Friday, November 23, 2007

The Piss

The Piss
"The Piss" is an artist who I have to say I've always had to hesitate to play, on the show, thanks entirely to the project name he was using. I'm still not sure if it's legal to say it on the air, though I have on occasion. Read his Q&A below, for a full explanation...

He's a sound collage artist who has worked very hard at his craft though, so of course I have to give him credit, though I do still worry about whether it's okay to actually give him credit, when I play his stuff on the airwaves. Who knows what the standards of decency are from one area to the next, in this country (the rules change from one neighborhood to another, as I understand things). So, this might be a good story to illustrate the value of choosing a name wisely...

Or not. A lot of sound artists are much more focused on the internet these days, and the on-air radio programs which will actually air this type of material are extremely few and far between.

He's a huge Negativland fan, and a proud member of the Snuggles Collective, an email newsgroup for audiophiles, culture jammers, and digital cut-and-paste collage artists which began as a fan club for the band. There are sound files at his myspace page and videos at his page at YouTube. His work is very politically motivated, and he's been censored by the popular video sharing site at least once. Further proof of the fact that he's certainly not afraid of offending anyone...

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with The Piss ...

*Name: The Piss
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: The Piss, aka Orina Maloliente. These days they call me Pissy Steve, as I'm generally an arrogant and argumentative person despite being a skinny geek in my thirties. My noms de guerre are really dumb but honest. As a temporary house rule, I once forced guests to tape record the sounds of themselves using the bathroom and to provide commentary, or else they couldn't use it. When it felt as though enough material had been collected, the most notable moments were assembled into a forty-five minute collage called "The Piss Tape." Pranking has always been a favorite pastime, so taking the piss certainly seemed to come out rather naturally.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Culler (working title for a project which is currently marinating).

*Members: One.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I've been constructing digital cut-and-paste collages since 2000, when I finally dumped my beautiful, hissy four-track tapes for hard drives and such. I had been mixing feedback and other noise onto cassettes from 1995 to 2000. When you switch from a trusty, comfortable setup to a series of tools which truly make your job easier, it feels like you're cheating on your girlfriend or trading in your trusted spouse for a newer model. But then you two begin to make a new kind of sweet love together, and it's on. Lately, most of my audio tracks and videos have been focused on U.S. politics. I believe that all of the abhorrent behavior of the Bush/Cheney administration and the rest of the current Republican Party has sparked an interest in (national) politics for many people, as it has for me. Perhaps, in the years to come, this fact will help to offset the extensive, worldwide damage which has been done by these brazen gangsters.

*Another genre descriptor: Episstemology (no, not really).

*Why you use this descriptor: "Hyper-edited collage," I believe was how my friend stAllio! described a certain style which I tend to employ.

*Location: Georgia

*Original Location: New York

*What is your creative/artistic background: I took a photography class in my freshman year of college. I have a friend who has an MFA and works for museums. I nearly won a radio jingle contest once. I heard Negativland on CBC Radio Two's "Brave New Waves" show in 1995. How's that for artistic cred?

*History: Twelve years.

*Born: 1975

*Motivations: Before I shuffle off into nothingness, I'll enjoy throwing my little, irregular instincts about art onto the broad mosaic of human history. It's something like using your turning signal or voting. Even if most people will never invest their time nor energy in doing it, I'm going to do it because it could make things better, especially so if more people would do it.

*Philosophy: Creating sounds or images is much like cooking meals to me in that one doesn't necessarily need to generate each ingredient from scratch to be a good cook. I tend to cull portions from other creators' works (i.e. snippets from films, records, TV broadcasts, web media, etc.) and throw them into my cooking pot, much as a chef goes hunting for the perfect groceries and then processes them. And this hobby started shortly after I heard some of Negativland's emancipating work.

*How would you like to be remembered: A proper remembrance of me should doubtlessly include a healthy discussion of my deep sympathy for the proverbially righteous and brave underdogs of the world, my nearly extreme emphasis on the importance of truth and facts, my problematically obstinate nonconformism, and my ridiculously fast skating ability on a freshly resurfaced ice hockey rink. Just be sure not to let anybody start to do anything stupid like praying or suggesting that I'm still around in some other form, at least not without throttling them once for me.

*Web address: Admittedly strangely, I still don't even have a proper web home for my work, but the ubiquitous corporate solutions of youtube and myspace are filling that gap at present.

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