Starting tomorrow and running for the next month, I’ll be showing work in the gallery of the Seoul Design Foundation, with my RCA colleague Alan Ambrose and Korean designers Jaemyung Lee and Hyobin Jung,Â as part of an exhibition of proposed interventions in Dongdaemun Market.Â The project that we’re exhibiting is a prototype of a modern-day update of the Shinmungo, a huge drum invented by King Taejong in 1401.Â Rock out to some samul nori to set the mood:
Taejong did all the usual asshole king stuff (like murdering his brothers), and was generally enough of a dick that even his own dad eventually tried to kill him.Â As power-hungry maniacs go, however, he had quite a populist streak, and he kept a massive “Drum of Justice” (Shinmungo) outside his court that commoners could bang on if they wanted to get his attention to complain about something.Â Today, the need for direct communication channels from the public to authorities is more urgent than ever before: modern societies are way bigger and more complex than Taejong’s Korea, and modern governments exert way more control over their citizens than any medieval monarch could have dreamed of.Â Obviously that problem demands a much more serious solution than a big drum that amplifies citizen complaints, but I’ll be happy if we can just get SDF visitors to think about that instead of what’s usually on display.Â (That’s a stationery holder, by the way.)
If you happen to be in Seoul tomorrow (Friday) night, come by the opening: it’s 6-9PM here.Â The SDF people don’t know it yet, but I’m bringing makgeolli for everyone.
If you’re not a fan of this woman by now, you better explain yourself.
When I talked to Ripley a couple weeks ago in Amsterdam she’d just played a show the night before, where I’d shaken my ass so hard that by the time we actually met up I was too exhausted to piece together a proper sentence.Â That didn’t stop her from being wonderfully articulate, of course.Â Read a bit of our conversation on the Fader blog: http://www.thefader.com/2011/11/23/interview-dj-ripley/
And check her out in action:
So far my 2011 has been a year of playing out in odd venues.Â After a spate of guerrilla gigs in machine rooms and lab spaces around Boston, my first DJ appearance in London landed me at an anarchist party in the docklands.Â Location: a disused boxing club across the street from the former hideout of the Situationist International.Â Dress code: “Things that shouldn’t go together — and don’t,” exemplified by a prevalence of latex+tweed outfits and one flasher in a jilbaab. As though anarchists in the docklands weren’t contradiction enough.
The hosts of the party were – of course – the Space Hijackers, a squad of self-styled “anarchitects” who have spent the last twelve years executing increasingly in-your-face actions to reclaim London’s public space.Â Most recently they made headlines from BoingBoing to the BBC World Service for launching a fake “life offsetting” company during the DSEi arms fair.Â There’s a lot to say about the Hijackers, but rather than try to sum up their work in a few paragraphs, I’ll leave you with a clip of them driving their own tank toward some police officers.Â OWS, take notes.