Fuck Telecorps "Summer Lecture Series No. 1" (2007)

Fuck Telecorps performed live at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts shortly after 7pm on July 12th, 2007.

for this performance Fuck Telecorps was Matt Wellins (electronics, reeds, misc.), Steve Boyle (electronics, percussion, voice, misc.), Edgar Um Bucholtz (cornet, small instruments, misc.) and Jim Storch (percussion, small instruments, misc.)

these sounds were recorded by Mark Lamb.

this performance was part of a series of improvised music events called "In Tent" that occurred at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts during the summer of 2007. "In Tent" was curated and organized by Edgar Um Bucholtz.

the headlining performance of this concert on July 12th 2007 was a solo set by reedist Oluyemi Thomas. Marcus Kim performed solo on marimba. Ben Opie and trio also performed.

special thanks to George Davis, Joy Sato, Rich Engel, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh Filmmakers for making this series of concerts happen.

Edgar Um Bucholtz and Matt Wellins relaxing on the lawn at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts between sets at In Tent.


Fuck Telecorps "Scrp Tcrps"

On Thursday November 4th 2010 at The Shop in Pittsburgh, Fuck Telecorps performed "Scrp Tcrps." For this performance, Fuck Telecorps was Edgar Um Bucholtz solo. For this performance, Edgar Um Bucholtz wore a grey wig, mirrored sunglasses and a shiny silver track jacket. Illuminated by two very bright work lights, he sat on a chair and held a square piece of glass with the letters "TCRPS" painted in black. Two piezo contact microphones were attached to opposite corners of the underside of the glass with black electrical tape. A wire led from each the contact microphones into two channels of Yamaha mixer/amplifier situated to the right of Mr. Bucholtz. The channels were panned hard left and right. The volume levels for each channel and the master volume was at approx. 75%. At the beginning of his performance, Mr. Bucholtz adjusted the channels on the mixer/amplifier so that the sounds of the surface of the glass he held would be loud, but not feeding back excessively. Once the sound levels seemed appropriate, Mr. Bucholtz unsheathed a small rectangular razor blade from it's light brown cardboard protective housing. He then began to scrape away the painted letters on the surface of the glass. The resulting scraping sounds coming out of The Shop's house PA were shrill and complex. Due to these sounds, many of the audience members fled the room. Some fled but continued watch and listen at a dampened volume through a window in an adjacent room. Once the painted letters had been fully scrapped off the glass, Edgar Um Bucholtz continued to scrape the glass in a more sensitive way, encouraging the glass to emit even higher audio frequencies. Approximately 10 minutes after he had begun scraping the glass, the performance was concluded.

No audio or visual documentation of this performance is currently known to exist.

Fuck Telecorps were booked for this performance by Matt McDermott.

Special thanks to Lauri Mancuso.


Fuck Telecorps "Requiem For Summer 2010"

Fuck Telecorps "Requiem For Summer 2010" performed by Edgar Um Bucholtz solo at The Shop on Monday August 16th, 2010.

The cassette tape that Edgar Um Bucholtz manipulated with his big toe was "err..." recorded by Telecorps on September 20th, 1991. This performance was the first public airing of "err...."

Ice Cream provided by Twister's. Ice Cream assistance by Marcus Kim. Boom box on loan from Sam Pace. Performance documentation by Ryan Emmett.

The other bands on the bill for this show were: Drainolith, Nazi Dust, Outer Space, Half Nelson, Free Clinic and Forest Dweller. Reeves Smith and Joshua Rievel booked the show.

Erik Ciora received the commemorative Fuck Telecorps t-shirt.

the original cassette:


Forget Tea Leaf Creeps "Live in Rhodesia" 2010

FORGET TEA LEAF CREEPS "Live in Rhodesia" part 1:

Forget Tea Leaf Creeps performed live on Apr. 29th 2010 at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh, PA.

Forget Tea Leaf Creeps were:

Edgar Um Bucholtz - turntables, Serato, laptop, tracks of original synthesized and acoustic improvisations, cabasa, moo, voice, fake Hawaiian folk song

Steve Boyle - vari-speed tape player, radio, ring modulator, contact mics, voice

Matt Wellins - home-built electronics

Video documentation of this performance by Jim Storch.

This video edit by Edgar Um Bucholtz was completed on May 5th 2010. It incorporates found home movie footage obtained from lostinlight.org

Also performing at the Brillobox on the evening of April 29th 2010 were: Burnout Warcry and Caethua.

Thanks to Heidi for setting up the show and asking Forget Tea Leaf Creeps to perform. And thanks to the Brillobox and Jim Storch.

FORGET TEA LEAF CREEPS "Live in Rhodesia" part 2:

"Don't take pork on the Old Pali Road
And don't take pork on the King's Highway
Doing so will anger the Fire God Pele
And doing so will anger (the Pig God) Kamapuaa

If you must carry pork on Old Pali Road
Or if you must carry pork on the King's Highway
Wrap the pork in ti leaf or bamboo
Or wrap the pork in banana leaf to shield your taboo"

(lyrics by Edgar Um Bucholtz, 2010)


Fuck Telecorps live April 1st, 2010

Fuck Telecorps performing "How Many More People Must Die Before I Present This Salad To You" at The Shop Art and Performance Studio on Thursday April 1st, 2010.

for this performance, Fuck Telecorps was:

Matt Wellins: homebuilt electronics, contact mics

Edgar Um Bucholtz: yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, Jalapeño peppers, black mustard seeds, ghee, Hamilton Beach electric fryer, chopping block, knife, metal bowl, paper towels, spoon

this concert was organized by Dynamo Sound Collective.

video documentation by Josh Tonies.

special thanks to Lauri Mancuso and Josh Tonies.

here's a shorter, better quality edit by Josh Tonies:

telecorps reunion performance from Joshua Tonies on Vimeo.


"Static Free" 9.30.05 - 10.24.05

"Static Free" was a contemporary fine art exhibit to showcase international, regional and local Pittsburgh artists whose work has been directly influenced by urban graffiti and street art.

"Static Free" was curated by Seak M.A.C., Michael D. Walsh, Megan Fitzgerald and Edgar Um Bucholtz.

Organizational support was provided by Pat Clark and Tracy Jackson.

Installation support by Sharmila Venkatasubban and Lauri Mancuso.

Initial funding came from a Seed Award Grant from Pittsburgh's The Sprout Fund. Corporate funding support came from Scion, American Eagle Outfitters and Red Bull.

International and U.S. artists were exhibited at SPACE in downtown Pittsburgh:

Calma (Stephan Doitschinoff of Brazil)
Maya Hayuk (of NYC)
Jerry "Joker" Inscoe
Tim Kaulen (of Pittsburgh)
Ryan MacKeen
Stephen "ESPO" Powers (of NYC)
Seak M.A.C. (of Pittsburgh)
"Delta" Boris Tellegen
Michael D. Walsh (of Pittsburgh)

Regional and local Pittsburgh artists (with a few exceptions) were concurrently exhibited at Future Tenant across the street from SPACE in downtown Pittsburgh:

Sean Barton
Dan Bergeron
Dallah Cesan
Cameron Clayton
Nicholas Ganz
Jamie Matthews
Nathan Mould
Danny Paracat
Joe Rudans
Chris Savido
Matt Spahr
Ollie Slaughter
Jude Vachon

Opening night was Friday September 30th 2005. The show ran until October 24th 2005.

installation by Steve "ESPO" Powers

sculpture by Tim Kaulen in the foreground; sculpture by Michael D. Walsh in the background

mural by CALMA

mural by Maya Hayuk

Opening night of Static Free. We hired Miguel's Mariachi Fiesta to perform music during the opening. Over 2000 people attended.

a closer shot of Tim Kaulen's sculpture. This work debuted at "Static Free," but was commissioned and is now permanently exhibited at The Pittsburgh Children's Museum.

Static Free brought renowned NYC DJ and urban culture writer, Bobbito Garcia a.k.a. DJ Cucumberslice, to Pittsburgh to perform for the Static Free opening after-party at "9/9th" in downtown Pittsburgh. Approx. 1000 persons attended.

On the following day, Saturday October 1st, a Static Free symposium was held at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Harris Theater. The symposium was moderated by Henry Chalfant and featured legendary NYC graffiti writer Blade, filmmaker Pablo Arevena and many Static Free exhibiting artists. Pablo Arevena screened a preview of his film "Next: A Primer on Urban Painting."

Also part of Static Free was a City of Pittsburgh-sanctioned mural on the Alisa Furnace Jail Trail representing and painted by Pittsburgh local and regional artists. Megan Fitzgerald, Veks and Evict headed the mural organizing and production team. Lauri Mancuso primed and readied the wall for painting.

Additional sponsors of Static Free included: Pabst Blue Ribbon, College Prowler, Arts Greenhouse Initiative of Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University, A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, The Multicultural Arts Initiative, Hilton Pittsburgh, The Mattress Factory, Steel Valley Arts Council, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 720 Records, Lumation Design, Blue Archer, Jackson/Clark Partners and Brett Yasko.

Seak M.A.C.'s "Static Free" photo documentation on flickr

kudos from Wooster Collective


D.S.C. presents Teeth Collection, Cottonballman, Fuck Telecorps and more

Thursday April 1st 2010

Dynamo Sound Collective presents

(Dayton, OH)

"Teeth Collection play a type of early industrial style in the order of Blue Sabbath Black Cheer and have in fact done a split with those guys so it’s gotta be heavy duty right? It is but more in an echoing, scraping, metal, creepy chamber music kind of way. Which is to say whoa! Not enough of that shit coming around nowadays! This side eventually morphs into industrial metallic clouds that billow till they break. Nice. These dudes had a killer release on Peasant Magik, now way out of print, a way long discography that looks well worth the time and investigation. P.S. These dudes also appear on another recently released exhaustive box set documenting the best in today’s psych/experimental/drone/whatever underground, The Static Hymnal (Husk/Factotum/Hung Like a Horse)." - FOXY DIGITALIS


Operates Community College Records. Member of Ribbons and To-Night Golden Curls.


review by John Olson: "Arriving At The End To Find Another Beginning" Community College 24 Cass. / Don't know Beginning/ End im @ but I def. gripped this killer strange tape! Someone once wrote in a review of the mind-blowing NEW DAWN lp that "if a rec starts with the sound of nature, its usually a good sign" - to that statement i'll replace NATURE with UNGODLY TENSE HISS and use that for the PF review. I luv me some strange sounds trying to breathe/ release into a world of HISS to reveal they ugly mugs, and this tape nails it. Couldn't tell you word one about the devices to put into this tape, but whatever they used; RULES. Edition of 30, ALL WEIRD. Kool cover showing a parallel universe landscape that looks nice enuff to post up with a kooler for a nice afternoon. & Fave new label name. aka THE WORKS.

COTTONBALLMAN (Dynamo Sound Collective)

FUCK TELECORPS (represented by Edgar Um Bucholtz, Matt Wellins and Raq. V.B.)


$5 or so


The Shop Art and Performance Studio
4312 Main St. in scenic Bloomfield
Pittsburgh, PA 15224


"Name Bank" (collage, 1991)

newspaper clip-art, photocopy collage by Edgar Um Bucholtz, circa 1991.

i made this for Carnegie Mellon University's "alternative" student-run paper, "The Student Union." i submitted this and a few Telecorps-related collages with stolen slogans. Rich Engel (now at Pittsburgh Filmmakers) was one of the editors at the time, so blame him.


Fuck Telecorps "Greatest Hits Vol. I"

this is Side B of the bootleg Telecorps/Fuck Telecorps cassette release entitled "Telecorps 92.12.31" released in 1993 on That Cow Inc. cassette label. Side B starts with a live recording (made by Herr Brine?) of Telecorps performing live on New Year's Eve 1992 in the basement of Turmoil Room in Wilkinsburg, PA. since i have already posted video+audio documentation of this performance, i skipped ahead to the last minute of this performance on the cassette. the recording then immediately segues into a cutup tape composition called "Greatest Hits Vol. I." this composition was edited by Herr Brine from previously-released and bootleg Telecorps cassettes, including "Reaching Out", "92.12.31" and rough mixes of the still unreleased "MainstreamMotherFucker." Herr Brine also incorporated recordings from the Telecorps-associated live radio series, Radio For The People, broadcast on WRCT FM Pittsburgh. one of these Radio For The People recordings includes a snippet of Paul Snelson performing "Terminal."

the numerous sound drop-outs throughout "Greatest Hits Vol. I" are assumed to be the intention of Herr Brine.

"Telecorps 92.12.31" cassette cover photo by Herr Brine.

"Noise Theory" by Csaba Toth

i stumbled upon this online. Csaba Toth is an old friend. he has been writing and lecturing about noise music (including noise music from Pittsburgh) since the early 1990s.

this is a recent essay from "Noise & Capitalism", a collection of essays chosen by editors, Mattin & Anthony Iles.

i include it here because he mentions Telecorps, Fuck Telecorps and Macronympha.

Title: Noise and Capitalism
Publisher: Arteleku Audiolab (Kritika series), Donostia-San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa), Spain
Publication date: September 2009
ISBN: 978-84-7908-622-1

Contributors: Ray Brassier, Emma Hedditch, Matthew Hyland, Anthony Iles, Sara Kaaman, Mattin, Nina Power, Edwin Prévost, Bruce Russell, Matthieu Saladin, Howard Slater, Csaba Toth, Ben Watson

Editors: Mattin & Anthony Iles

"Csaba Toth received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, and is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Toth's scholarly interests include social movements, production of gender, girl cultures, politics of sound, urban history, and pedagogy. His writings have been published by The M.I.T. Press, St. Martin's Press, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was a guest professor of American Studies in Japan (1998–2000), lectured in Australia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia, and Sweden, and has been the recipient of several major grants and awards (Fulbright Senior Lecturer, NEH, Newberry, George Soros Foundation, DAAD, Wise-Susman Prize)."


"Noise Theory"

by Csaba Toth

In the mid-1980’s, Noise music seemed to be everywhere crossing oceans and circulating in continents from Europe to North America to Asia (especially Japan) and Australia. Musicians of diverse background were generating their own variants of Noise performance. Groups such as Einstürzende Neubauten, SPK, and Throbbing Gristle drew larger and larger audiences to their live shows in old factories, and Psychic TV’s industrial messages were shared by fifteen thousand or so youths who joined their global ‘television network.’ Some twenty years later, the bombed-out factories of Providence, Rhode Island, the shift of New York’s ‘downtown scene’ to Brooklyn, appalling inequalities of the Detroit area, and growing social cleavages in Osaka and Tokyo, brought Noise back to the center of attention. Just the past week – it is early May, 2007 – the author of this essay saw four Noise shows in quick succession – the Locust on a Monday, Pittsburgh’s Macronympha and Fuck Telecorps (a re-formed version of Edgar Um Bucholtz’s Telecorps of 1992-93) on a Wednesday night; one day later, Providence pallbearers of Noise punk White Mice and Lightning Bolt who shared the same ticket, and then White Mice again. The idea that there is a coherent genre of music called ‘Noise’ was fashioned in the early 1990’s. My sense is that it became standard parlance because it is a vague enough category to encompass the often very different sonic strategies followed by a large body of musicians across the globe. I would argue that certain ways of composing, performing, recording, disseminating, and consuming sound can be considered to be forms of Noise music. The Noise sub-themes behind Christian Marclay and DJ Olive’s turntablism, DJ Spooky’s illbient ‘electroneiric otherspace,’ Masonna’s bodybased performance, Philip Samartzis’ live mix of specially prepared CDs combined with real time synthesis and abstraction, Wolf Eyes’ ‘wailing, tortured dungeon sound’ (Ben Sisario in SPIN), Scot Jenerik’s fire-fuelled display of noisy destruction, Oren Ambarchi’s guitar experimentations, and the classics in the genre’s history, Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Z’ev, and the Haters clearly illustrate this point. I wish to state that it is the entire socio-cultural and historical matrix within which Noise is chosen, combined, and listened to that defines the genre.

Noise iN the society of sileNce aNd spectacle

According to French cultural theorist Guy Debord’s powerful analysis, life in late capitalism presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles.[1] Everything that was once directly lived has moved into representation. The society of the spectacle eliminates dialogue; the organization of the monologue by political and economic organizations isolates and prevents direct, localized, non-repeatable communication. The society of the spectacle, Jacques Attali claims in his pioneering book Noise, is also the society of silence.[2] These considerations enable us to theorize the rise of Noise music as a form of cultural disturbance in the silent and silenced deindustrialized space of late capitalism. Therefore, I will construct the beginnings of Noise performance as an aesthetic production that challenged social and cultural institutions, collapsed genre boundaries, and had broader socio-political implications. Noise music in its most uncompromising form is different from other forms of resistance musics such as punk, New Wave, hardcore, or dark metal. In these musics, the voice, the logos as truth, has constituted the ideal point of a politicised voice by claiming to speak the truth of its audience’s situation. Noise has no such claims; it is a radical deconstruction of the status of artist, audience, and music.[3] It is ‘the grain of the voice’,[4] a refusal of representation, a refusal of identity. Noise, at the very least,

[1] Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (New York: Zone Books, 1995). [2] Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985). See also Csaba Toth, ‘The Work of Noise’ in Amitava Kumar (ed.), Poetics/Politics: Radical Aesthetics for the Classroom (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999) 201-218 and ‘Sonic Rim: Performing Noise around the Pacific,’ in Kathleen Ford and Philip Samartzis (eds.), Variable Resistance: Australian Sound Art, with compact disc, (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2003), 14-23. [3] For an exploration of these questions in theory, see especially Chapter Three in Jeremy Gilbert and Ewan Pearson, Discographies: Dance Music, Culture and the Politics of Sound (London and New York: Routledge, 1999). [4] Roland, Barthes, ‘The Grain of the Voice, ‘ in Image – Music – Text (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 179-189.

disrupts both the performer and listener’s normal relations to the symbolic order by refusing to route musical pleasure through the symbolic order (symbolic relations are defined here as an aggregate of guilt, the law, achievement, authority figures). We can call this musical pleasure anti-teleological jouissance, achieved by self-negation, by a return to the imaginary or the pre-subjective (the stage that precedes ego differentiation) – which, in our context, is a sonorous space. As for its ‘musical’ parameters, Noise is conceived to be anti-teleological in the sense that it digresses from the reified desire for the telos-driven formula of tension and release that characterizes most western musics, and particularly tangible in rock and pop performance. Instead, Noise speaks to and through our imaginary register of auditory, visual, haptic perceptions, and fantasy creating a chaos of sensations and feelings. I also wish to stress the performativity of Noise. It is enough to allude here to Francisco Lopez’s blindfolding his listeners, Christof Migone’s ‘corporeal glitches’ (Will Montgomery in The Wire), Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock’s releasing an amplified turkey laden with contact microphones during a live show, the humorous head-dives by the Incapacitants’ ‘big man,’ Fumio Kousakai, and the fanciful masks, headgears, and ‘choreographed’ movements of Lightning Bolt, the Locust, and White Mice. Why performance? What is the value of performance to Noise practitioners? I construct performance as an aesthetic production that challenges cultural institutions and genres, and has broader social implications. As queer performance theorist Ann Cvetkovich suggests, performance inhabits different locations – both discursive and material: the nation, the stage, the body.[5] What version of late capitalism is contested in the rise of Noise-based musics? Noise performance, in our view, exercises a culturally coded and politically specific critique of late capitalism, and offers tools for

[5] Ann Cvetkovich, ‘Comments,’ at the Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Nashville, TN, November 1994. In author’s possession.

undoing its seemingly incontestable hegemony. To be sure, Noise performance operates in the shadow of recontainment by the very commodity structures it intends to challenge. But resistance to such commodification continues to occur, and what cultural critic Russel A. Potter says about hip-hop appears to be true also for Noise music: ‘the recognition that everything is or will soon be commodified has ... served as a spur, an incitement to productivity.’[6] Let it be enough to mention here the hundreds of recordings by Merzbow, Francisco Lopez, Muslimgauze, and, most recently, the endless stream of cassettes and CD-Rs released by Wolf Eyes. It is worth noting that Noise has become a transnational global cultural form capable of mobilizing diverse constituencies. I wish to give a measure of historical specificity to Noise music by claiming that the rise of Noise was coeval with deindustrialization in the USA, Western Europe, and parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

Noise aNd history

The birth of Noise culture can only be understood in the context of the collapse of the industrial city. Noise is a profoundly metropolitan genre (even in its ecological form) that first registered its presence amidst the ravaged urban-industrial landscape and reactionary cultural climate of the Thatcher and Reagan years, and, perhaps to a lesser degree, the Yasuhiro Nakasone period. Concomitant with deindustrialization in the West and Japan was a development that went hand in hand with a globalizing process: the emergence of a global information network and immense transnational corporations. Saturation with consumer goods and informational simultaneity wove a web far finer and smaller scale than anything imaginable in the classical industrial era.

[6] Russell A. Potter, Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism (Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press, 1995), 8.

Deindustrialization continued to hit the Fordist economies of late capitalist societies between the late 1960’s and mid-1990s. Although the roots of industrial collapse are complex, the demise came with the changes global restructuring wrought. Cities such as Manchester, Leeds, (parts of) London, the Rust Belt in the United States (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland), major heavy industry centers in Australia such as Whyalla and Elizabeth in South Australia, Newcastle and Wollongong in New South Wales, had been particularly adversely affected by retrenchment and capital flight, becoming ghost towns of late capitalism. With the collapse of traditional industries, venture capitalists heavily invested in the new wave of ‘cyber work,’ producing North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the ‘model’ city of the 1990’s, Seattle. We have witnessed the increasing concentration of the functions of ‘information capitalism’ in central Tokyo. Australia began ‘to confront the realities of world markets’ (Paul Keating, Labor Prime Minister) by simultaneously deregulating its industries and advocating the mantra of cyber-work under the sugar-coated slogan of ‘Clever Country.’ In reality, the selling points with which these cities tried to lure back capital sounded like whimpers coming from a desperate ‘underdeveloped’ country: promises of lower wages, lower rents, tax abatement or tax breaks, and corporation-friendly local office holders. The economic ‘upswing’ cycle since the mid-1990’s has been, statistically, characterized by a dramatic rise in employment. What these statistics hide though is that most new jobs represent flexi-work, that is, partial employment with no benefits. While this economic ‘boom’ has produced harder times for the middle sectors, it solidified the stagnation or further submergence of the labour pool hit by earlier processes of deindustrialization. Also, perhaps crucially, it reinforced racial/ethnic bifurcation (Berlin, Budapest, Pittsburgh) and a multi-dimensional fissure of space, race, and class (Chicago, London, Paris, Sydney) in the post-Fordist city.[7] A new regime of representation set out to celebrate the ‘visible and audible rehabilitation’ of the city, and, in the process, shifted attention away from the arid row houses, impoverished ghettos, bleak projects, and the neubauten that had loomed so large in the 1980’s, early 1990’s. And while, as music scholar Adam Krims states, representationally, a new music-poetics marked the ‘re-conquest’ of the city,[8] forces of law and order imposed materially a brutal silence on the city’s subaltern subjects from New York to Paris as sky-rocketing rates of incarceration for petty crimes, anti-immigrant hysteria, and paramilitary presence in certain neighborhoods have shown. I will argue that Noise music, although not always unproblematically, intervened into this silenced space, and functioned as a resistant cultural form. Performers produced, found, and invented new Noise instruments, and applied guerilla tactics of street theater (Einstürzende Neubauten’s disassembling a part of the Autobahn, for instance). Their work was collective; what was played was not the work of a single creator – audiences initially barely knew the names of those behind most of these groups. Recordings were made on ‘production sites’ set up by industrial performers (see Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records; Manny Theiner’s SSS label in Pittsburgh; Load Records in Providence; etc.). Groups stayed together for a short time, and dissolved only to regroup for another intervention. To be a Noise performer meant a day-to-day and subversive activity, a guerilla tactic, a constant war of position.

[7] Janet L. Abu-Lughod, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America’s Global Cities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 357. [8] Adam Krims, Music and Urban Geography (Routledge: New York, 2007), 123.

Noise Music as GeNre

Noise music, in its many alterations, ruptures conventional generic boundaries: it is often not music at all, but noise, or sound, combined with visual material (video, DVD, public-access cable television, radio, the internet). Due to its polymorphism, it escapes the closure of the (theatrical) stage. It is often performed and disseminated outside the commercial nexus (in fact, Noise music probably would not exist without the selfactivity of its fans). When staged, the relation between performer and everyday person is blurred, and participation by audience members in Noise events is, in specific instances, a distinctive phenomenon. At its inception, Noise music was informed by a diverse set of assumptions, cultural and political, in its approach to postindustrial society. In musical terms, Noise performers’ formative experience entailed a confrontation with what they perceived as the destruction of rock music by a culture industry reflective of mass production and what Attali calls repetition. Industrial standardization in the record industry in particular translated to them as the emergence of a single totalitarian code. The initial impetus behind Noise rested on the assumption that since industrial production sets the terms for repetition inside mass-produced music, any cultural form of repetition inside the commodity market would be subsumed by the overarching logic of industrialization. Therefore Noise musicians generated non-repeatable music outside of the commercial nexus.

Noise as eNjoyMeNt?

Noise is pre-linguistic and pre-subjective. The noise of heavy machinery and the powerful sonic onslaught of a Macintosh PowerBook are acts that actively foreground their materiality and disrupt meaning: ‘what does this Noise mean?’ Harsh textures of sonic forces break down our identities rather than reinforce them. In the language of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, we would say that Noise creates jouissance. Jouissance means ‘enjoyment’[9]; in French it is used to mean ‘orgasm.’ But jouissance may also refer to a state of crisis that occurs when the grip of the symbolic is weakened or broken. This is how Lacan talks about law and jouissance in Seminar XX, ‘[T]he essence of law [is]-to divide up, distribute, and “retribute” everything that counts as jouissance. What is jouissance? It is reduced here to being nothing but a negative instance. Jouissance is that which serves no purpose.’[10] This is a powerful phrasing of the non-teleological nature of Noise. However, I sense a slight contradiction between the claim that Noise music is non-teleological and that it is ‘oppositional’ at the same time. Would Noise be then a form of resistant sound by accident? The blunt edge of applying Lacanian jouissance to Noise as which ‘serves no purpose’ has been complicated by musicologist Robert Fink, who, instead of an antiteleology, speaks, by way of gender theorist Judith Butler, of a performative teleology.[11] Such a performative teleology if applied to Noise performance may signify a teleology that sets the libido free by infinitely mutating it like, I would claim, a Boredoms performance.[12] Other theorists such as Barthes and Julia Kristeva give jouissance a somewhat different meaning. Recapturing the pre-linguistic experience, the child’s relation to his mother, an unmediated materiality is an orgasmic experience: it is the moment in which signification interrupts meaning, that is, it disrupts the symbolic, the social. I believe that the kind of Noise that, for instance, Japanese sound artists such as Merzbow,

[9] For example, Slavoj Zizek, The Metastases of Enjoyment: Six Essays on Woman and Causality (London and New York: Verso, 1994). [10] Quoted in Bruce Fink, The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1995) 191 note 29. [11] Robert Fink, Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 43. [12] Ibid., 42.

Masonna, Hijo Kaidan, Boris, and others generate, amply illustrate these two intersecting, yet differing interpretations of jouissance. In Merzbow’s laptop work, for instance, we have extreme sonic effects and high-frequencies often interspersed with samplings from Black Sabbath’s songs. The pain of harsh digital textures mixes with heavy metal’s brutal intensity. But Noise is not only pre-linguistic and pre-subjective, it is not simply a ‘return’ to something in our past. The kind of jouissance Noise generates has the effect of displacement and lets the subject open up to the possibility of change.

Music, techNoloGy, ideoloGy

In the early 1980s, formations such as Einstürzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle, and early SPK rejected repetitive modes of technology, considered themselves sub-electronic, and deployed environmental, ‘found’ sound as well as the body as their chief source of Noise. In musicological terms, for Noise musicians, repetition was equated with industrial standardization and mass production and represented a move toward a single totalitarian code. The body appeared to be the perfect vehicle to achieve non-repeatability. Late capital’s silent space was exposed as laden with a neo-fascist potentiality. Telecorps, NON, Psychic TV, Merzbow, and Laibach, often in controversial fashion, perceived this space as one dominated by a totalitarian code, where only the state is beyond the code, and manipulates all codes. Unlike the noisy rallies of historical fascism, this neofascism builds on the silence of the ‘users’ of its space – episodic resistance is met with overwhelming state violence. From the late 1980’s on, the use of sonic forces informed by mass reproduction technology (synthesizer, computer, video, etc.) had been more widely embraced.

Noise musicians increasingly went beyond the model, according to which objects are simply use values that extend the body or enable its disembodiment – a model that premised its utopian assumption on a re-establishment of the organic interrelation between subject and object and that looked to direct exchange to facilitate those relations. They proposed ways in which technology can provide destabilizing strategies, shattering some of the notions of those artists who overtly identify technology with capitalist progress and social control. Was then Noise, because of this new course, subsumed by the larger logic of the repetitive economy of capital? In her book on rap, Black Noise, Tricia Rose convincingly argues about rap’s alternative uses of and relationships to repetition. She stresses the multiple histories and approaches to sound organization inside commodified culture. Rose claims that, in black culture, repetition means circulation and equilibrium; and is not tied to accumulation and growth as in the dominant culture.[13] Her conceptualization of rap appears to be applicable Noise music as it has developed. At the transition to a new millennium (1999-2000) an influential group of digital Noise performers – Mego, Sensorband, Hrvatzki, Greg Davis, Nobukazu Takemura, and others – targeted postindustrial consumer society more directly. If creating (consumer) desire in perpetuity is the dominant characteristic of post-World War II capital, why not confront it with the sheer excess of processed sounds? Shaking off allegiances to technologies favoring organic components (body, fire, trash can) and perceived ‘outdated’ technologies (analogue box), the digital wave of Noise performers have been using western electronic hard and software technologies with immense creativity. There is a new sense of agency at work with technology-intensive musics: sound technologies are used to create new meanings for strategic aesthetic and political ends. ‘Wired’

[13] Tricia Rose, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Hanover, NH.: Wesleyan University Press, 1994), 71-72.

Noise also fits the current international moment: music happens along global channels of rapid communication. The acceleration of sound communication opens new avenues for instantaneous intervention – that is, somewhat paradoxically, resistance to global capital is channeled through global cultural circuits.[14] How does digital Noise performance mesh with information-based businesses, spurred by developing cyber-technology, military research, or computer-driven control operations geographically separated from production? The question is legitimate since music as a cultural form is imbricated in economic production. How does this imbrication in the late capitalist mode of production impact digital performance and the structures of feelings Noise creates in the listener? That there is a certain unease about the digitization of Noise among its performers has been reflected in the revival of analogue composition. Vintage synthesizers are used both live and in recordings. The Locust features one member on an ‘old-fashioned’ Moog, White Mice’s Anonymouse uses knobs and wires, Stereolab rely on a mixture of electronics, Astro (Hiroshi Hasegawa) generates ambient analogisms, DJ Jeff Mills ‘spins’ minimal techno, Vibracathedral Orchestra record their live shows directly to two-track tape with guitars, violins, cello, banjo, recorders, and Casio toy organs, and Masonna kindles a ‘warm’ psychedelic sound with his Space Machine project. Others like Yasunao Tone subvert the ‘intentions’ designed into digital devices by using a Scotch tape to confuse the laser reading a CD, thereby creating a wide array of glitches.[15] Is the ‘return’ of analogue a form of nostalgia, ask the authors of Analog Days, Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco?[16] Their answer is: not necessarily. They cite Brian Eno who appears, in principle at least, to valorize the unpredictability of analogue production: the sounds ‘between the knobs’[17] challenge the flawless efficiency and

[14] See Chapter One in Paul D. Greene and Thomas Porcello (eds.), Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures (Middletown, CT.: Wesleyan University Press, 2005). [15] See on this Nicolas Collins, Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking (New York: Routledge, 2006), 229. [16] Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco, Digital Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002), 318. [17] Ibid., 319. See also Timothy D. Taylor, Strange Sounds: Music, Technology and Culture (New York: Routledge, 2001), 110-111.

‘discipline’ of digital technology. Would then the recourse to an analogue approach be the relevant response to the tyranny of silence, anonymity, programmed and depersonalized workplace that multinational corporations have imposed on the urban-postindustrial space? In defense of digital Noise I argue that their approach provides a possibility for new experiences of desire and new experiments in musical forms. Taking a cue from Lacan via Robert Fink I claim that digital Noise is not ‘the negation of desire, but a powerful and totalizing metastasis [of desire].’[18] With Lacan though, it must be stressed that it is a desire for an unsatisfied desire.[19] Digital Noise, like Lacanian desire, does not seek satisfaction–it pursues its own continuation and furtherance, resulting in the aforementioned productive complication of the teleological/non-teleological binary. It is only in a reconfigured listener (subject) that desire will no longer hinder the subject’s pursuit of gratification. To achieve this, Noise must make the listener not only acknowledge that something is ‘wrong’ with his or her desire but expose, that even in refusal, he or she desires in accordance to the Law (authority figures, guilt, ambition) and that even ‘our’ desires are not our own but belong to the Other. Can digital Noise performance achieve this? In quasi-programming environments made possible by certain software (MAX, Super Collider, etc.) the musician can create a storehouse of pre-defined connections and control them using patterns and sequences and free-form patch control that is unique to one’s computer. And if one ‘intrudes’ into the program itself as Ikue Mori does, one can get totally inside the electronics behind the sound and thereby overcome routinisation (hollowing out) of her intervention and continually shatter the listener’s expectations by not sounding one expects her to sound.[20] This Noise makes us want to know something, figure out what our unconscious is saying, and discover what the performer can capture from our dreams and fantasies. It is only then that the true task of ‘working through’ between Noise performer and audience can start in order to get us listeners to say the ‘unspeakable’ without guilt and without fear. The social and political outcome of saying the ‘unspeakable,’ just as that of a Noise performance, is unpredictable.


[18] Fink, Repeating Ourselves, 9. [19] Fink, Lacanian Subject, 51. [20] Thom Holmes, Electronic and Experimental Music. Second Edition. (New York: Routledge, 2002), 236.


This book can be downloaded as a PDF file:


"Fuck Telecorps Presents Diss-Co-Rpes" is side A of a bootleg Telecorps/Fuck Telecorps cassette produced and released in early 1993 by Herr Brine (of experimental tape/music duo Trailer Court Flambe. Trailer Court Flambe was Herr Brine with Raq V.B. who joined Telecorps in late 1991) on his cassette label, That Cow Inc. it consists of samples and edits of Telecorps "live on New Year's Eve 1992 at the Turmoil Room" and of the Telecorps "Reaching Out" cassette chopped and diced over a "disco" beat. The beat is more early 90s hip hop than disco, but whatever. oh, and it's 38 minutes long. work that body.

Herr Brine's current whereabouts are unknown.

"Telecorps 92.12.31" cassette cover designed and produced by Herr Brine, 1993.

Matt Wellins + Nick Painter live at the Nerve Dec. 17th 2009

this duo performance occurred as part of the last show at The Nerve Art and Performance Studio in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Jason Zeh, Pimlo and Hunted Creatures were also on the bill.

Ryan Emmett set up the show.

it was recorded to audio cassette by Nick Painter.

it was digitized and leveled by Edgar Um Bucholtz on March 1st, 2010.

photo by Ryan Emmett.



"High Evil"

Saturday, November 2nd, 1996

a building (now demolished) on Fifth Avenue in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh

"I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) was invited by Edgar Um Bucholtz to participate in a rave/Halloween Party/whatever called 'High Evil' that was organized by tcrps/Bass Culture. One of the advertisements for it was a fluorescent orange sticker with the following text:


They killed S.P. Dinsmoor and Jeff McKissack, they killed James Hampton, they want to destroy the Garden of Eden, the Orange Show, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millenium General Assembly! Where There Is No Vision The People Perish! Join us to expand the earth's field intelligence, expose their hidden hand! All Hallow's Eve, Dia de los Muertos show the gate; join us the second day of November to explode the locks! Come save the world! 456-BASS'

I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) loved the advertising but, alas, I didn't have any fun at the actual event. Providing improvised sound were Sharyn Lee Frederick: child's violin, measuring cups, voice; Michael Johnsen: saw, amplified oboe, baritone sax; Greg Pierce: records, intercom, guitar, alto sax, dictaphone; & Dave W(Ho)le Shim: 4 track cassettes. I contributed projected video mixing. This was an experiment in combining vaudeos of mine ("My Life Flashing Before You" & "Something That Dissolves The Shadow Of Something That Was Next To Something That Combusted Twice. Once") with live drawing using a "VideoPainter". This latter device is a toy with a touch-sensitive screen that sends out a video signal. It can be drawn or written on & has various ready-made images targetted at a young user - such as pictures of a robot, a car, a dragon, a fairy, etc.. I scribbled on it, drew faces with parts made out of the ready-made images, wrote the words "Deeper & Deeper" when a recording of a hypnotist's spiel played (mixed in with sexual penetration footage), mixed the video with VideoPainter ready-made landscape images, etc.. There were various technical problems (such as my inability to get the preview monitor to work properly & the video projection cutting off my view of some of the necessary VideoPainter controls) & this was probably the WORST "performance" I've ever presented." -->tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, some years ago

"On Saturday, November 2nd, 1996, I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) participated in an event in Pittsburgh entitled "High Evil" organized by Edgar Um Bucholtz that took place in a building that's now demolished. This event was significant for me as one of the 1st shows I participated in after moving to Pittsburgh & as possibly the only time I ever used the toy VideoPainter as a video improvising tool. Since I've been too poor most of my life to afford 'professional' equipment, I've often used toys & borrowed &/or broken equipment. The broken equipment in this instance being a WJ MX-12 AV mixer that I STILL use & that's STILL broken. Providing improvised sound were Sharyn Lee Frederick: child's violin, measuring cups, voice; Michael Johnsen: saw, amplified oboe, baritone sax; Greg Pierce: records, intercom, guitar, alto sax, dictaphone; & Dave W(Ho)le Shim: 4 track cassettes. I contributed projected video mixing. This brief movie is probably a simulation of the visuals done at home - since the actual conditions of the show probably didn't involve any video recording." -->tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, 2010

For more info from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, see entry 201 @: http://www.fyi.net/~anon/MereOutline1996.html


I (Edgar Um Bucholtz) will scan and upload the flyer for this event once i track it down in the tcrps archives. the flyer was a small letterpress edition on recycled paper. Dan Bidwa designed the flyer and printed it at Third Termite.

the building that this event occurred in had a sign on the front that read "M. Stahl Plumbing." at the time, it was rented by Lauri Mancuso.

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE video performance/projection and the accompanying improvised music performance occurred early in the evening from 9:30pm to 10:30pm.

this was followed until the early hours of the morning by a number of DJs playing drum and bass, downtempo and experimental tracks on the main floor and in the basement. i believe the DJs included: Dan Strange, Soji-Fu, Spaed and Farmer Tea.

no other documentation of this event is known to exist.


The Curious Dr. Humpp performs "And What About...?"

"And what about Janus? And what about cats and dogs living together?
And What About Bob? And what about Afghanistan? And what about
celophane? And what about bullet proof vests? And what about Ben
Bernake? And what about newspapers? And what about Pauly Shore? And
what about sunsets? And what about obedience?

And what about narcoleptic seals? And what about moonraker? And what
about anti-inflammatories? And what about McFadden, the lazy surgeon?

And what about this rash?

And what about these lashes? And What about Bob Edwards? And what
about Oven-Ready Turkey? And what about Yuengling Black and Tan? And
what about High Zero? And what about knickers? And what about radical
utopias? And what about Dianetics? And what about the R6 implant? And
what about Michael Jackson? And what about Blanket?

And what ABOUT Blanket?

And what about eugenics? And what about cornflakes?

and what about The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion? And what about this
chocolate in my peanut butter? And what about this peanut butter in my

And what about Werner Erhard and The Wiz?

And what about Steev Mike?

and what about fashion snuggies? and what about kidnapping haitian
babies for christ? and what about the death of autotune? and what
about where's the birth certificate?

And what about...

Lady Gaga
Adam Lambert
Norman Mailer Fighting Rip Torn
Boys In The Sand
Guys Go Crazy 4: Banana Bangers
Peter Berlin
Bette Davis in Madame Sin
Lola Montez
Franz Liszt
Shameless Scouts
Maverickman222 and Hunter
My Best Friend's Father
Dorian Gray
Lord Henry
Pashtun Warriors
their Halekon
Cock Scene Investigator
Tusk Lord
Propane Beef Dog
Systems Research
Pineapple Symphony
Comet Kohoutek
Sunny Ray
the Children of God
Flirty Fishing
Love bombing
Sun Myung Moon
Ronald Reagan
The Rapture
The Tribulation
The Late, Great Planet Earth
The Jupiter Effect
A Horse and Two Goats
The Aesthetics of Rock
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Wounded Knee
The Ghost Dance
Vine Deloria
My Lai
Abu Ghraib
Ward Churchill
Turtle Island
Seymour Hersh
Copper Green
preemptive war
Right-wing politics
A hex dump
Owl Worship
homosocial rituals
the cosmology of Thelema
sex magick
Wilhelm Reich
William S. Burroughs
anal mucus
Curtis Harrington
Jack Smith
Normal Love
Batman Dracula
The CN Tower
the artful penetration of Barbara
and what about Matt Wellins
And what about MEEEEEE!!!???"

text composed by Dan Lansberry, Marcus Kim, Greg Bolton, Nick Bloom, Elvira Eichleay, John Riegert, Jason Dunbar and Edgar Um Bucholtz.

performed by The Curious Dr. Humpp (Edgar Um Bucholtz accompanied by Matt Wellins on home-built electronics) for the christening of Lauri Mancuso's new art and performance studio at 4312 Main St. Pittsburgh on Feb. 2nd 2010.

also performing were RRIND and ANITA FIX.

Edgar Um Bucholtz's turban and make-up by Thommy Conroy.

photo by Lauri Mancuso

dedicated to Jack Smith


The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (2004)

"The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" was a group art show organized by Edgar Um Bucholtz in winter 2004. It was installed at Thommy Conroy Works at 3700 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh with much assistance from Thommy Conroy. The show was themed on a book of the same name by novelist Henry Miller. The book, written in the late 40s, is an often critical travelogue of America. Miller foresees the coming cold, homogenization of mainstream 1950s America, but also celebrates the quirky, individualist American underground. The walls of the gallery were covered with canvas and then collaboratively painted by many of the artists over the course of many days. Additional artworks were then wheat-pasted or hung on top of the canvas.

here is a link to my flickr page with installation shots of the show and a few pics from the opening night:

The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (2004)

all installation and opening night photos by Thommy Conroy