Posts Tagged ‘destruction’

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Some History of Piano Destroyers

March 7, 2018
Disclaimer: The content you are about to see contains graphic images of pianos being destroyed in different ways. Some viewers may find the following videos offensive. If so, you are not advised to watch the following.

 

*As one might imagine, there have been thousands of undocumented piano destructions all over the world. This list is a just a brief compilation of pianos being destroyed under different contexts/circumstances (artistic or not) and it does not represent an actual chronology of piano destruction. 

PIANO DESTRUCTION RITUAL: COWBOY AND INDIAN, PART TWO by Raphael Montañez Ortiz

“Participatory Performance. Background Sound Thunder and Lighting. The Piano is a powerful instrument of sound to convey the message of Sacrifice I wish to convey to the Universe. The Sounds of its Destruction gives full voice to Sacrifice: To the Destruction Creation in it cycle of Creation is giving us time to understand the preciousness of Mortal Life that it never be given up to or for Sacrifice of any kind… If we must have WAR send our PIANOS to WAR. If we must have VIOLENCE send our PIANOS to VIOLENCE, I dare YOU to HATE your PIANO to fill it with your HATE and BIGOTRY and Let Creation Know your PIANO’S Life does not compare to the Miracle of Life WE MORTALS are and that OUR PIANO is the SACRIFICE TO THAT FACT…As for the Egg and the Feathers they are the subtle aspect the preparation for the SPIRITUL BONDING with the PIANO: The Egg when it is held gently in one’s cupped hands and You imagine the worst aspects of Your Character and then crush the Egg on the PIANO you have committed Yourself to the surrender of those worst aspects to the Sacrifice the PIANO is… The Feathers placed on top of the crushed Egg are the signal to the Angels to carry the Sacrifice to a place of Spiritual Redemption.”

Piano Burning by Annea Lockwood. Festival PiedNu 2016

Annea Lockwood’s classic performance music work, Piano Burning (1968) was composed when she found abandoned upright pianos on the banks of the Thames River in London during the 1960s.

Busy Signals for 10 decomposing pianos by Paul Wiancko. Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, 2015.

Performed by Paul Wiancko, Emilie-Anne Gendron, Ryan McCullough, Elena Urioste, Ayane Kozasa, Charles Noble, Curt Spiel, Kevin Krentz, Meeka Quan DiLorenzo, Brittany Boulding Breeden, and Sonja Myklebust. Commissioned by the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival and premiered at the grand opening of Howard Johnson’s Piano Garden on Signal Hill in Twisp, WA on July 26, 2015.

The End of Civilisation by Douglas Gordon, 2012.

“I wanted to do something with a piano in a landscape of some significance and I suppose, as a Scotsman, there’s nothing more significant than the border. I thought it was beautiful to look from one country into another and I liked the idea that Hadrian’s Wall is, under a certain interpretation, a great end of civilization…  I was overwhelmed to be in a landscape of such beauty, and with such a huge unfathomable history.” —Douglas Gordon

PIANO DEMOLITION PERFORMANCE byMATTHEW BOURNE , SPATCHCOCK, LONDON, MAY 15, 2010.

“SPATCHCOCK’ nights were legendary: hosted by a community of extraordinarily creative people living in amongst the warehouses in Overbuy Road, London. Raucous, intense, powerful, FUN. As the evenings progressed, one could be guaranteed of becoming quite mashed-up, and continuing well into the following morning… SPATCHCOCK had asked if I would play an old upright piano – one they were looking to dispose of. Not wishing to pay for its removal, they asked that, as part of the performance, would I mind progressively destroying it… Armed with tools from Rupert Lees’s nearby workshop, I set about the task of a ‘demolition performance’. The video ends with an ‘encore’ performed off-camera, on another upright, elsewhere in the warehouse. The debris from the demolition was recycled, and fashioned into functional or decorative items by Rupert Lees; and the strung, iron frame, is still in use today, at Ellis Gardiner’s nearby studio.”

Yosuke YAMASHITA “Burning Piano 2008,” March 8, 2008 at Noto Resort Area Masuhogaura, Shika-machi, Ishikawa, Japan) Related Event of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa Third Anniversary Exhibition, Graphism in the Wilderness: Kiyoshi Awazu Exhibition.

“In the upcoming event, I will encounter an old piano built decades ago, otherwise destined to be discarded. For this old piano, I would like to perform a funeral requiem with the deepest love from my heart. At the same time, I would like my performance to pay homage to the 1973’s performance (this film work “Burning Piano” by Kiyoshi Awazu was presented in 1974,) as well as to Kiyoshi Awazu, the artist of richly experimental spirit who created it, and to all experimental avant-garde art movements of the sixties.” Text Via

fig_1.jpgLeonhard Lapin, Ülevi Eljand, Ando Keskküla, “Trio for Piano,” 1990, happening in Tallinn Art Hall, 1990. Image courtesy of the Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn.

One of the most well-known events organized by SOUP was the happening Trio for Piano, held on International Women’s Day on March 8, 1969, in the main hall of the State Art Institute. This event wasn’t called Trio for Piano initially (the name was given retrospectively by Lapin), nor was it – at least not unambiguously – understood as a “happening” at the time. There are no recordings of this event, only the memories of the participants and the audience, according to which this happening can be, cautiously, described as follows (keeping in mind that memories are rather fluid).

As the Art Institute had recently acquired a new piano, the old piano was donated to students who had requested it. According to Lapin, they had heard that pianos were being destroyed by young and radical artists all over Europe. The students were generally familiar with the phenomena of happenings and they had organized some similar events at the Art Institute and elsewhere. International Women’s Day was celebrated all over the country with performances, lectures, and other events, and the art students made their own contribution to this celebration. In front of an audience of other students, they put the piano at the center of their activities and played on it and with it in every possible way. For example, Künnapu played the piano while reading an architectural drawing as a “score;” others painted smiling lips on the instrument and “made love” to the piano before moving it to one side and breaking it into small pieces, which were thrown to the audience to take away as souvenirs. During the event the artists also considered whether the piano should be thrown out of the window onto the street crossing next to the art school, which was known as a dangerous place where a lot of accidents happened; however in the end, this idea was abandoned. The audience was excited and reacted to all of the activities energetically; the event was remembered many years later as a legendary disturbance, but it had no serious consequences for the organizers. Text Via

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a12Wiener Gruppe – 2nd Literary Cabaret – 15. 4. 1959. Porrhaus, Vienna. Friedrich Achleitner, Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm and Oswald Wiener.

Tthe evening (of 15th april, 1959) began as promisingly as the first one. As soon as the first spectator entered the auditorium we started to play the tape recording of an oil—extraction plant transmitted by loudspeaker, which we kept going for about three-quarters of an hour till the beginning of the performance proper. This created a technical atmosphere and made for nervousness in the crowded audience (there were about 700 people). Continue HERE

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Where do artifacts go when they are destroyed? | Journal #47 September 2013 | e-flux

September 7, 2013

Boris Groys
Becoming Revolutionary: On Kazimir Malevich

After all, what is revolution? It is not the process of building a new society—this is the goal of the post-revolutionary period. Rather, revolution is the radical destruction of the existing society. However, to accept this revolutionary destruction is not an easy psychological operation. We tend to resist the radical forces of destruction, we tend to be compassionate and nostalgic toward our past—and maybe even more so toward our endangered present.

Nato Thompson
The Insurgents, Part I: Community-Based Practice as Military Methodology
The US military is seductive and repulsive in its grandiose violence. But it is also a fruitful place to examine developing techniques for the manipulation of culture. Considering the sheer scale of the US military—with its colossal budget—it’s not a bad place to look for new ideas and new methodologies concerning tactics for “getting to know people.”

Amanda Boetzkes and Andrew Pendakis
Visions of Eternity: Plastic and the Ontology of Oil

If plastic appears irreducible—appears to be a constitutive basis, instead of having emerged from and subsequently effaced its earthly basis—then the challenge is to uncover what plastic so readily disguises. Plastic is a petroleum product that claims at least a quarter of all the oil extracted. More than this, though, it is through plastics that we begin to fathom the complete permeation of oil into every facet of cultural life.

Jon Rich
The Bachelor Century: Single Sinners Seeking God’s Job

A soldier in the battlefield kills indiscriminately—gunfire and stabbings directed at whomever happens to be present. In contrast, the target of the bomb in Hiroshima is entirely ethnic, akin to the way Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s chose his victims. It is a crime against the human race, or a part of that race, because the bomb acts without regard for the political views of its victims. To be murdered because you are American, or Japanese, or Kurdish, or Christian, or Muslim is fundamentally different from being targeted because you are a soldier.

Claire Fontaine
We Are All Clitoridian Women: Notes on Carla Lonzi’s Legacy

In the Italian feminist ultra-left of Lonzi’s time, a deep connection between knowledge of oneself—especially of one’s own pleasure—and satisfaction was regarded as the only way to reach autonomy. There was a vivid awareness that colonization operates through the mind and the body, and the only way to reach freedom was working on one’s own subjectivity.

Lars Bang Larsen
The Society Without Qualities

Money is the one thing that connects us and that we cannot truly have in common. In societies without qualities we can, in theory, have any number of things in common. However, after the decline of symbolic orders, it is an enormous effort to call them up and give them words and form. Remember, this is the desert of the real … So never mind good intentions, they won’t get us anywhere: when art addresses the future in (self-)skeptical ways, it refuses nostalgia and hope as sentimental compensations for an uncertain future.

Where do artifacts go when they are destroyed? | Journal #47 September 2013 | e-flux
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle
Editorial

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Eyes on Darfur: Mapping Political Destruction

March 6, 2013

Ishma, Darfur, before and after attacks in 2004-2005.Ishma, Darfur, before and after attacks in 2004-2005.

‘It’s been forty years since the first images of Earth from space were captured, but the sight of our planet is still inspiring. Now, Amnesty International is harnessing the power of these images and putting them to work for human rights. Thanks to high resolution satellite imagery, human rights advocates can now document abuses anywhere in the world – even in countries that are sealed off from on-the-ground researchers. All from 280 miles above the Earth’s surface. To make the Eyes on Darfur project possible, Amnesty International acquired commercially-available high resolution satellite imagery. The images were obtained in GeoTIFF format and imported into ERDAS Imagine and ArcGIS for viewing and analysis. The analysis of the images was undertaken by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to determine the extent of damage to the structures visible in each image.’

Via Eyes on Darfur

Porta Farm, Sudan, before and after attacks in 2006. Porta Farm, Sudan, before and after attacks in 2006.

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The Spirit of Terrorism

February 25, 2013

Not only are all history and power plays disrupted, but so are the conditions of analysis. One must take one’s time. For as long as events were at a standstill, one had to anticipate and overcome them. But when they speed up, one must slow down; without getting lost under a mass of discourses and the shadow of war (“nuage de la guerre”: literally clouds announcing war), and while keeping undiminished the unforgettable flash of images.

All the speeches and commentaries betray a gigantic abreaction to the event itself and to the fascination that it exerts. Moral condemnation and the sacred union against terrorism are equal to the prodigious jubilation engendered by witnessing this global superpower being destroyed; better, by seeing it more or less self-destroying, even suiciding spectacularly. Though it is (this superpower) that has, through its unbearable power, engendered all that violence brewing around the world, and therefore this terrorist imagination which — unknowingly — inhabits us all.

That we have dreamed of this event, that everybody without exception has dreamt of it, because everybody must dream of the destruction of any power hegemonic to that degree, – this is unacceptable for Western moral conscience, but it is still a fact, and one which is justly measured by the pathetic violence of all those discourses which attempt to erase it.

Excerpt from an essay by Jean Baudrillard. Read it HERE or HERE

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Ruin lust: our love affair with decaying buildings

February 29, 2012

As much-admired photographs of decayed Detroit go on show in London, Brian Dillon charts the history of a literary and artistic obsession with ruins, from Marlowe to The Waste Land to Tacita Dean.

Brian Dillon: Early in May 1941, the novelist and essayist Rose Macaulay was staying at the Hampshire village of Liss, attending to family arrangements following the death of her sister Margaret. On the 13th she returned to London – since the start of the war she had lived in a flat at Luxborough House, Marylebone, and worked as a voluntary ambulance driver – and discovered that her home and all her possessions had been destroyed in the bombing a few nights before. In a letter to a friend and literary collaborator, Daniel George, she wrote: “I came up last night … to find Lux House no more – bombed and burned out of existence, and nothing saved. I am bookless, homeless, sans everything but my eyes to weep with … It would have been less trouble to have been bombed myself.”

The loss of her flat, and especially the destruction of her library, had a profound effect on Macaulay: it was a decade before she completed another novel. In 1949, she lamented: “I am still haunted and troubled by ghosts, and I can still smell those acrid drifts of smouldering ashes that once were live books.” But her memory of the blitz also nurtured a fascination with destruction, decay and the ambiguous emotions conjured by the sight of buildings and entire cities reduced to rubble. In 1953 Macaulay published Pleasure of Ruins, a lively and eccentric history of the “ruin lust” that gripped European art and literature in the 18th century, reached its height in the romantic period, and had apparently declined in the first half of the 20th century in the face of wreckage that could not be turned to aesthetic or nostalgic advantage.

Continue article at The Guardian

The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins via Design Observer

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Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde: A Paradigm for Animal Liberation

February 17, 2012

This interdisciplinary study fuses analysis of feminist literature and manifestos, radical political theory, critical vanguard studies, women’s performance art, and popular culture to argue for the animal liberation movement as successor to the liberationist visions of the early twentieth-century avant-gardes, most especially the Surrealists. These vanguard groups are judiciously critiqued for their refusal to confront their own misogyny, a quandary that continues to plague animal activists, thereby disallowing for cohesion and full recognition of women’s value within a culturally marginalized cause.

This volume is of interest to anyone who is concerned about the continued—indeed, escalating—violence against nonhumans. More broadly, it will interest those seeking new pathways to challenge the dominant power constructions through which oppression of humans, nonhumans, and the environment thrives. Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde ultimately poses the animal liberation movement as having serious political and cultural implications for radical social change, destruction of hierarchy and for a world without shackles and cages, much as the Surrealists envisioned.


Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde: A Paradigm for Animal Liberation

By: Kim Socha
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2012, XIV, 258 pp.
Pb: 978-90-420-3423-5
€ 54 / US$ 81

Kim Socha is an animal activist and sits on the board of the Animal Rights Coalition in Minneapolis, MN. Holding a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism, she works as a composition and literature instructor with publications in the areas of surrealism, Latino literature and pedagogy.

Text via Rodopi

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Washer Tears Itself Apart

February 7, 2012

Motor Direct powered with a Yamabishi 10A Variac at 300V max. amp meter barely hit 6 amps at max load.