Monday, May 26, 2008

Alice Kemp and [not] Post-Neo & the Meme Riders @ Transmodern Fest

First off, sorry we're so far behind on our updates, it's been frantic trying to make preparations to move (all the bureaucracy plus the actual packing), get the festival itself ready, and convince people to tell us when they'll be here. BUT we are, slowly and surely, working on it.

SO: from some time ago, here's my report on Alice Kemp's performance as Madame Du Planchette de La Clocheat the Transmodern Festival in Baltimore back on 4 April. Though not precisely a FIDDLESTICKS event, it took the place of one that weekend and involved a great friend of British Post-Neo; an Anti-FIDDLESTICKS event, as it were...

Warren has written a great review of the performance for the Brooklyn Rail, read it at
I'll talk about it from the broader perspective of our Post-Neo & friends trip down to see it and to perform (though we did no end up doing so), and from the perspective of having experienced an earlier version of Alice's piece a couple years ago in the UK.

Warren & I originally went down with a dual purpose; the rare opportunity to see Alice perform in the States, and to launch the Right-Geist project with the Meme Riders as part of the festival. We ended up skipping out on both of our planned performances in silent protest but the trip was still worth while to interact with Alice's beautiful piece, and also to meet up with Krista Faist (who will be setting up a sound installation at the Anti-Fest here in two weeks) and see We Are the Seahorses play.

Warren, Megan Blafas (who drove out from Washington) and I had been asked to perform the same night that Alice was set up, but found the overall conception and the attitude of those organising the event to be everything we are striving for the Anti-Festival NOT to be: nobody will be asked to get off the Red Carpet here in New Brunswick (as Krista said, they'd apparently convinced themselves that it was ironic, but...), nobody will turned away because they don't have money, there are no pointless bureaucratic rules about guest-lists and coloured tickets and press passes, if you show up and we don't know you we'd love to meet you and see what you have to contribute, anyone who wants to record or photograph anything is welcome to. We will not shout at anybody who has made a trip all the way across the ocean to share something with us because we want them set up in another room. Etc. Etc.

Anyway. Our decision not to perform in this context, plus the irritating hipsters that constituted most of the goings-on, gave us that much more time to appreciate Alice's piece. After forcing our way through crowds of trendy 20-somethings and elaborately costumed Artistes stretching out lame jokes that made me ashamed to traffic in absurdity, we finally found the placard advertising Madame Du Planchette at the very back of the top floor, followed a long wooden hallway away from the hubbub, and at the end found her ensconced in a small room at the end, seperated from us by a curtain, dressed all in black including an opaque veil, with a set of bells and tuning forks laid out in front of her on a table.

I'd attended an earlier version of this piece at Dartington a couple years ago, and its effects were very different. There, the piece was presented on its own, without all of the background noise of the Transmodern, in a larger space with chairs ranged around it. One came specifically in order to see this particular piece, and the low hum of Kemp's microtonal music was the focus of the environment, its subtlety demanded that you focus intensely on the nuances of the sound, and that intense attention keyed everything else in the room, including Alice herself, to it.

This time, the noise of the rest of the festival largely drowned out the sound, and made it difficult to localise as part of this piece, so that the figure of Madame Du Planchette became the centrepoint. And, because she was part of a larger context with many other (mostly quite noisy) performers interacting in largely prescribed ways with the audience that was packed in, the expectations of most of the people who approached her were quite different and brought out a very different aspect of the situation.

We were no exception; I hadn't seen Alice since I left England and hadn't been able to meet up before her performance began, and had no idea how much she could see in the low light through the heavy veil, so I announced our presence with a whispered vim vom vim, which was met by the ring of a bell. Warren, Megan and I settled in to live in the space for a bit as several groups of people came down the hall giggling, peered in at her for a moment, then left, nearly every one whispering scaaaaaary... for some reason. We dug in our pockets for noisemakers and keys, using them as sparsely and subtly as we could to carry on a lovely kind of wordless dialogue with her that ended up lasting a couple of hours.

In the meantime more people made their way down the hall and stayed for varying amounts of time, with a wide range of different responses and modes of interaction (or otherwise). Some people clambered through the curtains and around the table, knocking around the space a bit and leaving; some people sat and looked at her absent face and listened closely for some time to the buried tones of the soundwork. Some people asked her questions, eliciting at most another ring of the bell. And as the evening progressed, a number of people felt compelled to offer her gifts of various kinds--one woman singing a plaintive cabaret tune, Krista offering her a drawing made by a kindergartener, and other things.

The fascinating thing about this development is that there was no direction given whatever; no verbal or posted indication as to how to approach the situation, as to how to interact, or even to indicate that one ought to interact. Each person who came to face Madame Du Planchette (the planchette is a tool for communicating with the dead) was faced with an absent face, with nothing, a situation whose protocol and significance could only be supplied by the person who herself had stumbled into it unprepared. Any response--from a need to give a gift or establish a human connection to a dismissal or an oooo scary as if the situation were merely a spectacle in which they themselves were not intimately implicated and interogated--was both a kind of image, an act of transference, and at the same time a mechanism (successful or not, socially responsible or not) to the condition of not knowing, of being suspended in a space wherein even confusion is ultimately an externalisation of the realisation of the limit of knowledge itself, which is Death.

* * *

As for the Right Geist portion of the festival, we read the following article, especially the direct quotes from the organizers toward the end dealing with their role in the gentrification of the community they were exploiting:
and were already considering skipping out. This portion of the festival was held on the sidewalks of nieghborhood that was being forced out; to make a long story short, when Nathan and Joelle arrived, we all took note of the many flyers pasted around the area calling for protests against forced evictions, talked to some local residents (including a wonderful man at McDonalds named 'Professor Wilcox' who talked to us about manipulating endorphins), looked at how the performances already underway related to the context and how the local people responded to them (there was no question as to who was local and who was a visiting hipster), and decided we wanted no part of it.

It wasn't psychogeography, it was rubbing salt in a gaping social wound.

So instead we spent some more time with Krista, picked up some free books, and headed home. Despite our disappointment with the festival itself (this was partly our own fault, we ought to have investigated the ethical underpinnings and organisation of this before we agreed to take part), it was well worth the trip to see Alice again, both performing and, briefly, as herself. It's been a long time, and the 2 hours spent in Madame Du Planchette's chamber was magical.

P.S.: while slapping my keyboard randomly as if I had fins instead of hands, I somehow produced the following characters: ∫ƒ˙Ω


Saturday, May 24, 2008


An hour ago we, the Post-NeoAbsurdisms New Jersey brigade, officially closed the deal on our new home, 131 Bayard St. The keys are currently burning chimera shaped holes in our pockets; we've tested them, they work fine, the place is fucking ours, and its bare walls are trembling with expectation!


MAY 31st! From 12-ish into the night!

Olchar and I will be uprooting ourselves from 221 Howard St. and moving all our precious belongings and anti-booty to 131 Bayard St. In the hopes of making the move as fun as possible, non-tiring, we're inviting you to help out in a Fluxus inspired Moving Event, a Move Salon if you will. This will be the first event at the new place! For the next week we'll be making trips over bringing boxes and smaller items so the remainder of whats left in our current place will be larger furniture and the mail art, collaborations, instillations, and sculptures that crowd our living room. In short, the heavy stuff and the fun stuff!

If you could lend us a hand on the 31st with a load or two that would be wonderful! We'll have a moving van for the furniture and files on hand so you can help us archive the work in our current living room/gallery. Tsubasa has agreed to document the walls before the work is archived and grandfathered into Post-Neo history!

We also had the idea of testing the noise levels that night at 131 Bayard. After the last load is installed, and once we've had some food and libations, and if we've got the energy, we'll break out a few noisemakers and have ourselves a mini-automatic noise action! This will simultaneously consecrate the new home of NJ Post-Neo and allow us to assess the volume levels we'll be able to get away with!

Come one come all,
Help us break in the new home of NJ Post-Neo!
If any of you have cars or vans that would be great too!


Two Festival Events have DATES! OH THE FIGMANITY!

SATURDAY JUNE 7th at 8:00pm - 131 Bayard St. New Brunswick NJ

2. A PNA CABARET (yet to be properly titled) with the British POST-NEOS!
SATURDAY JUNE 28th - 131 Bayard St. New Brunswick NJ

real advertisements to follow soon so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


That's right, just over TWO WEEKS until we move into the new place and the Anti-Festival finally begins! Which brings us to: Dear almost everybody, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us know when the fuck you plan to be here and what, if anything, you want to do! A lot of ideas have been thrown out there but without knowing when people will be here or what they want to be a part of, there's not much concrete planning we can do.

A few intrepid souls have given us CONFIRMED DATES OF ATTENDANCE, and a few others have let us know what general dates they're shooting for so that they can be penciled in. Those very helpful people, to whom we are extremely grateful, are: Angee Lennard, Alan Reed, Eleanor Francis Waterfowl, David Beris Edwards, Amy Oliver, Nick Hallam, and Edward Lense. We have added them to the OFFICIAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR as you will see below:

As people confirm dates we will update the calendar and keep it posted. More info SOOOON!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Post-Neo sounds and something or 'nother

So last night I randomly bumped into some dude with a guitar on Nassau Ave in Brooklyn. The conversation that ensued immediately had to do with music, and I followed him into a bar to watch him play a show.

After seeing his colour pencil flyer and a few beers I came up with the idea of having some kind of mixture between an acoustic show/performance-reading one of those days in June at Fort Post-Neo. I'm sure that'd include some guitars, some noise, some readings, etc.

How's that sound for people? From what I know some people aren't into the guy on a stool with the acoustic deal.

Some people that I could think of that would possibly want to do something: - Jesse from Brooklyn - Aaron Howard ( from Brooklyn - Stephanie Carlin from Long Island

& maybeotherpeoplefromaroundtownthatlikemusicorusingwordsandsoundsandpoeticsetc,etc.

Post-Neo Electromagnetic Modulation

On Saturday June 28th at 9am Eastern Standard Time tune your radio or aim your computer at WFMU and your ears will be massaged with the sweet sweet sounds of Post-Neo Absurdism!

That is correct, we will be on the mighty WFMU! Turning their "Listener Hour" into the glorious 60 minute sink hole of sound called FOB SLOP LYMPH AND A BEAN: The Post-NeoAbsurdist Miraculous Anti-Hour! Here we will present only the finest of the finer things, mainly consisting of Post Neo documents, recordings, and releases from far and wide, spanning all reaches of space-time.

Even though Olchar and Warren have a bottomless chalice that overflows with Post-Neo Absurist recordings, we would like to ask, that if any of YOU out there on the interwebs have something of particular interest, importance, or otherwise, send it our way. Please keep in mind 2 things while making your selections: 1) brevity is key, as we have only one hour to cram in as much nonsense as possible, and 2) that the government of this great nation does not tolerate naughty words on the radio so NO CURSING! Besides that, anything goes.

I completely forgot in my drug induced stupor (There is currently a battle royal in my head between allergies and a head cold) to mention the most delectable part of the Miraculous Anti-Hour, Audio Pudding!
And by pudding I mean a wonderful mishmash of this-and-thats, what-have-yous, and here-nor-theres ALLLLLLL created in by you and us! Send me, Reid, an mp3, 30 seconds or less, of your wondrous slop so we can bake a delicious audio pudding to finish off the show with. As said before, the only rule is no cursing! See the comments section for my email address and best of luck to you all!

Hear you soon,

Thursday, May 8, 2008



If you've enjoyed FIDDLESTICKS, you'll LOVE Cleaning it!

Let's not leave Tsubasa hanging after fucking up his studio every week for months! It's like a funeral for an obnoxious friend!

The more of us that show up the less screwed Tsubasa will be. And you don't want to do that to Tsubasa, do you? Arseholes.

AND we will order pizza AND bequeath relics upon you. Hooray!

There is no escape for you!

We'll meet together around 2:00 on Saturday at the L&FG and work from there. Stop by whenever you can, or give us a call. Thanks! Huzzah!

Love Always (and deeply--with affection, and sincerest regards for your mother),


Monday, May 5, 2008

Itinerary for Rad Meow

Preparations over in Russia have began with a few stray post-neos. If anyone would like to meet up with them, here is their apparent itinerary:

Subject: Itinerary for Rad Meow 5/7 - 5/11
Date: May 5, 2008 5:55:03 PM EDT
To: radmeow@*

Sir Meow,

Her is your itinerary for the following Wednesday. We will meet at a location yet to be determined on 5/7. See you then.


Flight from Vladivostok (VVO) to Moscow-Domodedovo (DME):

Departure: 5.7.2008 19:50 UTC/GMT +11 hours
Arrival: 5.7.2008 21:55 UTC/GMT +11 hours

Flight from Moscow-Domodedovo (DME) to Paris-Orly (ORY) via Dusseldorf (DUS):

Flight: #AB 8395 - AIRBERLIN
Departure: (to DUS) 5.8.2008 16:30 UTC/GMT +3 hours (MSK)
Arrival: 5.8.2008 18:00 UTC/GMT +3 hours (MSK)

Flight: #AB 8418 - AIRBERLIN
Departure: (to ORY) 5.8.2008 19:10 UTC/GMT +3 hours (MSK)
Arrival: 5.8.1008 20:30 UTC/GMT +3 hours (MSK)

Hotel Reservation:

5 Bis Rue Massenet
75116 PARIS
Subway: La Muette/Passy

Room: 5342 Standard
Persons: 1
Check-in: 5.8.2008 17:00 UTC/GMT +1
Check-out: 5.11.2008 12:00 UTC/GMT +1

Vehicular Reservation:

Paris 11 - Bastille
58 Bis, Boulevard Richard Lenoir
75011 PARIS
Tel: 01 43 55 35 05

Vehicle Category: D - Comfort
** Vehicle will be waiting for you in the hotel's parking garage, blue level. Keys will be provided to you once you check into the hotel.

Any inquiry you might have, please contact Kyle Sanchiz at