Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Recommendation Guest Post #9: Jim Drobnick

Tired of Christmas carols and bells a ringing? Here are a few alternative audio projects for your holiday listening:

An obsessive take on Beatles fandom and collecting informs Rutherford Chang’s The White Album (2014).

From the description: Created by layering 100 unique copies of The Beatles' White Album, this 96 minute double-LP captures how every copy of the iconic album has been distinctly shaped by its history, both visually and sonically. The 45 year-old albums, with scratches and physical imperfections accumulated with age, all play slightly differently, causing the 100 layers to gradually drift out of sync over the course of each side. The gatefold cover and disc labels are composites of the weathered and graffitied originals. Also included is a 24 x 24 inch poster insert featuring images of the individual covers. This album was made from an ongoing collection of over 900 first-pressings of The White Album.

In SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010 (2014), Michael Rakowitz extracts geo-political ramifications from the Beatle’s break-up.

From the description: In 2010, conceptual artist Michael Rakowitz produced a probing 10-part radio series for a Palestinian radio station in Ramallah, later developing it into a dynamic multimedia event and exhibition titled “The Breakup.” The title refers to the Beatles' disbandment, and by extension the concurrent collaborative, political, and social undoing of Pan-Arabism in the Middle East. This compilation, SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010, is a limited edition, 12" gatefold vinyl LP record of the Palestinian band Sabreen’s live performance, pressed on sky-blue vinyl with a code for an mp3 download. A period-style poster for a never realized 1969 Beatles' concert in Libya and the catalog for “The Breakup” (with essays by Sukhdev Sandhu and Anna Della Subin) are also included.

Who isn’t a believer? Marcel Dzama collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce the soundtrack to Une Danse Des Bouffons (2014). It was distributed in The Believer magazine.

From the description: Marcel Dzama’s art film Une Danse Des Bouffons (translated as The Jester’s Dance) has received a 7″ vinyl soundtrack release. The score is by Dzama with Arcade Fire members Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, and Tim Kingsbury. It consists of four largely instrumental music songs.

-- Jim Drobnick

Jim Drobnick is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University, Toronto. He has published on the visual arts, performance, the senses and post-media practices in recent anthologies such as The Multisensory Museum (2014), Senses and the City (2011), and Art, History and the Senses (2010), and the journals Angelaki, High Performance, Parachute, and Performance Research. His books include the anthologies Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006), and he has co-edited special thematic issues of Public (Civic Spectacle, 2012) and The Senses & Society (Sensory Aesthetics, 2012). In 2012, he co-founded the Journal of Curatorial Studies. He is a co-founder of DisplayCult, a curatorial collaborative (

1 comment:

  1. Rakowitz's LP design is based on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Live Peace in Toronto" (, released in 1969 and recorded at Varsity Stadium. The cover design is typically attributed to Ono, but is in fact a painting by Geoffrey Hendricks. - ed