A big thanks to Addictive TV, Amy Z, and everyone who made Optronica 2007 a big success. And to all the folks who came to see our show a the ICA London.
We had a great time, and were glad to meet so many super-xlnt people.
Addictive TV keeps getting better and better. If you get a chance to see one of their shows, do it! You wont regret it. Their stuff looked monumental on the massive Imax screen, and they played an amazing new remix of Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again”. I think this one could be a big hit.
I also got to see two killer sets from Exceeda. I had never seen their set before. Fantastic stuff. Xavier rocked the house with his Phantom of Optronica set.
Peter Greenaway performed a spectacular live mix of his films in the Imax theatre.
Ok, so now it’s out. My good friend Gardner Post and I are going to do a show in March at Optronica at the ICA in London. We’re pulling together some classic old footage from the dusty old archives, and mixing it together with some brand new material for a special one night show. I was thinking about calling it “Aged 15 Years”. But then again, I was thinking about naming my son Orange or Vector. And that went nowhere. Except that now he likes the name Orange, and even came up with a rhyme for it: Door Hinge. But I digress…
Optronica presents for the first time in the UK, Gardner Post and Brian Kane from the massively influential, but sadly no-longer, pioneering American audiovisual act Emergency Broadcast Network (EBN). The duo will present a sharp-edged set of unseen EBN work mixed with some new material.
EBN was originally founded in the late 80′s by Gardner Post, Josh Pearson and Brian Kane, all graduates of Rhode Island School of Design. In the early 90s they pretty much invented a new standard in the culture of AV remixing, video scratching and audiovisual sampling techniques. Post was also heavily involved in the spectacular set design for the band, while Kane developed the first known VJ software called Vujak, with the charismatic Pearson also working as front man for the group.
Their modus operandi was to take cable TV broadcasts and remix them with a funky beat, often having the lyrics ‘sung’ by half-second sound bites cut together. They gained popular acclaim after their involvement with U2′s ZooTV Tour in ’92 and later released their video album “Telecommunications Breakdown” in ’95 on TVT Records.
After Kane had left the group, they were later joined by turntablist Ron O’Donnell and video effects artist Greg Deocampo. All the team still pursue personal projects and here, for Optronica, Post & Kane perform together for the first time in nearly a decade!
Here’s an image of Gardner Post, Josh Pearson, and myself goofing around at the Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY, from 1990. We stayed there for 1 week as artists in residence, and made some great work. They had all sorts of analog video synthesis hardware there, and a device called a “Wiggletron” which was apparently built for Nam Jun Paik.
Here are three of our original EBN images from 1991. These were created for the first Lollapalooza tour. During the tour, we sold the t-shirts and vhs tapes (what’s vhs dad?). And we “toured” in the EBV (emergency broadcast vehicle), shown here. Interestingly, I made the t-shirts with Shepard Fairey of Obey/Giant fame. We made them at his studio in Fall River.
Here’s a copy of the original EBN poster which I created way back in 1990. This highlighted the Telepodium Launcher (TPL), which was built by Gardner Post and Josh Pearson. This was created for a local show, and unfortunately I don’t remember what it was. If anyone remembers, let me know. There was an extra layer of text on top of this image, but I can no longer open the original quark file on this.