For the past few years I've been working intensively with Test Dept and Peter Webb on a comprehensive archival book documenting their work and its impact. I've contributed an introductory text and two shorter texts on the group's work. Full details of the book and where to buy it will be available soon. Total State Machine will be published by PC-Press on April 23rd and this will be marked by a special event at The Ritzy in Brixton.
A premiere screening of DS30, documenting Test Dept's monumental 2014 installation and video project on the River Tyne will be accompanied by a selection of Test Dept archive
material on film and video. This will be followed by a Q
& A with founding members Graham Cunnington, Angus Farquhar and Paul
Jamrozy. Special DJ sets will be provided by Scanner and Shelley Parker.
I have a major new text, in this excellent collection edited by Marc James Léger. 'Sponsored by Self-Management? Re-Constructing the Context and Consequences of Laibach’s Monumental Retro- Avant-Garde' looks at the subject through the prism of pre- and post-war Yugoslav architecture and features rare Laibach illustrations.
On February 6th 1986 the NSK production Krst pod Triglavom (Baptism under Triglav) premiered at Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana. The production was the ultimate expression of NSK as Gesamtkunstwerk and signalled the partial embrace of NSK (if not yet Laibach) by the Slovene cultural establishment.
As it was only ever performed in Ljubljana and in Belgrade (at the BITEF festival that autumn) it is one of the most obscure and legendary NSK works, known of by many but seen by only a lucky few. Those who were not there at the time have to reconstruct it from photos in the Neue Slowenische Kunst monograph (1992) and from Laibach's lavishly illustrated soundtrack album. With a range of obscure references to Slovene cultural and historical material plus a ritualistic atmosphere, Krst remains mysterious, even with a knowledge of its contradictory sources (from Slovene paganism to the international avant-garde).
Tomorrow there will be a rare chance to watch a 15 min video excerpt of the production.…