FALL & THE INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION

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[Filastine and friends in Copenhagen]

Something’s in the air this fall. I’m seized with a terrible sadness at the passing of things. (Reading heavy Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti’s Los Adioses is not helping. “No es que crea imposible curarse, sino que no cree en el valor, en la trascendencia de curarse”…). Maybe it’s the cool weather, the planetary alignments, my mysterious heart beating in & out of sync with your mysterious heart, some odd combination of forces which shudder and cough as the new season begins.

Here’s a song which I released on Soot two years back, by Filastine. Fits the mood. Flamenco swirls pitch contemplative, lean elegiac…

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Filastine – The Sinking Ship (from Dirty Bomb)

Grey Filastine discusses the recording session, or you can just check the video — note microphone taped to cardboard box:

Last I blogged about Filastine was his Copenhagen Sound Swarm project – a high-volume multichannel bike-mounted soundsystem to be used inside the Bike Bloc during the Copenhagen Climate summit.

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[Sound Swarm bicycles in preparation]

Months later he has upped a frustratingly short description/documentation of what happened… (Why does it seem that that the people making the best memories have the least time/inclination to ‘record’ and ‘share’ them? This may be a blessing). Here’s an excerpt:

The Sound Swarm is a rolling loudspeaker orkestra, a loose choreography of bicycles who together form a distributed mobile sound system to be used for direct action interventions or just ripping a hole in the fabric of everyday life.

Aggregated into sub-swarms according to our tools: ants with megaphones hats, birds with home-made resonant 5-gallon bucket speaker systems, fish with a collection of 80’s boomboxes, and bees with megaphones mounted on tall crutches. Each of these groups was fed a distinct audio channel via four fm transmitters mounted on the queen bee, a type of chariot built from two tall bikes with a cockpit in the center for the sound controller. The queen is armed with so many batteries, cables, gadgets, and antennas that it looked more lunar landing craft than anything for use on this planet. One of the festival curators called it “something from the next century”. We can only hope she is right, that the art of the future will be made from junk, powered by human sweat, and defy the law.

. . . we rolled off curbs, over cobblestones, through grass, dodging police, sometimes cowering under a plastic sheet during brief rain showers, while controlling five-channels of sound spread across thirty moving speakers in a chaotic mass of hundreds of bicycles pouring through the dark streets of an unfamiliar city.

5 thoughts on “FALL & THE INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION”

  1. That description is not so bad – with 30 speakers in non-formation and everything else happening, where to start? If I could ask Filastine a question about the sound swarm, it would be “Did you play that terrific faster/longer version of “To The Motherfucking East” that appeared on the Blentcast mix”… “And where can I get that track?” So good.

  2. who said his description is “bad”? certainly not me — i want to hear more! about how people reacted, what type of music/sound was played, its existence in the context of other climate protests, if there are plans to deploy this in other places, etc.

  3. Sorry, did not mean to suggest that “frustratingly short” equals “bad.”
    I would also be happy to hear more, about the sound swarm experience, and more Filastine music.

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