I go out and I play to many audiences at night. There is the audience that comes because they want to hear their favourite songs, there is an audience that comes because they’re interested in the philosophy and the ideas of what you are doing, there’s many many different audiences. And I take it into consideration when I go out there but I don’t let it define what I do, how we do it, or what we are trying to do on any given night.
The Daily Show
19 March 2009
… Britain, the irony capital of the world, where sincerity, especially sincerity tinged with spirituality, is seen, at best, as uncool, at worst as downright embarrassing
15 February 2009
Dance Massive is on in Melbourne right now. I’ve been performing Inert with the wonderful Shannon Bott. In Melbourne the big dance company is Chunky Move and they make some pretty interesting (and quite diverse) work. Their work in Massive is called Mortal Engine and it has had a serious amount of publicity in town (I suspect they didn’t cycle over to their local Pilates studio to drop off some flyers). The main media quote Chunky has been using to promote the work is from the UK’s Metro review of Mortal Engine at Edinburgh Festival 2008:
The effect is terrifying, beautiful, unique and absolutely unforgettable
I have quite a strong memory of Mortal Engine getting luke-warm reviews in the UK in The Guardian, and in The Times. I just can’t figure out why Chunky didn’t run with “dazzling display of high-tech visual effects cannot disguise an emptiness inside”.
Now, this isn’t meant as a Chunky Bash (so easy to knock the people at the top of the pile in any town), and I am as guilty as they are in terms of ‘pulling quotes’ (although I don’t have a publicity department). It does, however, frighten me the degree to which consumer capitalism needs misrepresentation to feed itself. It is nourished by the generation of hype at any cost: in order to get your money our product needs to be thought to be better than yours.
I don’t want to play.
David Byrne being interviewed by the fantastic Stephen Colbert:
Colbert: I have a theory about artists … that they are afraid of being ordinary .. because they mistake ordinary for what is common between all people…. but artists think they can’t want that because it’ll make them like ordinary people.
Byrne: It’s a kind of neurosis that you have to be … that you can’t like ordinary things.
Here’s the link:
It reminds me of something I was reading recently about ‘cool’ – can’t remember where. About coolness being a non-place—a place of absence—in which the things one can’t do (in order to save face as a ‘cool person’) overwhelm the spirit of listening and attention, and the possibilities of what one can do.