"The playlist is made up as a journey to an outer space in 2050. I did this thought experiment: what would we listen to on other planets in the future?"

As part of the exhibition The Mind-Blowing Institute Team MAMA member Ioana Raileanu compiled a playlist themed around topics as mental and physical wellbeing and normalness; all from a futuristic perspective. Our editor Annosh Urbanke had an enlightening conversation with Ioana about her musical contribution to The Mind-Blowing Institute.

Read the conversation below while streaming Plagiarhythm for the complete experience!

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  1. Hampshire & Foat – The Solar Winds
  2. Curd Duca – Winter Echo
  3. Sugai Ken – Gessoku (vinyl version)
  4. Chris & Cosey – Allotropy – 1st Movement
  5. Robert Rich – Never Hunger
  6. Betonkust & Palmbomen II – Zwaluw
  7. Nedev Kamen – Bookscanner (HackTheBiblio edit)
  8. Brother Ah – Sekou
  9. Toulouse Low Trax – Raut
  10. Ben Vaughn – Aqua Blue
  11. Can – Millionenspiel??
  12. Ben Vaughn – Constellation Drive
  13. John Talabot – Last Land
  14. Source Direct – Black Rose (Blawan remix)
  15. Talismann – Zula
  16. Nacho Patrol – Puzzles of the Golem
  17. OresteS – Subsonic Prototype number 1
  18. Autechre – bqbqbq
  19. SHXCXCHCXSH – Ss
  20. Hampshire & Foat – Galaxies Like Grains of Sand
  21. Duckett – I ain’t seen the cat for three days now
  22. Shoc Corridor – Artificial Horizon
  23. Phil Cohran and Legacy – The Dogon
  24. Oake – Paysage Dépayse
  25. Femminielli Noir – Boys Boudoir
  26. Naturkunde Museum Ostkreuz – Talking about talking
  27. OORUTAICHI – Jimaji
  28. Dopplereffekt – Denki No Zuno
  29. Ohama – The Drumo
  30. Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4
  31. Raime – The Dimming of Road and Rights
  32. Osamu Sato – Come On And (LSD 2017 mix)
  33. Eddie The Rat – Sifting Through Dead Air
  34. Manuel Göttsching – Pluralis
  35. Anus Against Nature – Albeit
  36. BeNeLux Energy – Het Geheim

Annosh: ‘Can you give a short introduction about the playlist you put together for The Mind-Blowing Institute?’

Ioana: ‘The Mind-Blowing Institute aimed to challenge the audience to find new ways to think about body disability, cognitive disability and mental health. The artists featured in the exhibition incorporated these concepts in their aesthetics, identity and praxis. I believe that in music, things are a bit different because the message can be either encapsulated in the lyrics, or in the performance itself. At first, I set the challenge to find contemporary musicians who fit the conditions relating to body disability, cognitive disability and mental health. I remembered seeing the live performances of Harry Merry and The Space Lady, at Herman Rotterdam, in April 2018 and it intrigued me. They fit the definition. Their ‘awkward’ style as an aesthetic, the personal identity (in the case of Harry Merry), the political identity (in the case of The Space Lady) and a praxis that is rooted in simple instrumentation. With my list of songs, I wanted to show music that could be considered ‘annoying’ and compare it with ‘normal’ music. I gathered some uncleanable song as a reminder that there is music everywhere, and that making music is not only for those who are rhythmic or genius. My playlist can be seen as a praise of awkward styles and limping rhythms.’

the_space_lady_mamaThe Space Lady (Promotional portrait)

A: ‘I noticed that this list is very instrumental and at times quite electronic. I prefer not to get into labelling too much, but are there any qualities or genres that are specific for the songs you selected?’

I: ‘They are individual songs. I don’t know if I can point out any specific commonalities. The playlist is made up as a journey to an outer space in 2050, the year which The Mind-Blowing Institute is also from. I did this thought experiment: what would we listen to on other planets in the future? I included songs that are ‘natural’, that are on the border with sound art, that are stretching the line between music and sound art.

I selected music that was made for space age sounds in movies. I selected soundtracks that have respect for old and new sounds, analogue and digital, natural and artificial, musical tones and noise.’

A: ‘How did you find the artists and their music?’

I: ‘That was a longer process. It started throughout a conversation with the curator of The Mind-Blowing Institute Dieuwke Boersma. I was excited about the subject of her exhibition. We talked about the fringe area in art and music, that is considered as ‘outsider’. We identified common points and interests, such as a fascination with ‘space’. I discovered the music of The Space Lady in a podcast by Irwin Chusid and Michelle Boulé, called Incorrect Music. I started from there, entering a strange world of incredibly pretentious music, profitable songs, lo-fi or poorly produced music, or no-agency musical performances, and industry wannabees. I researched their framework, but it didn’t fit in what I was looking for. Incorrect Music was focused on outsider art as the work of artists with problems. I didn’t want to re-create a cabinet of curiosities. My selection wouldn’t make it in their categories, but it was a good starting point. In general, I discover music by going to music venues.’

A: ‘So, the list focuses on the productions instead of the persons who made the music?’

I: ‘Yes! For example, I included some sounds of machines or computers which are not music now, but who knows what music will sound like in the future. I don’t exclude a future where we’ll get nostalgic by sounds of printers and other sounds that we consider annoying now. I included some songs like the one from Sugai Ken, who re-creates natural settings by using electronics.’

A: ‘What about John Talabot. He is quite famous at the moment; how did he make it to get selected in your list?’

I: ‘I wanted to include also something from the dance scene nowadays. I think that his music will be considered as nostalgic in the future.’

A: ‘Couple of songs have wonderful titles like Cocktail music for Robots, Experiments in incest, Hard Marchen in Osaka, I ain’t seen the cat for 3 days now, The Potato Farm Tapes. Do you have a thing for song titles?’

I: ‘Definitely, I like to observe how the titles are talking about the song itself. I also thought about how I should call this list. Because I put all this music together that doesn’t have something concrete in common. Actually, I am creating a story through songs. I specifically like the song I haven’t seen the cat for three days now, because it reminds of loneliness. It brings you into a temporality. Some titles I also don’t know about, like Experiments in Incest, haha.’

A: ‘What about the name of the list?’

I: ‘The working title for the list is called Plagiarhythm, made up from the words plagiarizing and rhythm, which is used when you take others’ work into your work. It was my way of reminding me that I am taking parts of people’s work into something that they wouldn’t necessarily agree with. However, I didn’t feel like I created a work.’

cocktail_music_for_robots_cover_mamaCocktail Music for Robots (cover)

A: ‘You are writing an essay entitled Outsider music or Music that didn’t quite get from here to there in which you are questioning ‘’can outsider art be qualified as art at all?’’ How did you decide on writing this essay? Was it in the context of The Mind-Blowing Institute exhibition?’

I: ‘It was a conversation that I had with myself and other people about the exhibition. My essay might be very surpassing, too straightforward in a way.’

A: ‘Because it is too sensitive?’

I: ‘Yes… it deserves to be explored more. It sets too much a category. When I started thinking about ‘outsider’, so many lines of thought and perspectives came up.’

A: ‘I noticed this sentence ‘’I believe that the separation is artificial because, in the beginning, all artists were outsiders and only with the apparition of artistic movements within the artworld that we created this category. Are we using outsider art as a mechanism to give more credit to the art establishment?’’ Can you tell a bit more about this observation?’

I: ‘It’s like an endless conversation of conflicting opposites. When I am talking about disability, I am also talking about ability. Using these terms creates a never-ending process, which keeps us from seeing the complexity. There are always movements that are opposed of each other. But what these movements do is emphasising each other too.’

A: ‘Do you think it is relevant for artists themselves to speak in terms of ‘outsider art’ or is it something the environment brought up?’

I: ‘In the last century it was more a trend and easy to belong to a group, to identify with some of the desirables of one group. In that context it worked for artists to do new things when you belonged to a group. This gave more flexibility. But nowadays the fragmentation is bigger. I believe that the artist now also feels more as an outsider than in the nineties, but I doubt that artists are falling for the trap of thinking in terms of art and outsider art. Like the Space Lady, it started as a weird thing in the nineties but now she tours around the world. We, at the same time, keep using this term. The term shouldn’t be kept in use to highlight this state of things.’

A: ‘The artworld is often used as a more or less ‘open’ platform to discuss complex issues. In your essay you state that when we talk about ‘outsider art’ multiple frameworks should be approached. Which frameworks do you consider essential for future perspectives on outsider art?’

I: ‘I think we need to find new ways to heal the trauma of the different. There are frameworks such as New Feminist Materialism and Trans Humanism that provide tools to heal the trauma of the outsider.’

ioana_mama_cropped_longIoana Raileanu (2019, Hilde Speet)

A: ‘What did you get from these frameworks?’

I: ‘It opened a new universe. I need some more time explore them deeper, but that universe is a safe space for acknowledging that we as humans have many sides. And that it is alright to have these many sides. Also working with the curator Dieuwke Boersma of The Mind-Blowing Institute was a process that influenced me and I really enjoyed that. There was a constant reflection during our work.’

A: ‘Will you continue on working beyond what is considered ‘normal’?’

I: ‘Yes! One of the themes of the exhibition was corporality, like in the work of Kamil Guenatri. I want to continue on working how bodies interact with each other, and I am currently working on a project with Larisa Crunțeanu and Jasmina Al-Qaisi which tackles this subject. The project concentrates on our gestures and movements and some sort of cultural baggage that we carry within our bodies. Our bodies carry memory which comes to surface when we interact with other bodies.’

A: ‘Thank you for this interview, Ioana.’

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