Home >> July, 2008

Write Anything Here (Chapter Two)

Posted on: Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Good hello, and welcome to chapter two of WRITE ANYTHING HERE. While you should, of course, feel free to write anything here at WRITE ANYTHING HERE, we’ll kick off chapter two of WRITE ANYTHING HERE with a reply to chapter ones comment from S.C. Smith (see comment #24 in chapter one of WRITE ANYTHING HERE) –

Dear S.C. Smith-

Mark from Negativland speaking here.

Thanks for writing something at WRITE ANYTHING HERE. By saying “we support downloading,” do you mean that we support folks downloading our music from file sharing sites and not paying for it? Well, the answer is more complicated than you might think from knowing our work. Do I like seeing the mainstream music biz collapse like it is? Yes, very much so. It’s a vile business, and I can shed no tears seeing it go down. Does it also affect small groups like us? Actually, it seems that it probably does. But there is nothing we can or want to do about it to stop it. It’s really up to the user to make their choice when they get music. I think it’s great that there are so many ways to get music now. And we certainly don’t want to see laws stopping anyone from doing it. But obviously we are total do-it-yourselfers in how we run things, and running this site and making music and films and art costs actual real money and none of us are young anymore. So we do hope that those who like our work will (at least occasionally) consider buying something from us so we can keep doing what we do. But if not, we’re still happy to see people finding and enjoying our work, in whatever way they choose to.

And that being said- if all you’ve ever experienced of our work are downloads of our music, then you are missing out on a HUGE part of nearly every project we’ve ever done. And that’s your choice as well. But they often have elaborate packaging that is integral to the concept of the project: extra books, die-cut sleeves, whoopee cushions, key chains, long liner notes, moist towelettes, baggies of lawn clippings, misleading stickers, etc. As far as I can tell, HELTER STUPID, for example, makes very little sense if you don’t see and read the actual liner notes that come with it. (and BTW, we are working on getting PDFs up of all our old releases).

So, funnily enough, it turns out that we are one of the few groups in the world where our work is SO darn conceptual that file-sharing positively sucks as a way to truly enjoy and experience what the heck we were on about in our past work. Nothing we can do about that, either, but personally it drives me nuts! Don seems much more at peace with it. And it does create challenges to us for future work. Now that it’s a given that nothing we make will remain intact or stay attached to any cool packaging we create to go with it, how does that effect our creative choices in making new work? Good question! It’s very confusing. I feel like a bit of a dinosaur- I LIKE making objects, and I think our work was always made with a “the-sum-is-greater-than-the-parts” approach that is now being lost as music itself become not-an-object anymore. Perhaps our newer focus on doing one-of-a-kind fine art ( as seen in the VISUAL ART part of this site) is a reaction to that? I dunno.

And about scarring- while I did cut off a tad little bit of my right index finger at age 11 in a paper cutter incident (leaving my finger rather quirky indeed), and I did cut my fingers once while making one of the millions and billions of splices on A BIG-10 PLACE ( I think it occurred near the end of that project when I thought to myself “Wow, I cant believe I’ve made this many splices for 3 years and never cut myself”), I am not sure how you ever thought that ax-murderer David Brom was part of editing that release, or that anyone was scarred from doing it. We always found that axes were far too large and dull to make accurate edits with, and dropped that technique very early in our career. But that’s some pretty great misinformation you have, so keep up the good work.


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