25 May 2010

Images: "Seemann..."

Dispatch from the previous century:

11 May 2010

Henry Thomas Sings the Texas Blues!

I'll let this link speak for itself: Recordings of Henry Thomas singing 19th century folk, blues, ragtime and more.

Born in Big Sandy, Texas in 1874, Henry Thomas was one of the oldest black musician who ever recorded for the phonograph companies of the 1920′s and his music represents a rare opportunity to hear what american black folk music must have sounded like in the last decade of the 19th century.
Download now and enjoy.

08 May 2010

Review: Rimini Protokoll's "Best Before"

Reposted from On The Boards, a loose review of Rimini Protokoll's show Best Before. I was curious to know if I had made any sense whatsoever, so I asked OTB to name the review for me....


In 1990, philosopher Peter Suber offered this observation: “If law making is a game, then it is a game in which changing the rules is a move.” Suber was not merely coining an axiom for the sake of his tenure; he was introducing a game he had invented called Nomic, in which passing, amending, and repealing the game’s own set of rules was its purpose. This was self-reflexivity at its most complex, and the creative intellectual destruction that accompanied each game was a wonder to experience. But like any laudably open and free set of laws, Nomic’s rules contained the seeds of its own potential dismantling. A system of rules designed to permit free and open action, can, even with the best of intentions, destroy itself. True freedom gives us full leeway to abandon it altogether.

Sitting through Rimini Protokoll’s delightfully cozy adventure, Best Before, Peter Suber’s quote stuck with me, and the idea that I might be partly responsible for the destruction of the very show I was experiencing was never far from my mind … or minds I should say. Throughout the duration of Best Before, I was always in two places at once – there was the physical me, sitting in my chair amongst my fellows of flesh and blood; and the digital me, the bullet-shaped avatar I navigated around a large on-stage screen using a generic game controller. It was the same for everyone there on Friday night: two hundred puppet masters sitting in the dark maneuvering their virtual surrogates around BestLand. We watched and cheered as our avatars got their bearings, made decisions about the future of our civilization, gained rank and stature, mated, and even voted for a president, all for the sake of keeping our collective civilization afloat.