first edition of my book on Laibach and NSK was launched exactly 10
years ago to the day at Vila Bled, Slovenia, in a hall used by Tito
for diplomatic receptions.
This is an
edited version of my presentation at the launch events in Bled and
all began twenty-three years ago in Trbovlje when posters briefly
appeared with a black cross and the word “Laibach”. No-one then
could have imagined we would be here today, presenting this,
but in the end time always catches up with itself. What would the
former resident of this place have made of this gathering and his
place on the cover of the book? Perhaps the situation seems even
stranger because this book is not by a Slovene author. What right
does a foreign author have to come here and present your history? The
same right that Laibach and NSK had to respond to the cultures and
symbols that intruded on their space. These artists took for
themselves a right to reply to the elements of their reality they
found themselves con…
Despite its undoubted cultural vitality, Glasgow has often had a grim reputation, especially south of the English border. Yet the very bleakness, exacerbated by epic mismanagement, aggressive deindustrialization and sectarianism has also made it a site of constant and sometimes tragically over-ambitious attempts at utopian regeneration. This can be seen in the now highly poignant film Glasgow 1980, which was already being quietly forgotten and surpassed by harsh reality even before the city had reached the year the film is supposed to depict. It poignantly promised a gleaming, post-industrial future in which "muscle gives way to automation."
Yet in between the completion of the film and 1980, the oil shock and economic slowdown shattered the dreams of its makers and backers. Relatively little of the utopian plans (which to some already seemed dystopian) was ever built and many of the hopes of the "white heat of technology" era came to nothing. Other buildings that …
I've been working intensively on the publication of Total State Machine a book on the history of Test Dept, which I've co-edited with the group and Peter Webb. I've also written the introduction to the book, which contains a wealth of archival photos and documents plus tour diaries, new texts and exclusive interviews. More information on the P.C. Press website.