Nothing negative about Negativland

November 7th, 2006 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

shaving the monkeyOriginally uploaded by diymedia.Negativland performed in Champaign last Friday – my friend Jay pulled off quite a coup in getting hold of them – and I was going to post a longer review, notwithstanding my limited knowledge of the field of audio art, but I think this photo says most of what needs to be said.Very much performance art rather than music gig, with attendees being given blindfolds as they entered, in order that they could concentrate on the sounds, without the interference of the visual. I gather from the group that Chambana attendees were more pliable than usual, putting on the blindfolds almost immediately – perhaps something to do with the institutionalization process of the academic system?It was a rather small audience (perhaps 50 people) which lent a truly intimate feel to the occasion – though with the blindfold on it was sometimes hard to tell. The layering of sounds – members afterwards argued over what proportion was spontaneous, and what pre-planned, though it appears the consensus is that the bulk comes together during the performance itself, with only a few pre-planned pieces – was impressive, and at times almost overwhelming.

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