Plastic Parc: Trashing the Academy

Here’s an idea for a musical project…………..called………..

Trashing the Academy

From the thoughts of the philosopher Bourdieu comes the title.

And the contents ?

From a book published in 1999 ( Millennial doubts, anyone ? ) called Art & Outrage : Provocation, Controversy & the Visual Arts.

Not a bad start then.

How about throwing in some unsettling criteria for the recording process ?

……to match the contents of the material.

Recording Criteria:

No piece to last more than a minute.

On all pieces “singing” must come first, with no exposure/reference to any musical key.

Musical arrangements must come second (last).

There is to be no multitracking – just 2 tracks for separation.

There is to be no separate tape/song track – all pieces to follow one upon the other.

FX to be chosen randomly.

FX not to be monitored during recording.

FX only to be used on track 2 – the “music” track.

Naturally, anyone can see the potential chaos and mess created by the second two criteria.

In a studio all singers respond to the music laid down first – the correct key playing a not inconsiderable role here !

Ah…postmodernism, eh ?

The book sought to detail some of the most controversial works of art the UK has ever witnessed and the reactions to them.

The audio project, then, had the same remit but with auditory expression to enhance the message.

The Cover

On the front there is a photo of a row of terraced houses but one with a shark ( head first ) embedded in its roof, hence the track Shark in my Roof…..more of that later.


On the rear is a photo of the Angel of the North, by an artist whose media fame grows daily.


Inside is a photo of Cosey Fanny Tutti, giving a lecture in Cardiff (!) about her earlier experiences in Porn – delightful.


The other inner photo is of the Polaris submarine, made entirely of tyres, before the arsonist got to it, that is. Mind you, the sub got the last laugh, coz the arsonist/protester died in the flames !

How ironic….

And so, to the musicality that is 14 minutes of pleasure/ torture/ art.

Is it art ?

That is the question……

The Tracks

  1. 120 bricks

Carl Andre is the artist in question – in 1976 ( Feb. 16th ) the great art journal, the Daily Mirror, published a front page photo of Andre’s sculpture with the headline

“ What a load of rubbish.” The sculpture was a row of 120 cream firebricks.

Condemnation, all round…wasting public money…Stonehenge, anyone ?

  1. Genesis

Amazing how tuneful some of these are……Back to the inside cover and

Genesis P-Orridge & his girlfriend Cosey Fanny Tutti upsetting the local council

in 1976. Add punk and Throbbing Gristle into the mix….hey…..controversy !

  1. Polaris

David Mach constructed a copy of the sub on the South Bank. Made from 6000 tyres, it was destroyed by an angry protester in an act of arson.

Ars Gratia Arson ?

  1. Dirty Nappies

1976 again…and can nappies be art ? Mary Kelly posed the question, being interested in Psychoanalysis & Feminism. I put on my best Alice Cooper at the end, himself awarded in 1975 by feminists for Only Women Bleed.

5. Mickey

Mouse, that is….Oh! Yes ! Even Disney characters end up in this ! The artist John Keane produced a painting in 1991, the Gulf War year, of Mickey on a latrine. Shock all round, with Disney considering suing for breach of copyright. Nice guitar sounds.

6. Not the same

Just to join in with the celebratory nature of the sessions I added my own improvised piece which was not like the others since it never existed in the first place. Seemed like a good idea. Almost in tune, too….

7. Zygotic Acceleration

Now there’s a title to bring out the Elvis in anyone…uh…uh…uhhn….

In 1994 /5 Dinos & Jake Chapman produced the incredible

Zygotic Acceleration : Biogenetic, De-sublimated Libidinal Model

Says it all, really – had to have the Elvis workout….

from the man who knows all about spermatozoa….

8. Shark on the Roof

Sung in the manner of ‘Price in a Hodson’ choir, this cheerful ditty is about a street in Leicestershire. Of course there’s a house in this street with a huge shark embedded in its roof. Probably pay Pollock tax !

  1. Mu

Mysticism at last & a touch of decency, perhaps ?

  1. Angel of the North

Gormley’s infamous sculpture of the North East near Gateshead. Described as Nazi in the popular Press. Nazi..but nice….

  1. Foetus Earrings

Sounds sick? Sounds slick actually. Neat little riff here, methinks.

  1. Rosa

Such a romantic-sounding dirge – the Rape of RosaVelez, a painting by the feminist Sue Coe was the source of this outrage in 1984 in Hull. A local councillor didn’t like her depiction of neo-Nazis raping an innocent.

Could be a lovely song in the right key, but no key suits rape…..

  1. Cut me

The unmistakeable sound of a genre in trouble – slasher, that is. But Clover & Creed get the last laugh…..

  1. Porsche Cabriolet

Always finish with a flourish…and what better way than with an image of a naked man standing proudly in front of his Porsche holding a giant erection.

Naturally this painting by a female graduate caused a suitable degree of offence that it had to be included in this masterpiece.

That’s it…14 minutes later & you’re left wondering…….

The Light Within

Preproduction already completed for this, with all the samples arranged and cut ready for multi-tracking.


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