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Self-Cancellation - Commissioned by Arika & the London Musicians' Collective
Copyright London Musicians' Collective.

LONDON.-Self-cancellation is a new commission that invites collaboration between some of the UK's leading exponents in their respective fields: experimental harpist Rhodri Davies, veteran subversive artist Gustav Metzger and a host of international experimental musicians. Separate but linked musical events, in London and Glasgow, will examine ideas of self-cancellation in the sonic arts as a means of reflecting on an inherent tendency towards cancellation and self-destruction in the wider social context.

The commission takes off from Metzger's first auto-destructive art manifesto of 1959, in which he suggests a new form of public art for our industrial society – an art centered on the process of destruction. It also develops French philosopher Paul Virilio's concept of the 'inherent accident' embedded within new technology. Responding to these historic ideas, Davies and Metzger have written a new document entitled "Principles of Self-Cancellation in Sound".

These principles will be explored during a week in residence at Beaconsfield, London before being presented in performance in London and Glasgow. Approaches will include the deployment of oscillators and seismographs to translate architectural vibrations into harmonics; compositions evolved from contact between white-hot metal and dry ice and a re-interpretation of Metzger’s seminal work Acid Action Painting (1961) in which acid eats nylon.

Public conferences inviting leading practitioners and academics in both cities will be radio broadcast live and delivered in partnership with Resonance FM and Glasgow School of Art. Performances in Glasgow are in collaboration with The Arches.

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