Saturday, January 14, 2006

Patrick McNally proposes "memoradelia", for its "conflation of memory, memorabilia (bcz this music works so much w/physical traces, whether as samples, jacked Penguin tripartite cover schemes or whatever) and psychedelia." I like it, although as Patrick goes on to point out, there's an inherent lameness to the ^^^adelia suffix (not that that's discouraged me in the past!)

He also answers my Woebot Comments box plea for testcard music by directing towards this and that

The testcard patterns, especially the black and white ones at this archive Matt found (see also the amazing Australian ones that Jon directs us to) look like strange kabbalistic icons. They reminded me of this idea the Monitor crew toyed with but never actually pulled off. Actually this was pre-Monitor, when we did a zine called Margin. We got fed up with trying to sell it to students (all those steps to climb) and decided it was better to do it as a poster magazine, stick it up on noticeboards in student unions, laundry rooms, and such like. Towards the end of its existence, as the influence of Foucault, Baudrillard, et al, kicked in, we got into this sort of radical oppositionality trip, the general idea being that attempts to revitalize student culture or contribute to improving or initiating things in any way were pointless (c.f. earlier issues which were full of ideas like how to renovate the "party" by turning it into, well, basically a temporary autonomous zone) and the goal was instead to undermine and demoralize, the magazine as this spectre on the outskirts, mounting a vampiric critique that would slowly sap people's will to do anything constructive or enjoyable. The penultimate issue was a starkly designed, black-and-white beauty consisting entirely of manifestos about what we were trying to do. And the last line of Paul Oldfield's effort was "the abstract magazine is in preparation". The idea was that the logic of our increasingly meta-meta direction implied that the next step was to do a magazine that had no text, that was just this baleful, unheimlich design--you wouldn't need to read it, just one glance out of the corner of your eye and it would penetrate the recesses of your being and, like, the worm in the bud, slowly undermine your sense of purpose and ability to carry on fulfilling your social obligations, until you sank into utter apathy! Anyway some of those testcards remind me of Paul's plan to create a kind of negationist ikon.

I said "penultimate issue" because the last gasp of Margin was a micro-edition, a single article by David Stubbs extolling failure, that we printed in miniature form, the largest edition just about legible at paperback size, the smallest about the size of a large postage stamp. So in fact at that size it really was like an abstract magazine. And we got into the idea of disseminating this spore of disaffection in the crevices of everyday life, and inveigled our way into student dorms, secreting mini-Margins under toilet seats, eight sheets into a toilet roll, between slices of bread in packets of sliced loaves, and so forth. The idea was to create the idea of a dissident legion, here there and everywhere.

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