Lost in Austin


A lot happening. This from Texas – mighty hot – where Sam, Joji and I are launching the finalised version of GuruGuru in Austin, for the amazing Fusebox Festival who commissioned the piece. The changes we’ve made have been much to do with gearing up the pace with a kind of pile-up style, quickfire dialogue which is really quite exhilerating to watch – we’ve sat in on a few test runs, but otherwise it’s quite frustrating, amusingly, to have to shut the door on a group of people experiencing the thing alone in the room. It’s interesting to think about how this piece might branch out at some point to include an outside audience. We’re not ruling anything out just yet.

I even thought yesterday about an experience I had 2 years ago at the ancient, wooden ‘Cyclone’ rollercoaster at Coney Island. When you get off, you find a photo of yourself, inevitably screaming in near free-fall, which you can buy and take home (on paper, T-shirts, mugs…). Thinking about a version of this for GuruGuru, minus the money-grabbing…

We have a Pontiac. We find ourselves driving around a lot, taking wrong turns on the highway, listening to hip hop on a radio station called Shade XL or something…

There’s so much I want to write about. Or rather, stuff i feel I should try and deal with. Like for example how much I loathed the Castellucci work at Spill Festival back in London. Try and straighten that out. Or how insane some of the language is in the papers these days, “suboptimal outcomes“, etc. Or perhaps I should try and cope with the idea of a pandemic on the doorstep here (already in Europe apparently). But I’m going to skip all that for now and just post this amazing video of Mos Def celebrating MF Doom’s lyrics.

Thanks to Joji for finding that.
Mos Def’s line from over 10 years ago still lingers… i radiate the place like an upright bass – he still does. And Doom’s new album is great. More rhymin….


One response to “Lost in Austin

  1. Did you see all 3 parts of the Castellucci trilogy? I thought Purgatorio had some moments of glory. The sombre mood achieved in the opening scene for example. The robot scene. Some of those set changes, watching the machinery of that industrial Barbican stage. But there were other things that wrangled. Shock tactics impress me less.

    I thought of you actually with the scenes where the dialogue is projected onto the gauze and he pre-empts the actor’s speech. It had an undeniable alienating effect which often resulted in rounds of audience laughter.

    For Inferno I sat in the front row. The smell of those Alsatians, ferile, testosterone, was overwhelming. Castellucci achieved something great in that dogfight. When the dogs left and he picked himself up. He stood there with an animal skin on his back. It was a riveting transformation. Sadly, they made nothing of it. That’s the problem with much of the Inferno for me. It was a pastiche of eye candy. Sensory titillation. I felt that Purgatorio redeemed that somewhat.

    I didn’t see Paradiso, the short installation piece. I would like to know what that consisted of. I hope everything went well in Texas. It certainly sounds like you had a great time.

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