I be proud of that?’ Do EVERYTHING as if that so meticulously, make it so full of passion and of love for the moment and for the thing that you’re doing, so that you would always be proud to be remembered by that thing. Whatever it is, whether it’s cooking for a friend, washing up, anything. To always feel honorable and proud and that you’ve given love back by the way that you act every day. 
 And then another exercise is this: Imagine your life is a book, and you’re going to write this book. So when you’re thinking, What should I do? Should I have this relationship or not? or something, you can think in terms of would doing that make for an interesting chapter. Even now sometimes I sit back with Miss Jackie and go, There’s another good page in the book. [laughs] The Theoretical Autobiography that I could never write because it’s too much stuff, but… It’s a good exercise, to just go ‘Well yeah, that was a good bit of the book.’ Sometimes it’s ‘Well that was dramatic, but that was a good bit of the book too.’ Or, ‘That was terrible, oh, argh, but it’ll look great in the book.’ Or if you want to get more contemporary, you can imagine your life as a movie: ‘Was that a good scene?’
Suddenly you will find more balance. The great ups and the great downs start to become the coloring of the story—they start to have their own special value and emotional joy, because it’s YOUR story and it’s your passion and it’s your tragedy and it’s your moment of adulation. It’s your moment of…whatever. All these wonderful emotional events that take place that make us more individual than anything else–those are always wonderful, no matter how hard they are to experience. And that’s the other thing, the other trick: always try to work with other people, because none of us know everything. My feeling is, if I can have one good idea, and it’s quite a good idea, and I know four really clever people, and then I share it with them, then the odds are higher by getting four clever people, or four people I trust, to be involved, it’s gonna be somehow better than I could do on my own. Now why do I need to prove I can do it on my own when it’s not gonna be as good or as useful to other people? The old way was, to try and claim individual genius.
D: That’s the academic’s way, at least.
G P-O: [continuing] But a), it’s not the most efficient method, and b) it’s not glamorous to be narcissistic like that.
D: [laughing] And c), it’s not as much fun!
G P-O: When I did Contemporary Artists (1977), I’d written these questionnaires to the thousand ‘most important’ artists in the last century, and they would write back, and one of the things asked was what were their influences. Most people would say ‘oh I was influenced by meeting this person or reading that book,’ but once in a while you would get somebody who would say, ‘Nothing.’ They would basically say ‘I am just so brilliant and I have this God-given talent that’s MINE ALONE, and NOTHING influenced me.’ That’s ridiculous! Everything that happens to us every second is influencing everything else. That’s the new way. That’s what we’ve taught ourselves.
D: Right, and to be open to that is to be open to being a great artist for this century, and to be closed to that is for an artist die.
G P-O: It’s also just being modern. There’s the old way, which is all about individual ego, individual power, individual self-gratification and so on. It‘s over. Just geographically, there’s too many people now. You’ve GOT to learn to get on with each other. We’re pushed up against each other, that’s why there’s friction right now. There’s a lot of individual universes clustered here, and they’ve got to start to not trying to keep maintaining that little separation, they’ve got to start becoming, if you like, instead of atoms and molecules, instead of molecules, something else. So, as we’re more and more able to go smaller in terms of what we observe with science in a literal sense, we have to, funnily enough, get bigger in terms of us as beings.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is an musician and artist best known as a founder of Coum Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and Thee Majesty. Coum Transmissions controversial installation Prostitution earned them the title “Wreckers of Civilization.” Throbbing Gristle is considered the first industrial band. Psychic TV hold the Guinness Book of World Records record for most albums released in one year.
P-Orridge studied magic under Brion Gysin and later co-founded Thee Temple of Psychic Youth (TOPY), a magical order cum Psychic TV fan club that evolved a life of its own. P-Orridge left TOPY and tried to shut the organization down in 1991, but some members continued on under the TOPY in spite of his protests. This organization is now known as Autonomous Individuals Network.
P-Orridge eventually co-founded a similar project called The Process in the early 90s.
P-Orridge and his second wife Lady Jaye began a series of body modifications with the aim of becoming a third unified being known as Breyer P-Orridge. Lady Jaye died in October of 2007.

Official Sites

Official site

Unofficial Sites

Wikipedia Entry
The Genesis P-Orridge Online Archive Extensive collection of interviews, articles, show dates, information, and ephemera.
Genesis P. Orridge Audio Archive

Recent News

Check the official news page for upcoming appearances, performances, etc.
Thee Psychick Bible: a New Testament is now available.


Short documentary Metropolis TV Can be watched in full.
Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye .


Selected collages from exhibit in NYC

Music videos

Caresse P-Orridge sings “Are You Experienced”
Throbbing Gristle “Discipline” live


Genesis P. Orridge on Brion Gysin in the Guardian.


Dangerous Minds interview part 1 video, Jan. 2010
Genesis P. Orridge interview pt. 2 on Dangerous Minds video, Jan. 2010
Boing Boing TV interview with Genesis P. Orridge and Throbbing Gristle May 2010, interview by Richard Metzger
Radar Magazine article and interview July 2008, first published interview after Lady Jaye’s death. Recommended.
Douglass Rushkoff in Conversation with Genesis P. Orridge (2003 and 2007) Two interviews, one conducted in 2003 but not published until 2011, the other conducted in 2003 for Arthur Magazine. Orridge talks about Lady Jaye’s death shortly after the fact in 2007.
Genesis P. Orridge on Soft Focus. Incredibly good video interview.
Audio interview from July 2007
Short interview in the Guardian Oct. 2006
Video interview on Throbbing Gristle Date???
March 2004 interview
21C Magazine interview by Richard Metzger 1998.
Excellent interview by Phil Farber on The Process and the end of the Temple ov Psychick Youth. From 1996.
Genesis P-Orridge, Hakim Bey and John Perry Barlow in Conversation (1993)


Obit for Lady Jaye by Jason Louv
My obit for Lady Jaye
My memories of The Process mailing list
Interview with Alaura O’Dell, of Psychic TV and Genesis P. Orridge’s ex-wife Nov. 2004
Review of a PTV2 show
Painfully bad Technoccult dossier on Industrial Records. Very first Technoccult article ever.

See Also

Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge
Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
Brion Gysin
William S. Burroughs

The Process Church of the Final Judgement dossier

PRIJEVODI, objavljeni u Zarezu:

Razgovor s Genesisom P-Orridgeom

Richard Metzger
Genesis P-Orridge, rođen 1950. kao Neil Andrew Megson, engleski je glazbenik (svojedobno protjeran iz Engleske, danas živi u New Yorku), performans-umjetnik, pisac i jedan od najvažnijih pokretača kontrakulturnih ideja posljednjih tridesetak godina. Performansi koje je kasnih šezdesetih i ranih sedamdesetih izvodio u sklopu projekta COUM Transmissions tematizirali su zbunjujuću problematiku prostitucije, pornografije, okultizma, serijskih ubojica, te uloge spolova i nejasnoće u muško-ženskim odnosima. Nako? toga, uslijedio je projekt Throbbing Gristle, elektronička glazbena grupa osnovana 1975. koja je – u smislu poimanja glazbe, performansa, opreme i uspješnosti – bila daleko ispred svog vremena. Tijekom osamdesetih i devedesetih pokrenuo je projekte Psychic TV i Temple of Psychic Youth koji su u osnovi prethodili rave-događanjima. Genesis je kumovao rađanju industrijske, post-industrijske i acid house scene. Zanimaju ga i tjelesne modifikacije te magijska i duhovna stremljenja. Sa svojom suprugom Lady Jaye?eksperimentira s krajnjim tjelesnim preobrazbama (nedavno si je dao ugraditi grudi)  namjeravajući stvoriti “pandrogeničko” složeno biće nazvano Genesis Breyer P-Orridge koje bi tvorilo njih dvoje zajedno.. U prosincu 2003. Genesis je pokrenuo novi projekt nazvan PTV3 nastavljajući se na rani rad Psychic TV-a, a jedan od članova sadašnjeg benda je i slavni teoretičar Douglas Rushkoff. PTV3 1. listopada nastupaju u zagrebačkoj Močvari

Opisujući vas, ljudi se često koriste pojmom kulturalni inženjer. U jednom izvanrednom odjeljku u vašemu djelu Poganska zemlja kaže se: Uvijek nastojte biti vješti poput najučinkovitijih vladinih agencija. Način vašeg života, razmišljanja i ponašanja mora biti jednako dobro promišljen kao što su to različiti postupci vlade. Riječ je o kampanji koja nema nikakve veze s umjetnošću. Jesu li vam glazba i umjetnost, motrene kao propagandni podiji popularne kulture, zapravo puka sredstva za ostvarivanje cilja? Vidite li u više od tri desetljeća svojega rada i povezanosti s različitim pokretima u kojima ste sudjelovali – poput performans-umjetnosti, industrijske glazbe ili rave-kulture – vidite li u svemu tome neku djelomice jasnu putanju?
– Želite li znati što je moj cilj? U osnovi, riječ je o slijedu: umjetnost – glazba – književnost – božansko. Smisao svakog mog projekta jest dolaženje do točke u kojoj će od nanosa svega što sam činio biti moguće sklopiti neku vrstu filozofijskog meta-FIZIČKOG priručnika za 21. stoljeće, koji će biti djelatno uporabljiv i ljudima poslužiti kao nadahnuće. Želim napisati doista dobru zbirku zabavnih i tajanstvenih ideja, koja će nekim ljudima pomoći da se pomire s čudesnom činjenicom vlastita života i iz toga izvuku istinski blagoslov. Život je zapravo jedina stvar o kojoj treba razmišljati. To je jedina svrha. Zašto postojimo? Zašto bitak jest? Postoji li neka svrha i – ako postoji – kako je ostvariti? To je jedini predmet rasprave. To je sve. Kraj priče. Zabava me, sama po sebi, zapravo nikad nije osobito zanimala! Ja sam fanatik, prisilni fanatik. Predanost projektu važnija mi je od svega drugoga. Mislim da je to nekim ljudima teško prihvatiti, a neki u to uopće ne vjeruju. Mislim, također, da se neki ljudi s vremenom jednostavno umore. Sve je to, međutim, posve razumljivo. 
Za mene, kao romantika, traganje za razlozima i dugoročni altruizam, metafizika, jedini su izvori kreativnog užitka i jedine stvari kojima vrijedi težiti; bez toga, ostaju nam samo... stvari. Malo je ljudi uistinu spremno posvetiti vlastiti život nekoj ideji i boriti se protiv država, vlada i globalnih kulturalnih shvaćanja, bez obzira na posljedice. Do samoga kraja. Riječ je dakle, o nastojanju bez ikakve financijske ili egocentrične naknade. Malo je takvih ljudi. Time, dakako, ne želim reći da bi ih moralo biti više...
Nadilaženje ljudskosti
Nakon što su William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg i Timothy Leary preminuli, vi ste na određeni način postali mudrim starcem kontra-kulture. Čini se da razvijeniji oblik DNK ipak nije proizveo velik broj buntovnih filozofa...
– Da, čini se da je tako. Možda je riječ o svojevrsnoj ravnoteži. Možda mutacija genetskog koda upravo tako djeluje. Volim misliti da će sljedeći izazov biti nadilaženje ljudskosti; kretanje prema pojavi nove vrste i prema vratima nepojmljivoga, bez straha ili očekivanja. To su vrata kroz koja želim proći. Zalažem se za promjenu i pustolovinu, i neću odustati.
Što više promatram svoju okolinu, to mi se više čini da su svi ljudi na ovom planetu tek iskre ili komadići većih bića, što dakako podrazumijeva postojanje VIŠIH BIĆA! Čini mi se da je postojalo dvanaest ili petnaest tih božanstava, tih nad-bića, koja su potom osmislila božansku igru, ili neki drugi plan kojim su prebačeni u pojavnu zbilju. Priča mojega života glasi: raskomadaj, izmijeni, ponovno sastavi i vidi što će se dogoditi. Ako se već tako osjećam i ako sam otkrio da sve uvriježene ideje o zbilji, nezbiljskome i djelovanju Univerzuma nisu točne, te da je Univerzum beskonačno gibak, promjenjiv i nevjerojatan... i, dakako, divan – ako moje sićušno biće uopće može doći do takva poimanja Univerzuma, onda bi nad-biće uzdiglo tu spoznaju na n-tu razinu nad-bića! A tko ne bi htio doznati što bi se dogodilo kada biste, poput nad-bića, vlastite teorije primijenili na materijalnom planu? Uvjeren sam, dakle, da postoji posve izravna veza između svih živih bića na ovome planetu i tih božanskih bića, da iza njih vjerojatno postoje nova božanska bića i, konačno, jedan Vrhovni Stvoritelj.
Zanima li vas situacionizam?
– Ne osobito. Čini mi se da je glavna poruka, to da je sve spektakl – umjetnost je spektakl, život je spektakl, itd., mislim da je to jasno svakome tko je promatrao ono što se dogodilo nakon dadaizma. Riječ je o potvrdi jednog pravca u kulturi koji je neizbježan i spreman da se dogodi. Često se događa da netko pronicljivim pogledom uoči to neizbježno, iskaže ga i time napokon pokrene nešto što je po sebi već posve zrelo. Bila je to izrazito francuska verzija, filozofijska verzija onoga što su drugi ljudi činili gotovo na?onski.
Ono što je cijelu stvar činilo uzbudljivom bila je zamisao prema kojoj umjetnost može biti obična majica, grafit ili neki stav; čak i nekoliko uvredljivih riječi upućenih razmetljivoj službenoj osobi mogla je biti umjetnost ili potaknuti neku vrstu promjene ili gibanja u kulturi. No, raspravu o tome ili pak moguću analizu tih zbivanja osobno smatram dosadnom.
Poljuljati svijet
Imamo primjer Raoula Vanegeima koji se odmetnuo od situacionista. Jednom prilikom im je poručio: Vi ste grupa starih prdonja. Pokušajte nadvladati vlastita razočaranja. Prestanite se uzbuđivati oko različitih činovnika i okrenite se sebi. Ne bi vam škodilo malo užitka i ugađanja vlastitim prohtjevima.
– Možda to ukazuje na promjenu pozornice na kojoj se odigrava neka moguća radikalna kultura, koja je dosad bila zakopana u prostoru ulične kulture. Jedna od stvari koja me privukla Fluxusu i mail-artu i razlog zbog kojeg sam nastavio s radom u bendu Throbbing Gristle bile su naljepnice i reklamni leci koje se do tada smatralo najjeftinijim oblikom grafike, najpriprostijim oblikom izraza – fotokopije, razglednice, majice, naljepnice, grafiti. Bio je to prostor u kojem vas nije sputavalo ono što visoku umjetnost čini visokom. Mogli ste odbaciti uobičajene obveze. Ništa se od vas nije očekivalo. Prošetao bih Hackneyjem i lijepio malene naljepnice na kojima je pisalo: Dovoljan je samo totalni rat. Polijepio bih te naljepnice posvuda i nakon nekog vremena doznao kako desničari misle da je riječ o komunističkoj propagandi, dok je Socijalistička radnička stranka naljepnice pripisivala desničarima; svi drugi bili su jednostavno zbunjeni i nikako nisu mogli shvatiti smisao poruke. Neki su mislili da naljepnice potječu od kršćanskih fundamentalista koji time nastoje upozoriti na približavanje Armagedona. Sve mi je to bilo izrazito zanimljivo jer nije postojala neka jasna naznaka cilja ili namjere. Bio je to zapravo način poticanja nekog zanimljivog događaja i traganje za reakcijama ljudi. Moram reći da sam još  o?aran time što sam uspio provesti svoj naum u djelo i vidjeti kako ljudi tumače pojedine napise ovisno o vlastitim predrasudama ili dotadašnjem osobnom iskustvu. U svakom slučaju, riječ je o jednostavnoj igri. Mislim da se jedina prihvatljiva definicija umjetnosti ili kreativnosti odnosi na to da se nešto banalno ili uvriježeno barem na trenutak ljudima prikaže u drukčijem svjetlu. Za mene je to najbolje objašnjenje koje sam uspio pronaći, i to stoga što ono ostavlja prostora za sve što čovjeku padne na pamet. Jedino što vam treba su alati. Nije bitno gdje ili što – bitno je da to s?uži svrsi.
Da vas na određeni način poljulja.
– Upravo tako. Ljudi postaju vizualno lijeni i više ne primjećuju vlastitu okolinu. Pretpostavimo da izjavim kako su najružnije zgrade koje sam vidio zapravo najljepše. Što se tada zbiva? Uzmimo, primjerice, neku razrušenu tvornicu – ona je doista zadivljujuća i nalikuje kakvu post-apokaliptičnom dvorcu; kroz tisuću godina bit će doista tajanstvena. Nakon kraće vježbe, čovjek može vrlo brzo izmijeniti vlastitu percepciju i čini mi se da sam to oduvijek činio. To znači svako jutro odbaciti postojeće navike, koliko god jednostavne one bile.
Mutacija već popularne platforme
Vratimo se Raoulu Vanegeimu koji zagovara ustrajno samo-udovoljavanje; pretvaranje situacionalističkog sukoba s kulturom u osobni sukob – snažno nastojanje svakog pojedinca da si priskrbi što je moguće više radosti i užitka.
– Ustrajno samougađanje mogu prihvatiti kao jedan od mogućih odgovora na pitanja: kako djelovati, kako živjeti i kako postati kreativan. Jedan od razloga zbog kojih smo se udaljili od performans-umjetnosti bio je razgovor što smo ga u vrijeme najvećeg razmaha prostitucijskog skandala vodili s jednim poznanikom. Taj posve običan čovjek rekao nam je: Sve je to u redu; no kada biste ušli u neki pub na East Endu i objasnili ljudima što radite, mislite li da bi vas razumjeli? Trebali biste pronaći platformu koja je već postala dijelom popularne kulture i onda izvesti neku mutaciju? On to nije rekao tim riječima, ali smisao je bio isti. Taj razgovor potaknuo me na razmišljanje o Throbbing Gristleu. Zašto ne bismo osnovali bend! Bio je to posve drukčiji i već postojeći prostor djelovanja, sa svim popratnim sadržajima – plakatima po ulicama i svakovrsnim grafičkim rješenjima koja su redom opravdana činjenicom da je riječ o najavi koncerta.
Sam format je bitno otvoreniji u smislu načina na koji ga treba promatrati. Kada odlazite u muzej, unaprijed vam je jasno što ćete tamo naći, kako ćete se osjećati i kako ćete reagirati.
– Uz to, već unaprijed znate kako izgleda djelo umjetnika kojeg ćete tamo naći. Iznenađenja su doista prava rijetkost. Gotovo nikad nećete naići na djelo nekog autora za kojeg ne biste mogli pretpostaviti da bi ga on mogao napraviti. Zabrinjava me to što su stvari toliko shematizirane... Riječ je o obrascu – zbog čega god da vas ljudi zapazili, nastavite to raditi, pa nakon dvije godine unesite neku sitnu promjenu, zatim ponovno nastavite s radom, pa unesite sitnu promjenu, i tako u nedogled. Ponekad je dovoljno promijeniti boju!
Tako stvar funkcionira. Warhola prepoznajete kad ga vidite, zato što je riječ o izrazito specifičnom stilu. Mislim da je najveće umjetničko dostignuće protekloga stoljeća upravo zastranjela, kaotična umjetnost, fragmentirano, zbunjujuće i izmješteno djelovanje. Primjećujem da ljudi sve više pozornosti posvećuju ranim sedamdesetim godinama – vremenu hepeninga i sličnih zbivanja. U to vrijeme ulice su bile preplavljene doista ekstremnim zbivanjima. Radili smo stvari koje danas ne bismo mogli učiniti. Uz brojne napade kojima smo bili izloženi, naše je djelovanje ipak poticalo dijalog. Iako su komentari često glasili: To je pomalo ekstremno ili Ne razumijem ili Sve je to pretjerano erotizirano, ipak su, ako ništa drugo, svi bili zbunjeni.
Odbacivanje vlastitih očekivanja
Jesu li se ljudi svojevoljno uključivali u akcije što ih je izvodio Coum Transmissions ili su jednostavno bili izloženi opasnosti da ih nešto pogodi?
– U samom početku moglo se govoriti o nekim elementima uličnog teatra i kazališnog sudjelovanja, pa su ljudi bili uključeni u većoj ili manjoj mjeri. Izvodili smo zvučne i kostimirane napade, ljudi su jurili prema publici, pa smo nerijetko gubili svaki oblik ograničenja. Bila je to u početku hackneyjevska kazališna tradicija, ali je ubrzo došlo do pomaka u smjeru stvaranja arhetipskih likova. Imali smo prostoriju za kostime u kojoj ste mogli naći gotovo sve što ste htjeli. Svaki kostim predstavljao je određeni lik i mislim da je upravo to privuklo ljude koji su sudjelovali u predstavi da se svake subote pojave na istome mjestu.
Jesu li to bili povijesni kostimi?
– Ne; bila je tu Harriet Straightlace, uštogljena Engleskinja u kasnim tridesetima, izrazito uvredljiva, aseksualna, u bogobojaznome smislu pristala žena koja je uvijek nervozna i prilično neurotična. Postojao je, zatim, Alien Brain – čovjek sličan beskućniku čiji je mozak bio sastavljen od dijelova radio-prijamnika i osoba koja je sve oko sebe promatrala kao potpunu nepoznanicu. Bio je tu, dakako, i klaun. Ljudi bi odabrali neki lik i odjenuli pripadajući kostim. Svi kostimi bili su skrojeni tako da ih mo?u nositi različiti ljudi. Od trenutka odijevanja kostima, ljudi bi cijeli vikend ostajali vjerni svojem liku. U kući, izvan kuće, u odnosu prema drugima, u odnosu prema sebi, u trgovinama – što god radili, ljudi su ostajali vjerni liku tijekom tog vremena. S vremenom su naučili reagirati sukladno tome liku u svim mogućim situacijama i pristupali su jedni drugima kao da su taj lik, pa je tako Harriet Straightlace uvijek bila uvrijeđena, ljuta i uznemirena zbog postupaka drugih ljudi, bez obzira na to tko je toga časa preu?eo njezin lik.
Je li bend Throbbing Gristle bio pokušaj da se ljude potakne na odbacivanje vlastitih očekivanja?
– Moram reći da niti jedan sudionik projekta Coum Transmissions nije imao formalnu umjetničku naobrazbu, čime smo pokušali pokazati da se ideji umjetnosti može pristupiti iz posve neprimjerenog smjera. U konačnici, htjeli smo uvjeriti međunarodni umjetnički svijet da je takav pristup posve valjan; da je doista moguće izmijeniti uvriježeni način dolaska do točke pokretanja umjetničke karijere. Samo pokretanje karijere nije moguće mijenjati, ali je itekako moguće izmijeniti način dolaska do te točke, učiniti taj put bitno manje konvencionalnim i time otkloniti predrasude što ih ljudi imaju o različitim ograničenjima – o tome što je prihvatljivo, a što nije, što jest umjetnički sadržaj a što nije, i tako dalje. Sadržaj je doista bio jedna od ključnih sastavnica.
Postavili smo sebi pitanje: Koji je to sljedeći kapitalni prostor što bismo ga mogli napasti? Odgovor je bio – glazba! Odlučili smo pritom ne biti tek još jedan intelektualni umjetnički sastav. Bit ćemo tipičan rock’n’roll bend, ali ćemo se u konstruiranju i poticanju neočekivanih sadržaja služiti spoznajama što smo ih skupili u svijetu umjetnosti, zadržavajući pritom privid izvornosti i uvjerljivosti.
Sviranje u kutiji
Ljudima se sve to gadilo!
– Da, radili smo stvarno svašta.
Možete li navesti neki primjer?
– Cijelu godinu posvetili smo sklapanju vlastite opreme. Zapitali smo se što je to zajedničko svim rock bendovima! Bubnjar u pozadini. Odlučili smo stoga izbaciti bubnjara. Što im je još zajedničko? Svi oni bolje ili lošije vladaju instrumentima. Dobro, rekli smo, onda mi nećemo učiti svirati! Tako smo pristupili glazbi iz najperverznijeg kuta i proturječili svemu što se smatralo primjerenim načinom postizanja bilo koje vrste uspjeha, priznanja, ili makar pozornosti. Nakon pet godina, stvar je uspjela, iako su se tijekom godina dogodile brojne promjene. Evo klasičnog primjera kako je stvar funkcionirala: pozvani smo da odsviramo nešto na promociji studenata arhitekture pri Udruženju arhitekata u Londonu. Nakon poziva, uputio sam se u samu zgradu kako bih smislio nešto posebno za taj prostor i otkrio dvorište okruženo s pet zgrada od kojih su dvije pripadale Udruženju arhitekata, a u njih se ulaz?lo kroz malena vrata u podrumu. Javili smo organizatorima da ne želimo svirati u dvorani ili predvorju, nego upravo u tome malenom dvorištu. Nakon duljeg razmišljanja, palo mi je na pamet da sagradimo malenu kutiju; taj plan nastao je u vrijeme mog djelovanja u skupini Coum Transmissions, ali nikad nije bio izveden. I tako smo sagradili kutiju od metalnih skela, pokrili gornji dio šperpločom i sve omotali nepromočivim platnom, pa se činilo kao da je nešto pohranjeno u dvorištu – kakva hrpa knjiga ili drvet?. Na dan nastupa, postavili smo unutar kocke videokamere namještene tako da tvore puni krug – prije sam, naime, primijetio da u svim dijelovima zgrade Udruženja arhitekata postoje crno-bijeli tv-monitori. Posebni zvučnici bili su poredani oko kutije i usmjereni prema nebu, umjesto da budu okrenuti prema zgradama koje su bile visoke pet ili šest katova. Nakon ulaska, zaključali smo vrata dvorišta tako da ste događanja u kutiji mogli pratiti isključivo preko televizora u zgradi, ali televizori nisu davali ni?akav zvučni signal. Sve što ste mogli vidjeti bile su četiri osobe koje nešto rade u toj sklepanoj i trošnoj konstrukciji. Da biste nešto čuli, morali ste se popeti na krov i pogledati prema dolje, ali onda niste mogli vidjeti što se događa. Došlo je do prave pobune. Ljudi su nas gađali WC-školjkama. Sreća da smo sagradili čvrstu konstrukciju. Nisam mogao ni zamisliti da će ljudi toliko pobjesnjeti zbog nemogućnosti da vas gledaju kako svirate.
Do današnjega dana nisam uspio shvatiti zašto ljudi nešto moraju gledati da bi u tome mogli uživati.
Približavanje apsolutnoj ranjivosti
Glazba Throbbing Gristlea zanimljiva mi je stoga što nije riječ tek o prostoru u kojem djeluju luđaci uključeni u sam projekt, niti o pukom izražavanju vaših osobnih opsesija. Bio je to prostor otvoren za same strojeve. Pokazali ste veliku osjetljivost prema strojevima i pustili ih da, na određeni način, sami djeluju. Niste tek stvarali glazbu, nego ste istodobno  slušali glazbu strojeva.
– Mislim da ste to izvanredno istaknuli. Bila je to pobuna strojeva. Mi smo, na određeni način, deprogramirali strojeve i oslobodili ih izvorne nakane njihovih tvoraca. To je zapravo nešto što me i dalje vrlo zabrinjava kada je riječ o tehnologiji, računalima, softveru ili glazbenoj tehnologiji. Netko je proizveo takvu i takvu opremu kako bi postala ostvarenje određene zamisli. Ona je time u svojoj biti nužno ograničena tvorčevom maštom, žudnjama, njegovim financijskim ili intelektualnim ograničenjima, ili pak ograničenjima kompanije u kojoj taj tvorac radi. Ulazimo, dakle, u tuđi svijet što ga je ograničio netko drugi. Vi zapravo ništa ne kontrolirate. Svaki put kada uključite računalo nemojte se zavaravati, jer uopće nemate kontrolu. Netko je napravio to računalo i to prema određenim ograničenjima i zahtjevima. Zato postajete ovisni o ograničenjima te druge osobe. Bio je to razlog zbog kojeg smo se bavili različitom opremom i njezinim učincima, upuštali se u vlastite eksperimente. Tako smo, primjerice, ostavljali glazbenu opremu uključenom po nekoliko dana, a onda su se počele događati stvari koje nitko nije mogao predvidjeti.
Čuo sam da su se i psi na ulici nekontrolirano okretali.
– Da, svašta se događalo. Ušao bih u kuću, kucao pisma, slagao kolaže i pokušavao dovršiti posao, a instrumenti su i dalje svirali svuda oko mene i mijenjali se. Ponekad bih jednostavno naćulio uho i pomislio: Vau, ovo je doista zadivljujuća buka. Tada bih uključio maleni kazetofon i snimio količinu materijala dovoljnu da me podsjeti na taj specifičan zvuk ili bih čak snimao desetak minuta, pa bismo kasnije svi zajedno radili improvizacije na određeni ton. Ton bi time postao podloga za nešto posve novo što inače ne bi bilo moguće učiniti. Mislim da ljudi to moraju imati na umu. Deprogramirali smo vlastitu opremu koliko god je to bilo moguće kako bismo joj priskrbili vlastiti individualni i kreativni život. Svaka konkretna ideja odvaja se od svojega tvorca čim je netko shvati kao zaseban i samostalan entitet.
   Mislim da se nikad nisam bavio nečime doista zdravim. Možda je to reakcija na pojave poput glazbenih programa VH-1 i MTV, programe koji pos?aju sve linearniji i sve komičniji u smislu u kojem je riječ o obožavanju popularne glazbe, pretvaranju te glazbe u umjetnost i konačnom preseljenju popularne glazbe u specijalizirane muzeje. Mislim da brojni ljudi, uključujući i one zaposlene pri spomenutim programima, smatraju da je došlo vrijeme kada bismo svi trebali biti otvoreni jedni prema drugima i kada bismo trebali reći: Gledajte; i ja ću odbaciti neke suvišne stvari, neke tehnike i neke zastarjele načine poticanja reakcija i traganja za neočekivanim. Došao sam do točke kada vam želim reći istinu o vlastitim osjećajima, iznijeti na vidjelo ono skriveno i ukazati na podlogu ili razloge mojih dosadašnjih postupaka... To je možda i jedini preostali način da se čovjek ogoli. Performans bi uvijek trebao biti svojevrsno približavanje apsolutnoj ranjivosti. Trebao bi biti intiman, a njegov bi autor – bez obzira na moguću namjeru ili svrhu – trebao biti intelektualno ogoljen.
Iznalaženja veze s božanskim
Pretpostavljam da je vaš projekt The Majesty  upravo takvo ogoljavanje?
– Dosad sam već načinio dva ili tri pripovjedna CD-a, i moram reći da ću se takvim stvarima uvijek vraćati. U svakoj prilici nastojim biti glasnik jednog svima nam zajedničkog iskustva, glasnik Jezika koji je stvoren upravo kako bismo mogli razgovarati o svim onim stvarima koje su nam zajedničke. To je doista jedina svrha jezika.
Sve što činim proteklih godina svodi se na pokušaj iznalaženja veze s božanskim, s veličanstvom koje nadilazi nas same, s nečime što nadrasta suvremenu kulturu, što nadrasta čak i cijeli planet, nečime toliko izvanrednim da je to jedino čemu se još možemo radovati. No, umjesto da ga privučemo k sebi i spustimo u vlastitu blizinu, zašto mu ne bismo pohitali ususret? Upravimo svoju pozornost naviše. Kamo odlaze sve ove riječi? Kamo odlaze sva ova bića? Što je nešto što može sačuvati glazbu tijekom pet tisuća godina? Koja je izvorna svrha glazbe? U koju je svrhu najbolje koristiti riječi? U našu obranu mogu samo reći da smo se naučili strpljenju – da vam ono neizbježno uvijek kaže kada je vrijeme da se pojavi. Do tada smo se bavili svime što ste ranije spomenuli – stvaranjem disonance, nesklad? s ustanovljenom zemaljskom kulturom; ali u jednom trenu shvatili smo da nam je zapravo potreban neki oblik metafizičkog iskustva, jedinstva, blaženstva i radosti. Sve to, prema mome dubokom uvjerenju, govori da smo apsolutno i krajnje obični, jer brojni ljudi osjećaju tu istu potrebu! Kada bismo mogli učiniti samo to da takvi zahtjevi budu legitimni, da njihovo iznošenje i rasprava o njima ne izazivaju nelagodu i ismijavanje, učinili bismo mnogo! Shvatili smo da je to naš cilj. Moram reći da mi je s tom spoznajom pao velik teret sa srca. Više se ne bavim kulturom. Bavim se idejom, središnjom idejom i time sam se zapravo oduvijek bavio, dakako u osobnim promišljanjima. Cijelo svoje djelovanje vidim gibanjem u pravcu duhovnog poimanja stvari.?Osjećao sam da tamo ne mogu stići a da se prethodno ne posvetim pitanjima socijalizacije i potrošačke kulture...
To je doista sve što želim – osjećati se sigurnim i voljenim, osjećati da posežemo za nečime što je puno veće od svega onoga što su nam rekli da možemo učiniti. Uopće nije bitno hoćemo li to nešto nazvati Veličanstvom ili imati materijalističko poimanje toga nečega. Čak i ako vjerujete da svi mi samo živimo, umiremo i ništa više – još može postojati neko Veličanstvo koje vrijedi pokušati dosegnuti. Vjerujete li pak da je stvar puno dublja od puke biologije, tim bolje. Tko zna? Ionako je jedini cilj koji vrijedi imati upravo stvaranje najtežeg, najudaljenijeg, najnedostižnijeg i najnevjerojatnijeg cilja.
U svakom slučaju, cilj projekta The Majesty bio je pokušaj povezivanja s nečime što uvelike nadilazi nas same... nečime božanskim. Od trenutka kada smo započeli s projektom, svaki dan barem dva sata provedem u meditaciji. Mislim da ću nakon višegodišnjeg vježba?ja biti sposoban napustiti vlastito tijelo i dosegnuti energetsku razinu koju vidim kao golemu, beskrajnu komoru – izrazito narančastu i žutu – pa je stoga i nazivam svojom Tibetanskom razinom.
Usprkos tomu što zapadnjačka znanstvena, mehanicistička objašnjenja takvih pojava još ne postoje – a možda ih nikad i neće biti – osobno smatram nespornom činjenicom mogućnost da čovjekov um napusti tijelo, susretne druge umove u prostoru svijesti, uspostavi komunikaciju i vrati se, zadržavši pritom sjećanje na komunikacijski proces. To je VRLO VAŽNO znati. Tibetanski redovnici doista izlaze, baš kao što i sam izlazim iz vlastita tijela i, što je još važnije, oni me mogu vidjeti dok to činim, ali ja još nisam dovoljno vješt da bih ?ogao vidjeti njih.
Mogu reći da danas iskreno vjerujem u reinkarnaciju, ali ne mislim da je sve to lako postići, jer je odgovornost koja dolazi kao posljedica bogojavljenja i susljedne mudrosti doista nevjerojatna. Život tada nije nimalo lakši; čovjek tada, na primjer, gubi svaku želju za bogaćenjem... To znači biti dobar i suosjećajan, usprkos čestom osjećaju odmaka ili otuđenosti od ljudskih bića.
Čovjek kao antena
Takav pristup vjerojatno mijenja i odnos između muškog i ženskog elementa.
– Dakako; svakovrsni događaji koje sam prošao tijekom proteklih godina opravdali su moje nastojanje na dokidanju binarnih i dualističkih sustava. Oduvijek sam smatrao da je podjela ljudskih bića na spolove jednostavno beskorisna i u tom smislu nema nikakva značenja. Danas, u vrijeme plastičnih operacija i trans-seksualnosti, kloniranja i svih drugih stvari, te granice – koje zapravo nikad nisu postojale – jednostavno nestaju, a s njima nestajemo i mi sami. U tjelesnome smislu, granice su izbrisane, a spol ?e posve razoren. Osobno smatram da je to velika i pozitivna promjena. Razlog postojanja muškog i ženskog leži, naime, u množenju, ali pritom uopće nije riječ o množenju ljudskih bića, nego o množenju DNK; u tom smislu, DNK je gotovo parazit koji tijela koristi za vlastito umnažanje i održanje pa je, kao zaseban čimbenik, neovisan o čovjeku kao vrsti.
Pitam se kako se osjeća gusjenica zaražena parazitima. Možda paraziti proizvode neku vrstu tvari zbog koje se gusjenica osjeća dobro: ona jednostavno ne shvaća da je nešto upravo proždire. Možda DNK čini to isto čovjeku. Možda zbog toga čovjek stari, a njegov DNK vječno ostaje mlad. Nema milosti. U svakom slučaju, često mislim – ne, često osjećam da sam tek golema nakupina hodajuće tvari koja služi kao ukras informacijama. Prisiljen sam postojati isključivo za dobrobit tih informacija. To nije osobito ugodna pomisao za jedan ipak homocentični um...
– Ono što nas kao bića čini bićima nalazi se u umu, u svijesti. Tijelo nisam ja – to je protežna tvar. Moj um ili, točnije, moja svijest i moje tijelo, gotovo da su dva bića koja se sprijateljuju zato što im to odgovara, ali to ne znači da ta dva bića nužno moraju biti međusobno prijateljski raspoložena, samo zato što se jedno drugome sviđaju – riječ je o pukoj simbiozi. Mislim da se naša vrsta dugo vremena množila kako bi preživjela. Nije se, međutim, množila kako bi stvorila divne civilizacije – taj zadatak preuzela je svijest, a ne sama vrsta. Naša svijest sposobna je održati se čak i odvojena od ovog ili onog tijela, a time se stvari bitno mijenjaju.
Je li riječ o nekoj misiji?
– Mislim da se moj put ne da svesti na jedan način viđenja stvari. Namjera mi je iznaći niz različitih pristupa, razmotriti ih i s vremenom postajati sve iskreniji u načinu na koji pristupam svemu što mi se događa. Moglo bi se reći da sam u tom smislu, svojevrstan istraživački model, antena ili pokusni kunić.
Snaga riječi
Govorite o razlici između čovjeka kao svijesti i čovjeka kao vrste. Smatrate li da postoji neka razina na kojoj riječi ulaze u našu ne-jezičnu svijest? Kakav bi u tom slučaju bio njihov utjecaj na nas? U tom je smislu vrlo zanimljiva pojava kada čovjek stvara osjećaje putem riječi.
– Uvijek se može govoriti o fenomenu hipnoze..., riječi su u spomenutom slučaju poput kanala u našu podsvijest. To priznaju čak i vrhovni svećenici zapadne medicine, iako pritom nisu sigurni zašto se to zbiva; valja usput reći da isto vrijedi gotovo za cijelu medicinu: zna se da nešto djeluje, ali se ne zna zašto; jednostavno se ne želi priznati da je sve na određeni način čarobno. No, vratimo se riječima: uvijek govorim o vlastitom JASTVU, jer jastvo je moja svijest – svijest koja traga i nastoji se razviti, učiti i promijeniti. Brian Gysin davno je napisao pjesmu o permutaciji koju sam pročitao i pomislio kako sve to i nije osobito zanimljivo. Pjesma je glasila otprilike ovako: U početku bijaše riječ / riječ u početku bijaše / bijaše li riječ u početku? Iako sam čitao pjesmu, zapravo je nisam slušao. Kada sam je potom izgovorio naglas, počeo sam slušati. Shvatio sam kako govori o riječi koju je izgubio, a ta riječ je Bog. Svaki put kada bih čitao taj dio Biblije, čitao sam ga s naglaskom na posljednjem pojmu: u početku bijaše riječ, a riječ bijaše BOG. A onda sam jednoga dana naglasak stavio na pojam riječ i pročitao: u početku bijaše RIJEČ, a RIJEČ bijaše bog i odjednom sam shvatio – naravno da RIJEČ bijaše bog, jer riječima stvaramo i opisujemo bogove, riječima opisujemo ideale, zamisli i utopije, izgrađujemo ih, a one postaju stvarima koje stječu vlastitu zakonitost i kontroliraju nas, a onda se sukobljavamo u nastojanju da te nevidljive riječi što smo ih izgradili vratimo pod našu kontrolu i, konačno, podvrgavamo se riječi, molimo joj se i preklinjemo je za naklonost... U međuvremenu smo posve zaboravili na proces izgradnje riječi, pa nas sada okružuju hrpe bogova što smo ih s vremenom izgradili...
Ali tako je teško šutjeti...
– Upravo zbog toga počeo sam drukčije gledati na riječi; pretpostavimo, dakle, postojanje nekog “Boga svih Riječi”, nekog bića, entiteta ili sile sačinjene od svih riječi koje se potencijalno mogu zgoditi na bilo kojem mjestu, u bilo kojem vremenu, u bilo kojem razdoblju i u svim univerzumima; zamišljam ga poput golemog uskovitlanoga galaktičkog oblaka koji se, pod bližim pogledom, raskriva sačinjen od sićušnih čestica, a svaka je čestica sjeme koje može proklijati u kakvu riječ ili zvuk; uskovitlane čestice razlijeću se u svim pravcima, padaju na zemlju i pretvaraju se u jezike. Ti jezici pretvaraju se pak u ljude što govore i pišu, ljude koji su uz to i živi.
Kako se to odražava na jezik?
– Riječ je o svojevrsnom upozorenju: pazite što govorite, jer bi se to moglo i dogoditi. Čak i kada je riječ o posve jednostavnim frazama poput čudesan dan – te jednostavne fraze sadrže nevjerojatno moćne ideje i ako se kojim slučajem vratite korak po korak unazad, pa iz različitih gledišta razmotrite značenje svake pojedine riječi, shvatit ćete kako svaka nova rečenica koju izgovorite nosi začudnu odgovornost, jer svakom riječju na slobodu puštate svakovrsna stvorenja, poput bakterija ili prijateljskih šala, ovisno o temi razgovora. Morate biti izrazito oprezni kada je riječ o stvarima koje oslobađate i razlozima zbog kojih to činite, zato što ritam i ton vašeg izlaganja mijenjaju značenje; pokazao sam to na poznatom primjeru iz Biblije... Riječima sam se vratio, uvidjevši njihovu golemu važnost. Smatram ih gotovo živim bićima s kojima stupam u određeni odnos, nastojim ih poštovati, izvući ih na površinu i vidjeti što te riječi žele saopćiti i učiniti uz moju pomoć...
Instrumenti vlastitih strojeva
Time zapravo postajete instrumentom; to mi zvuči pomalo urotnički...
– U određenom smislu imate pravo. Izvučene na površinu, riječi plutaju oko ljudi, a svaki ih pojedinac čuje na različiti način; time biva uspostavljena najviša razina komunikacije, budući da niti jednoj riječi ne namećem jedinstveni oblik.
Slušajući vaše nastupe s grupom Throbbing Gristle, stekao sam upravo takav osjećaj: Vi ste zapravo instrumenti ili pomagala vlastitih strojeva, a njihove duše izrazile su se preko vas.
– Točno tako. Još je bolje kada koristite isključivo riječi – sve je jednostavnije, čišće: riječi su puštene na slobodu i kreću se vlastitim putem. Možda je ironično raditi s riječima, jer je njihova moć doista golema, ali moram reći da tek nekolicina ljudi pristupa riječima na način na koji ja to upravo činim; istraživanje koje sam poduzeo upravljeno je stoga na korist svih ljudi koji možda nisu svjesni postojećeg stanja, a sve što želim reći jest: zaustavite se na trenutak, usporite i shvatite što se zbiva. Shvatite da je svaki povišeni ton upućen drugom čovjeku zapravo bomba sačinjena od riječi... je li to doista ono što želite? Što mislite kamo odlaze krhotine rasprsnute riječi? Nakon eksplozije, vraćaju se tisuće šrapnela i ranjavaju vas. Vaše cinične primjedbe djeluju poput otrova. Zar ne postoji neki drugi način korištenja riječi ili tišine, rad s riječima koji nikomu ne nanosi štetu? U svakom slučaju, prije nego bilo što kažete, zapitajte se što je to što zapravo želite reći!
Kako to mislite?
– Ljudi rijetko govore ono što misle. No, ako znate što doista želite reći, ako to kažete i podijelite s drugima ili zapišete, tada imate sve što vam je potrebno da to provedete u djelo.
Problem je u tome što je teško doznati što čovjek doista želi; iako je posve jasno da ne možemo imati baš sve, teško je među svim stvarima koje mislite da želite odabrati samo neke od njih...
– Uvjeren sam da svi znamo što doista želimo, a postoje i određeni načini i discipline koje nam mogu pomoći da shvatimo svoje želje. Nakon vježbe i zapisivanja, pogledat ćete u papir i reći: Ne, to uopće nije ono što sam mislio učiniti. Odluke koje donosimo velikim su dijelom posljedica osjećaja koji leže u pozadini naše svijesti ili znanja, a njihov utjecaj na proces odlučivanja nezamislivo je snažan. Riječ je o skrivenim traumama, čudnim obrascima ponašanja, emocionalnim kratkim spojevima, genetičkim i iskustvenim otiscima koji onemogućavaju sabrano i jasno djelovanje; ili nas gone u različite opsesije: čovjek stoga uvijek mora biti svjestan svog drugog života. Imajući to na umu, sve više sa navikavate na korištenje jezika bez ikakvih filtara.
Bojite li se ponekad?
– Jedino čega se bojim jest da neću imati vremena učiniti još više toga ili dovršiti svoje naume. Bit je u idejama i nadahnuću, u strasti i dobroti..., životu koji je prožet dobrotom. Istina je da u mladosti nisam živio dobrotu. Bio sam ispunjen vatrom, strastima, bijesom i frustracijama zbog glupog funkcioniranja svijeta: Jebite se! Hajde, ulovite me ako možete! Takav pristup neko vrijeme doista djeluje; to je razdoblje koje moramo proći, jedna gotovo biološka faza odbacivanja svega onoga što nam se predstavlja kao pravi put. Konačno, stvari postaju sve lakše, a s prestankom borbe povećava se užitak; riječ je o svojevrsnom taoizmu, o prepuštanju matici..., svaka je godina sve bolja i sve uzbudljivija... Uvijek sam smatrao da idem stazom duha, a to je jedna od ironija – nakon spolnih i svakovrsnih nadilaženja što sam ih poduzeo, sada razbijam formule i strukture.
Sve je holografski ustrojeno
Što mislite o ljudima koji danas stvaraju glazbu i nazivaju je tehno-glazbom?
– Nemam o tome nikakvo mišljenje, ali mi je drago da su eksperimenti što smo ih provodili tijekom sedamdesetih ostavili dovoljno traga, nadahnuća i – kao što sam već rekao – dovoljno sirove građe koju ljudi mogu proučavati, iz koje mogu odabrati određeni dio i učiniti ga vlastitim. Mislim da je to uloga svih umjetnika – ne bismo smjeli posjedovati vlastita djela; ona imaju poslužiti kao nadahnuće. To je, međutim, veliki problem na Zapadu.
Moglo bi se reći da sempliranje čini bitnu odrednicu mojega djelovanja. Uvjeren sam, naime, da je sve u osnovi holografski ustrojeno – baš sve. Uzmemo li za primjer riječi John Lennon, u djeliću sekunde u vašoj svijesti javljaju se Beatlesi, beatlemanija, ubojstvo Johna Lennona, serijski ubojice itd.; te misaone sveze protežu se u svim smjerovima; čitav svijet sadržan je u jednom paketu pa riječ John Lennon tako obuhvaća sve. Mogu reći da u tom smislu gotovo religijski vjerujem u ideju o holografskoj kakvoći riječi, zvukova, semplova, matrica ili izraza. Najjednostavnije rečeno, ljudi otpuštaju i primaju goleme količine informacija, a takve pojednostavljene, ogoljene rečenice, nerijetko su mnogo moćnije od bujica riječi. Tako, na primjer, izraz Čudesan dan stvara golemu sliku, a ja se poigravam upravo takvim golemim slikama.
Čini se da nemate neki određeni glazbeni stil...
– Da, to je nerijetko zbunjivalo glazbene izdavače; često su mi govorili: Kada biste napravili deset snimaka poput ove, mogli bismo osvojiti tržište! Mora li baš svaka vaša skladba biti različita? Dakako da mora – svaka priča je različita. Pretpostavka o glazbenom stilu koji odgovara svim mogućim pričama jednostavno je neodrživa, ako ne i glupa. Zvuk nema tek jedan mogući format. Izluđuje me činjenica da su zapadnjački glazbenici stekli slavu i bogatstvo radeći uvijek iznova jednu te istu skladbu. Ljudi, primjerice, kažu: Oh, pa to je Elton John – i to je uvijek Elton John čiji su tekstovi zakopani u njegovu eltonjohnstvu... to ne bi smjelo biti tako. Umjetnik bi trebao odstupiti i pustiti priču da sama govori, a glazbenik bi trebao naglasiti i ilustrirati priču. Ako u njoj i ostanu tragovi autora – dobro. No, svaki bi autor u biti trebao pokušati ispričati priču i riječima posredovati jednu ideju, dok glazbenik tu istu ideju treba unaprijediti i pojačati. S promjenom ideje, mijenja se i rezultat. Zar mi, dakle, svojim prigovorom izdavači žele reći da ti uspješni glazbenici imaju samo jednu ideju? Možda.
U kontekstu djelovanju prema svijetu treba reći da su brojne vaše zamisli postale dio masovne kulture. Smatrate li to znakom homogenizacije vaših ideala ili pak pomakom društva u cjelini prema stanju prosvjećenosti?
– Na žalost, mislim da je riječ o homogenizaciji, i to me prilično rastužilo. Šetajući sa suprugom uz crkvu Svetog Marka u New Yorku, nailazili bismo na mlade ljude u vojničkim odorama, s naušnicama i dredloksima, tetovažama i simbolima, a ona bi mi rekla: Ti si kriv za to! Užasnula me njezina izjava jer to uopće nije bila naša namjera, htjeli smo samo otvoriti novi prostor – potaknuti svakog pojedinca da se probudi, pogleda u sebe i izgradi vlastiti svijet. I to je zapanjujuće jer svi  ljudi koje srećete grade vlastite svjetove, i ništa više nije isto. To je doista divno jer neprestano doživljavate uzbudljiva iznenađenja – svaka osoba koju sretnete reći će vam nešto što ne znate, o knjizi koju niste čitali, o zemlji koju niste posjetili, o glazbi koju niste slušali ili o raz?išljanjima o kojima niste razmišljali. Zamisao ja ta da se treba otvarati sve dok ne posložimo zadivljujući kaleidoskop podražaja, spoznaja i međuodnosa. Sve te stvari pretvorene su u robu i upravo stoga je moje osobno putovanje bilo podređeno neprekidnom otvaranju. Ono se nikad nije svodilo na dokazivanje, nikada to nije bio poziv hej, pogledajte me... doživio sam otkrivenje! Poziv je prije zvučao hej, pogledajte kako se dobro zabavljam... zabavite se i vi! To je problem koji još nisam uspio riješiti, osim u unutarnjem  i osobnom smislu; preostaje mi stoga samo to da se nakon svake osobne preobrazbe i promjene predstavim ljudima kao netko drugi.
Stvaranje nove povezanosti
Čini mi se da ste se u vlastitim nastojanjima tijekom godina polako pomicali od prostora čistog spektakla, kojem pripada projekt COUM Transmissions, prema jasnijem prostoru individualne komunikacije.
– Imate potpuno pravo. To je pomak u pravcu intimnosti i ranjivosti; cijelo vrijeme tragao sam za trenucima u kojima imam osjećaj da razgovaram s jednom osobom i u kojem ta ista osoba ima osjećaj da razgovara sa mnom, za razgovorom između dvoje ljudi; cijelo sam vrijeme izlagao djelić onog što moja duša jest i nastojao poručiti ljudima da i oni mogu krenuti tim putem, da taj aspekt izrazite ranjivosti mnogo toga pojašnjava i pruža nezaboravno iskustvo. Mislim da društvo bez pripovjedača ne može održavati potrebnu razinu psihičke higijene i upravo smo svjedoci jačanja potrebe za pripovjedačima – za onim osobama čija iskustva postaju iskustvima cijelog plemena, bez obzira ne njegovu demografsku sliku. Danas je društvo toliko fragmentirano da se javlja cijelo mnoštvo raspršenih, raznorodnih i međusobno neusklađenih plemena, pa vjerujem da smo dosegnuli onu točku kada svatko od nas mora izraziti vlastite osjećaje kako bismo dobili dojam zajedništva i međusobne povezanosti. Internet je u tom smislu doista ironičan – riječ je o izrazito nejasnom konceptu koji naoko povezuje sve, ali zapravo nema neku vlastitu priču koj? bi ispričao, a time ni vlastitu toplinu.
Kada bih morao iznijeti osobno mišljenje, rekao bih da živite i uživate u svijetu beskonačnih mogućnosti; ne bih htio zadirati u psihoanalitički registar, ali možete li mi reći što vas je potaknulo na životni stil koji leži u korijenu projekta COUM?
– Ne bih vam mogao iznijeti neke – kako ste rekli – psihoanalitičke razloge za to, ali otkad znam za sebe prati me osjećaj silnog strahopoštovanja prema činjenici da sam živ. Divio sam se vlatima trave, ptici u letu ili nekakvoj buci – sve mi se to činilo nevjerojatnim i još je tako – u tom smislu nikad se nisam promijenio. Bio sam očaran tajnom, uzbuđen i, dakako, uplašen pa sam od samih početaka nakanio doznati što se zbiva. Želim doznati tko sam, zašto sam ovdje i postojim li doista? Postoje li druge dimenzije, što se zbiva među ljudima i zašto se ljudi tako glupo ponašaju kad za to nema nikakve potrebe? – to su pitanja koja svi mi nosimo u sebi. To je jednostavno moja narav i ne mogu si pomoći – potpuno sam očaran vlastitim životom i svime što se ?biva.
Često razmišljam o svemiru. Uvjeren sam da ima više od jednog ili da ima čak bezbroj svemira. Zamislim najveću moguću ideju, postavim je u određenu perspektivu i postavim si pitanje: Što bi uopće vrijedilo reći? Što bi vrijedilo činiti na ovome svijetu? I dok razmišljam sve šire i šire, stvari postaju sve intimnije; poput poznatog izrijeka: Kako na nebu, tako i na zemlji; riječ je o zrcaljenju..., simetriji koja me trenutačno izrazito zadivljuje.
S engleskoga preveo Višeslav Kirinić. Ovaj je tekst montaža nekoliko intervjua objavljenih na web-stranici www.genesisp-orridge.com

Televizijska magija

Temple of the Psychic TV
Priručnik za duhovno-magijsku uporabu televizije, čija će svrha u budućnosti biti prenošenje duhovnih iskustava. Naše ukupno okruženje, koje je nekad bilo Priroda, postalo je tehnologija
 Je li deifikacija i obožavanje tehnologije opravdana reakcija na automatizaciju ljudske percepcije? Tijekom Harmonijske Konvergencije, jedna sljedbenica New Agea ponijela je na vrh Mount Shaste svoje televizor i zaprepastila prisutne obznanivši da joj se na ekranu prikazao anđeo. Drugog je dana, uz svekoliku prisutnost medija, serviser televizora reaktivirao fenomen te ga objasnio kao običan mehanički kvar. Tisak i skeptici s radošću su sažvakali priču, no pravi je smisao ostao promašen. Koga je briga je li tu video-viziju uzrokovalo biće iz nekog drugog svijeta, nesvjesna snaga grupne volje ili kratki spoj! Nije li ljudska neurostruktura, preko čijih osjetila primamo podatke, složen sustav žica i osnovnih automatiziranih procesa? Spontane vizualne halucinacije nekad su smatrane isključivo ljudskim obilježjem.
Nužno je da će u budućnosti svrha televizije biti prenošenje duhovnih iskustava. Naše ukupno okruženje, koje je nekad bilo Priroda, postalo je tehnologija. Prije pojave judeo-kršćanstva, sve zapadne religije zasnivale su se na okruženju, što je prilično razumljivo. Danas kad smo prerasli manjkavi duhovni okvir koji se udaljio od načela fizičkog iskustva, zašto se ne bismo izravnije posvetili religiji i bili u dodiru s ljudskim stanjem? Zar zbog toga što se danas naša okolina stvara sama od sebe? Ah, ali to je samo udica za ovu svjetsku vjeru. Evolucija nam je podarila moć Stvaranja i Razaranja koju smo nekoć običavali pridavati našim bogovima; ili je možda tek počinjemo primjenjivati, latentnu u našim dušama, tu uzburkanu energiju odgovornu za rađanje svih naših duhovnih misli… I tako medij doista jest poruka.
Putem tih informacijskih i komunikacijskih tehnologija čovječanstvo je svoje najsubjektivnije unutarnje doživljaje iznijelo, umnožene, u masovni bazen perceptivnih podražaja. Time smo re-kreirali nadosobni gestalt za prihvaćanje bilo duhovne ideje krajnjeg Jedinstva bilo mreže kvantne energije moderne fizike. Živimo onkraj vremenskih dojmova; pripadamo jedinstvenoj Mreži postojanja. Drugim riječima, nesvjesno, ali vjerno, ispunili smo naše unutarnje stvaralačko načelo utjelovljujući njegovu bit i razvijajući je. Moglo bi se reći da su televizori i hi-fi uređaji u samo nekoliko godina postigli ono čemu organizirana religija teži već tisućama godina.
Zamislite video-tarot – izvediv čim nam postane dostupna tehnologija “miješanja” pojedinačnih sekvencija. Koliko će nam samo više korespondencijskih očitavanja i mogućnosti subjektivnih impresija trenutno ponuditi kratki ulomak s video-efektima, nego što to može mali snop karata? Zamislite tv-ritual (virtualnu stvarnost?). Smisao ceremonija sa stajališta duhovnih tradicija, egzo i ezoteričnih, jest pokretanje unutarnjeg doživljaja s pomoću vanjskih osjetila. Potencijal današnjih vizualnih medija da obnove tu drevnu transformativnu umjetnost, njihov tehnološki napredak koji omogućuje stvaranje gotovo svake slike, te njezinu opću dostupnost, očit je. A tehnologija će, naravno, i dalje napredovati i otkrivati nam nove putove.
Istina je da su ti komunikacijski sustavi danas većinom upravno oprečni prosvjetljenju. No oni nam pružaju neke rijetke mogućnosti. Televizija pruža nevjerojatne mogućnosti. Većina ljudi gleda je vrlo često. S evolucijskog stajališta to se može promatrati kao “uhodavanje” u neki važniji projekt. Danas se soba za dnevni boravak pretvorila u sobu za gledanje televizije, o čemu svjedoči to što se sjedeća garnitura te ostali namještaj prilagođava položaju televizora: objektivni promatrač vjerojatno bi pretpostavio da ta naprava već ima religijsku funkciju. Ideja televizora kao oltara nije nova, ali ponovo postaje važna. Pobožno se odnosimo prema našim video-uređajima kao što smo se nekad odnosili prema slikama bogova…
Dakle, možda se Kanal koji moramo naći nalazi u katodnoj zraci. Možda je to prava Mreža u koju se moramo uključiti, daljinski upravljač beskonačnosti; i dok promatramo iluzornu pasiju što se odigrava na ravni statičke radijacije, pitamo se – jesmo li i mi samo slika na ekranu?
Televizijski snijeg
Ovdje se iznosi uporaba televizora kao vrste nesvjesnog zrcala za proricanje. Takvo korištenje televizora i njegova uporaba u cut-up-postupcima, bile su dvije osnovne ideje koje su razmatrane tijekom ovog projekta. A još mnogo toga ostaje za istraživanje…
Važan zadatak suvremena magije je ponovno definiranje uloge duhovne primjene postojećih struktura. Naoko napuštene pojave, poput tv-snijega, magičar može ponovo iskoristiti. To je zona parapsiholoških grafita.
Dojam koji stječem promatrajući slike tv-snijega je da one tvore konzistentan jezik sa specifičnim slikovnim vokabularom, zahvaljujući ograničenim parametrima televizora (za razliku od strukture snova) i ponavljanju slika. Jesu li te slike zajedničke svim ljudima u posve različitim okolnostima?
U biti, namjestim televizor na kanal koji ništa ne emitira i buljim u “snijeg” pokušavajući se usredotočiti na jednu točku koja se obično nalazi blizu središta ekrana. Nakon nekog vremena, u snijegu se počinju javljati pokretni obrasci nalik na vrteće mandale ili goleme kolonije crnih mrava koji kružeći plešu prema svom mravinjaku..., na kraju počinjem uočavati nekoliko različitih slojeva stvari koje se događaju iza toga. Mogu se usredotočiti na bilo koji sloj, ali ne na dulje vrijeme. Previše je informacija, to je kao da gledaš pet ili šest filmova koji se prikazuju jedan iznad drugog (u slojevima) i pritom se pokušavaš usredotočiti na jedan od njih. Mogu vidjeti topografske pejzaže koji se vrlo brzo izmjenjuju, čini se kao da letim iznad kontinenta. Čini se da prevladavaju pustinje i oskudna vegetacija. Također vidim prizore iz svakodnevnog života: kuće, ljude, automobile i tako dalje.
Ambijentalna televizija
Ako televizija ima jedinstvenu mogućnost prodiranja u našu podsvijest, kako osoba može steći kontrolu nad njom? Jedno od rješenja je smatrati je trivijalnom. Stvari se najlakše mogu učiniti trivijalnim tako što ih se dovoljno često ponavlja. Televizor koji je stalno upaljen postaje namještajem, ne oblikom zabave. Hrpa televizora namještenih na različite programe čini usredotočavanje na jedan program nemogućim; oči lutaju od ekrana do ekrana. To se događa već u situaciji kada imate upaljena samo tri televizora.
Televizijski cut up
Ako imate kabelsku ili satelitsku televiziju, pokušajte brzo mijenjati programe. Montaža rezova koja nastane činit će se kao da slijedi vaš tijek misli, kao da nastoji pratiti vaš korak uzvraćajući simbolima: slijed asocijacija stvara most između vaših misli i protoka slika. Tijekom tog postupka gledanje televizije često postaje vrlo nabijeno emocijama. (Slušanje samo zvuka televizora, ne gledajući sliku, također može pružiti korisne uvide u kamuflažu televizijske kontrole.)
Počinjemo snimati određene reklame i dijelove programa koji, na ovaj ili onaj način, mogu biti parapsihološki poticajni. Video-rekorder pomaže u premotavanju vrpce te u montaži. Ako možete, nabavite nekoliko ekrana i pustite na svakome najizopačenije, najotkačenije slike koje možete naći na videokasetama te ih pustite da vam preplave sva čula. Što čudnije, to bolje. Dodavanje jednako čudne glazbe samo će pojačati doživljaj.
Televizija i video idealni su za metodu cut-upa (izrezivanja i nasumičnog spajanja, nap. ur.), s obzirom na to da uključuju i zvuk i sliku. Zanimljivo je međusobno zamjenjivati zvukovne i vizualne dijelove dvaju ili više programa te promatrati proturječne poruke koje tada dobivamo. Kojem ćete čulu pridati veću važnost?
I cut-up-montaže video-zapisa imaju veliku ritualnu vrijednost. Ako za nečime žudite, možete snimati različite televizijske slike te stvari. Kad “nahvatate” dovoljno takvih neobrađenih slika, nastavite ih rezati, povezujući ih nasumce s izvornim ili nasumce odabranim tonskim zapisom neke druge neobrađene građe ili, pak, s posebnim zapisom koji ste sami priredili. U to se može nasumce umontirati snimka ispunjenja vaše žudnje. Meni osobno važno je uključiti slike na kojima sam ja sâm jer videozapis tako postaje osobniji, a latentnu moć tehnologije oduzima velikim korporacijama i posvećuje je Meni.
Kad brzo izmjenjujete programe nastaje dojam sinkroniciteta (smislenog podudaranja naizgled slučajnih događaja, nap. ur.), odnosno osjećaj da su audio-signali koji se primaju na neki način povezani s našim djelovanjem i/ili osjećajima u Stvarnom Vremenu. Taj se osjećaj još više pojačava uporabom većeg broja televizora, kad slika dolazi iz jednoga, a ton iz drugog televizora – kad se slika zatamni i prebaci na drugi kanal.
Subjektivno prisvajanje televizije
Većina ljudi koristi se svojim televizorom na krut, pravocrtan način – uključi određeni program i pasivno gleda. No, ako televizor počnete promatrati poput zrcala koje se koristi u svrhu proricanja budućnosti i vračanja, vidjet ćete da veliki dio “loših vibracija” koje povezujemo s televizijom nestaje ili se čak pretvara u moćnog šamanskog saveznika. Cut-up-televizija je televizija kojoj je oduzeta moć kontrole, to je veliki biznis kojemu su odsječeni njegovi modeli kontrole, modeli putem kojih se manipulira nama promatračima/potrošačima. Uništavanjem tih modela možemo osloboditi valove njihove inherentne objektivnosti i prisvojiti ih kao subjektivan odraz naših vlastitih misli.
Jedan od najvećih prigovora današnjoj televiziji je to da ne omogućava sudjelovanje gledatelja: da je uspavljujuća jer gledatelju ne nudi nikakve izazove ili nejasnoće. Čak i složene situacije poput one na Srednjem istoku svode se na jednominutne priče. Metoda cut-upa pruža djetinje jednostavno sredstvo za uvođenje apstrakcije, subjektivnosti i dubine u medij koji je zloglasan upravo zbog nedostatka tih svojstava.

S engleskoga prevela Sunčana Tuksar.
Objavljeno u knjizi Stuart Home, ur., Mind Invaders, Serpent’s Tail, 1998

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