Necropolis (2008)

From one year to the next, they say, the Eusapia of the dead becomes unrecognizable. And the living, to keep up with them, also want to do everything that the hooded brothers tell them about the novelties of the dead. So the Eusapia of the living has taken to copying its underground copy. They say that this has not just now begun to happen: actually it was the dead who built the upper Eusapia, in the image of their city. They say that in the twin cities there is no longer any way of knowing who is alive and who is dead.

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

I was grateful to be asked to contribute an installation for Anne Heller’s Yeast by sweet beast festival in 2008 at the Church of the Friendly Ghost.

One of the things that I’ve always been interested in has been the process of razing and rebuilding that occurs in a modern American city, and the accompanying lack of consideration of the ramifications. Austin, while no longer being a small town, still feels like one at times and is a bit unnerved by the surprising amount of growth going on. Old strip malls are being destroyed to acommodate new strip malls that are built to be teardowns themselves; old apartments are being rehabbed into new condos. The growth is random and carcinogenic, but it’s fascinating at the same time.

The continuous destruction and construction of vast empty spaces made me think of the Valley of the Kings, a city for dead people – a necropolis.

Necropolis is constructed from field recordings I made in Austin. Retail construction sites, building destruction sites, underground parking garages, office warrens and cemeteries. I edited the recordings and played them back over three boom boxes in the front room at Salvage Vanguard Theater, which itself was under construction at the time.

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