Sunday, June 11, 2006

June 11, 2006: Christian Marclay

June 11, 2006: Christian Marclay

This week's focus is on Christian Marclay. I got to interview Marclay a couple of years ago, when he was in Minneapolis as an artist in residence at the Walker Art Center. Actually he was kind of shuttling back and forth between here and New York, at the time, and the interview was conducted via telephone during one of his trips home. I did get to meet him though, at the Triple Rock, and seeing him perform there is one of my favorite memories, doing this show. The phone interview is a big part of this week's podcast (episode 85). Stay tuned.

While he was here, he did some excellent work at the Walker, having to do with their collection of Fluxus objects. If you're a fan of Christian Marclay, or Fluxus, you're definitely going to want to tune in to this week's podcast (episode 85) to hear all about it. I was a fan of Fluxus prior to being a fan of Marclay and had never made the connection until seeing his work on display at Franklin Artworks (this was during the Walker's big construction year, so they were using satellite locations for their exhibitions). Marclay was in art school when Fluxus was still going strong, so his perspective on the subject is especially valuable.

The interview originally aired here in Minneapolis on the Saturday afternoon of his evening performance at the Triple Rock Social Club (another of the Walker's satellite locations that year). It was great to see the live collaboration between Christian Marclay and Fog's Andrew Broder on turntables, with saxaphonist George Cartwright, for what I can only assume was a sold out show. I'd never seen the place so crowded, anyway.

Marclay is known for his visual and sonic work. Probably best known as a turntablist, he's also a visual artist who's shown at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The St. Louis Art Museum (Missouri), Tokyo's Gallery Koyanagi, The Paula Cooper Gallery (New York), The Margo Leavin Gallery (Los Angeles) and Galerie Jennifer Flay (Paris). His visual work has everything to do with music as well.
(Pictured: "Lip Lock, 2000" -- looking an awful lot like the poster design for our new DJ series! A total coincidence, I swear -- See notes below, for more info on the DJ Night).

Marclay is one of those artists whose work had to grow on me, frankly. Conceptually I'm all but in love with it. Musically... well, you definitely can't dance to it. This is one of those episodes where you'd do well to prepare yourself for ART, not music. The man is renowned for a reason, and you really should check this out (and if you're not predisposed to this kind of work - let it grow on you). I don't mean any disrespect (obviously), when I warn you about the nature of Art vs. Music, etc. - Its just a matter of the power of preconception. Prepare yourself to HEAR some great art, and you will love this episode. I listened to it again before posting, and I have to say, I think its probaby one of my favorite interviews, to date.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Christian Marclay, who asked that I fill in the blanks for him...


*Name: Christian Marclay

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Marclay has released work with many artists, including Gunter Muller, Otomo Yoshihide and Eliot Sharp. He also works with a small group of turntablists, using the name “djTrio.” This (rotating) group is anchored by Christian Marclay, and has included artists such as DJ Olive, Toshio Kajiwara, Erik M, Marina Rosenfeld, Otomo Yoshihide, Pita, and Tom Recchion.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Turntable creations, definitely.

*Another genre descriptor: Turntablism, Musique Concrete...

*Location: New York

*Original Location: Born in San Rafael, California and raised in Geneva, Switzerland.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Studying sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art, in Boston, an interest in performance art (and the spirit of punk rock) led Marclay to experimental performances, using turntables.

*History: Marclay has been working with turntables since 1979. djTrio was founded in 1996.

*Born: 1955

*Motivations: Marclay has defined himself as an artist, by exploring the connections between audio and visual art. He performs and records imaginative turntablist soundscapes, and creates sculptures which often include references to musical instruments, stereo playback equipment and records.

*Web address:


To learn much more about Christian Marclay, be sure to download this week's podcast (episode 85) which is being spun in to the world wide web, as we speak. Thanks again to Mr. Marclay!

Now about that DJ Night... Rosalux Gallery is proud to present: RELAY@Rosalux... click HERE, to see the poster... featuring some of the Twin Cities Best College, Community and Public Radio Specialty Show Hosts. Its a Summer Music Series, occuring every third Friday in June, July and August, at Rosalux Gallery (in the Open Book complex, on Washington Avenue). Participating DJs include: Kevin Beacham (Redefinition Radio, The Current), Jennifer Downham (Groove Garden, KFAI), Norton Fortune (Strictly Butter, KFAI), Paul Harding (Radio K International, Radio K), Tarik Moody and DJ Don Cuco (The Rhythm Lab, The Current) and myself (Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required).

This Friday, June 16, I'll be spinning with Kevin Beacham, Paul Harding and Norton Fortune. Hope to see some of you Twin City residents down there! Rosalux is located at 1011 Washington Ave. S. in downtown Minneapolis. The event goes from 9PM to midnight and there is a $3 suggested donation. Its 18+ and you have to be 21+ to drink. What else... Free parking in the Open Book lot, just to the left of the building. Rosalux Gallery is located in the Open Book Complex, just a block down from Grumpy's Bar, also on Washington Avenue.

In other news... Some Assembly Required is a proud sponsor of THE END TIMES FESTIVAL, which will be coming to the Twin Cities at the TURF CLUB, the second to last weekend in June (June 23rd, 24th and 25th). The End Times Festival is an International Underground Music Festival focusing on a variety of experimental, unconventional, intelligent and entertaining music, featuring no ONE genre of music. Its ethos, in fact, is an elimination of looking at music in restrictive terms... For a full list of performers and additional information, visit their website, at:

Oh and don't forget to subscribe to's online journal access + ENGAGE, to see the debut of a brand new Escape Mechanism video (video collage by R Room, sound collage by me)! Click HERE, and then follow the link at the bottom of that page (the one that says "Click to subscribe to access + ENGAGE!"). Its just that simple. The new issue comes out June 15th, so sign up before then...

And that's it for this particularly long post! Hope to see y'all at RELAY @ Rosalux on the 16th. It should be a good time. Until then...

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson


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