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Tony Cokes

2004 00:22:51 United StatesEnglishColorStereo


1! is part of the Pop Manifestos series, a five video project realized in collaboration with Cokes' former students Seth Price and Damian Kulash, and originally conceived as part of a series for the conceptual band SWIPE. “I closed the Pop Manifestos series as originally conceived with 1! (2004) where I present the titles of 100 CDs I've valued most from the years 1997-2002 set to music composed by Michael Bell-Smith. The resulting 22-minute annotated discography of mostly German, electronic recordings will be juxtaposed with excerpts from music critic / philosopher Christoph Cox's essay on Gilles Deleuze, experimental electronica, and the limits of rock music's forms and ideological premises. Visually, the work appropriates an entire documentary on how to project a film as a "ready-made" ground for its layers of animated text. One could read the film projectionist in the digital video as an amusing metaphor for contemporary art and music practice.

Often in today's "digital age," a hybrid model of cultural consumer and producer, like the DJ, VJ, or "laptop" electronic musician, displaces the traditional role of artist / musician. The discography and Cox's text frame specific practices illuminating how contemporary music functions culturally, critically, and pleasurably. The video provides a theoretical context for considering the recent interpenetrations between pop song forms, minimal electronica, house grooves, glitch forms, drones, and loops.

"Recently I developed an audio permutation of 1! that consists of an .mp3 database playing 400 tracks excerpted from each CD in the discography. The work, which plays in the same order as the discography, is also searchable by artist. The audio database when played continuously has a full duration of 32 hours. I premiered the music database in the context of a video installation containing the complete Pop Manifestos video series as part of "Murmur," a group exhibition curated by Edwin Carels (for International Film Festival Rotterdam) at TENT Rotterdam, NL and as an audio stream via the internet. I originally intended the audio project to be situated separately in a public place with 24-hour access, like a university computer cluster, a railway terminal, or airport. I want to realize this possibility in the future.”

--Tony Cokes

"The Pop Manifestos series of five promotional videos are in fact not designed to promote anything, rather to question the use and value of pop music as a culturally significant (promotional) form(at)."

--Stephen Vitiello 

About Tony Cokes

Tony Cokes works in video and multi-media installation. Juxtaposing re-edited broadcast and archival footage with quotations in the form of texts and voiceovers, Cokes’s experimental documentaries explore the ideological implications of media representation and rhetoric. His work foregrounds theoretical questions of racial and sexual difference, enunciation, and history. 

Also see:

Viewpoints on Video: Envisioning the Black Aesthetic