Happy New Year to the Xchange list! 
Hope to see many of you in Riga this Spring for the next Arts+Communications
[yes, Rasa?].

please drop by and say hello if you are clicking through Karosta tonight.

best wishes,



Day Fifteen: Hello to the Old...

New Year in Karosta actually happens twice. At eleven, Russians from the housing
blocks begin with rockets and cheap champaigne alongside their cousins in
Moscow, one time zone away. By the time midnight rolls around, the whole scene
is pretty well lit up with legitimate and not-so-legitimate displays, and the
Latvian military base lends a hand with high-intensity, parachuting signal
flares. We spent an icy quarter of an hour on the beach watching everything glow
before going back inside to prepare for the evening's performances.

"Old Year's Night" began for us with an opening in the K.Maksla? gallery here in
Karosta. The theme was "sirdsapzina (conscience)", which followed closely on the
theme of "corrupcija (corruption)" and "leiputrija" [a untranslatable Latvian
word referring to a mythical a place where everything is made of food and those
who come there soon take no pleasure in eating]. This theme of conscience
strikes very close to the work which Sara and I are doing here by reading the
"resonances" of the buildings and objects which we find here. The silent
reception our "sketch" video [bones, beach, fortress, massacre, sea, beach,
bones...] received proved quite aptly that many people here are still not ready
to confront issues of the past. Other reminders of the past, like the bones I
found last summer, surfaced this winter as well. An old Russian shell,
unexploded and chopped out of the ice by a local sculptor, featured prominantly
in the gallery show. Alongside this was a home-built still for making moonshine
from yeast and sugar --the purest booze known to man-- just in case one's
conscience keeps them from sleeping. For those wishing to audibly measure their
conscience, a body-resistance-activated noise device built was brought by Roman
from Riga. The slight jolt it gave off was an instant hit with the local
youngsters, who held hands to make long daisy chains, sending the voltage
circling around the table.

The audio tracks for today are a selection of prepared and improvised [but isn't
it always improvised at the last moment?] material for the gallery opening and
performance on new year's eve. Max Borisov's [String] track was created to go
along with a series of X-Ray photographs arranged by Carl Biorsmark, behind
which the subjects of these photos would stand. The two performance tracks,
"hello 2 the old" and "goodbye 2 the new" were recorded live between four and
five am, new year's morning. The track made with myself and Max Borisov is an
improvisation for manipulated objects, prerecorded environments [many of which
have appeared or will soon appear in this webjournal] and live processing. The
second track is based around a collection of handmade and Soviet-era synths and
noise-makers from Alexei and Roman [aka Nr.11], with additional keyboards by Max
and intermittant vocals and noise by Handjah. A snapshot in time, leaving one
year and moving on to the next. We're glad you decided to join us...


AUDIO >   

string - heartbeat [OGG 3min32sec 1.96Mb]
derek holzer + max borisov - hello.2.the.old [OGG 12min38sec 7.6Mb]
nr.11 + max borisov + handjah - goodbye.2.the.new [OGG 9min02sec 4.9Mb]


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