Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My Feature Film: Monument to the Unimaginable




My feature film, Monument to the Unimaginable, will operate on three different levels of the mind: the conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious. Each of these different levels will be filmed using different styles and techniques, to represent the various natures of each part of the human psyche.

The Subconscious Sections of the film have already been completed. Shot in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, America, and England, this material takes the form of surreal, collaged, abstract, dream-like sounds and images. Actresses who have performed in the Subconscious Sections are: Anne Louise Hassing (Lars von Trier), Kate Moran (Peter Greenaway), Maxine Kazis (Theater Kiel), Dounia Sichov (Abel Ferrara), Daphne Baiwir (Catherine Breillat), and Stefania Casini (Andy Warhol), among others.

In direct contrast to the symbolic style of the Subconscious Sections, the main body of the film, the Conscious Sections, will be shot in a cinéma vérité style. The third group of sections, the Unconscious Sections, will utilize an even higher degree of abstraction, as well as computer generated imagery, representing the deepest and most unknown strata of the psyche.

Segments from each of the various sections will be linked and interwoven with one another throughout the course of the film, in accordance with the psychological trajectories of the characters, and by extension, the overall arc of the narrative.

The following link will take you to the Subconscious Sections of Monument to the Unimaginable. Select the 1080P HD setting for optimal viewing quality.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXDd9XG0glOaXqxI0K8Of0Ffx-NsKMGC6

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Artist Biography



Paul Amlehn is an interdisciplinary who was born in New Zealand. He has lived and worked in London and New York and is currently living in Wellington, New Zealand. He works in the mediums of: text, painting, photography, music, performance, and film.

Amlehn’s writings have been published in literary journals in 23 countries, and have been translated into 7 languages. He has been published in journals such as Exquisite Corpse, the California Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg, and Evergreen Review.

Amlehn’s visual art works have been placed in the video library of MoMA, the collections of Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, and documenta Archiv, among others. His works have been exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum, Artists Space, and TATE Liverpool, and at Art 42 Basel (with the Serpentine Gallery), Documenta 14, and the 51st, 55th, 57th, and 58th Venice Biennales.

Paul Amlehn has collaborated on music projects with musicians from the bands of Lou Reed, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, and others, and with members of the Kronos Quartet, and Philip Glass Ensemble. The cover art for his albums have been provided by filmmaker and visual artist David Lynch and artist Gerhard Richter.

Amlehn is currently working on an album of music, titled: A Walk to the End of the World, with texts and vocals by William S. Burroughs, in cooperation with the Burroughs Estate. He is also working on a theater work, Cage/Cunningham: Love Letters, with texts and music by John Cage, courtesy of the John Cage Trust.

Amlehn is also currently directing a series of short films, titled: L’Enigme du Desir: Ma Mere, Ma Mere, Ma Mere, with acrtesses Anne Louise Hassing (Lars von Trier), Kate Moran (Peter Greenaway), and Stefania Casini (Andy Warhol).

Sunday, May 12, 2019

My Music and Sound Art Works Exhibited at the 58th Venice Biennale



My music and sound art works are being exhibited at the 58th Venice Biennale.

31 of my own music works and 7 of my music works with texts and vocals by William S. Burroughs are being exhibited in Venice.

A heart-felt thank you to the musicians (and two writers, two actors and one painter (whose paintings were converted into sound)) who worked with me on the creation of these works: Ariel Lorca, Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno), David Van Tieghem (Laurie Anderson), Oren Ambarchi (Merzbow), Andrew Sterman (Philip Glass Ensemble), Jamie Saft (John Zorn), Hopek Quirin (ABQ), Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey), Jem Finer (The Pogues), Michael Blair (Lou Reed), Ulf Ivarsson (Beatundercontrol), Chandra Shukla (Xambuca), Elisa Faires (Xambuca), Joke Lanz (Sudden Infant), Eberhard Kranemann (Kraftwerk), Keith Fullerton Whitman (Hrvatski), Pauline Kim Harris (String Noise), Conrad Harris (String Noise), Bill Gilonis (The Work), Jeroen Visser (Trio Kazanchis + 1), Mark Spybey (Zoviet France), Bela Emerson (The Damned), Dean Hurley (David Lynch), Daniele Pagliero (Nurse With Wound), Reinier Van Houdt (Current 93), Julia Kent (Antony and the Johnsons), Ulrich Krieger (Metal Machine Trio), Stephen Vitiello (Joan Jonas), Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Chuck Hammer (David Bowie), Cor Fuhler (Sonic Youth), Jeffrey Zeigler (Kronos Quartet), Mick Rossi (Philip Glass Ensemble), Susan Stenger (John Cage), Philippe Nahon (Gaspar Noe), Daniele Pagliero (Nurse With Wound), Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Robin Storey (Zoviet France), AD Chivers (Peter Gabriel), RK Faulhaber (Nurse With Wound), Gerd Bessler (Tom Waits), Michael Giles (King Crimson), Ghazi Barakat (Pharoah Chromium), Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), Rosie Westbrook (Kim Deal), Michael Johnson (Joy Division), Laurent Petitgand (Wim Wenders), Margot Petitgand (Wim Wenders), Christoph de Babalon, Heiner Muller, Alice Siil, Frank Cassara (Philip Glass Ensemble), Paul Beauchamp (Nurse With Wound), Ash Wednesday (Einsturzende Neubauten), Laura Bisceglia, Adi Newton (Clock DVA), BJ Nilsen, Jim Pugliese (John Cage), Kato Hideki (John Zorn), Marco Cappelli, Ben Holmes, Darryn Harkness, Chris O'Connor, Elliott Sharp (Kronos Quartet), William Winant (John Cage), Chandra Shukla (Xambuca), Elisa Faires (Xambuca), MS Waldron (irr.app.(ext.)), Jeanne Tripier, Gerhard Richter, Phil Minton, Wilfried Hanrath, and Matt Howden (Sieben). Thanks also to William S. Burroughs, James Grauerholz, and the Burroughs Estate.

Monday, November 5, 2018

My Sound Art Works Exhibited at the Museum Romeinse Katakomben



My sound art works will be exhibited at the Museum Romeinse Katakomben, in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, in April/May, 2019.

The exhibition will "(re)build a sound-environment that represents the 3rd/4th century in Rome: the daily life, the underground catacombs, the life in and around the temples, religion, science, and art."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Print Works Exhibited in the VVM7 Project at the TATE Liverpool



My print works being exhibited as part of the VVM7 Project at the TATE Exchange L'Pool at the TATE Liverpool, from the 30th of July to the 5th of August, 2018.

In 2007, a number of these works were also published in Static, the journal of the ICA, the Science Museum, and the TATE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Composition from the Paul Amlehn and William S. Burroughs Project



A new composition from the Paul Amlehn and William S. Burroughs project: A Walk to the End of the World. The work features texts and vocals by William Burroughs and music edited and arranged by myself composed to my catalyst vocals by Cor Fuhler (Sonic Youth) and Chuck Hammer (David Bowie, Lou Reed).

You can listen to the composition here:

David Lynch Provides Cover Art for My Album Blood of Union



My thanks to filmmaker and visual artist David Lynch, creator of such classics as Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Twin Peaks, for his photograph Woman Thinking #2, which will be the cover art for my album: Blood of Union.

Monday, October 16, 2017

My Photo-Painting Work Exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale



My Photo-Painting work has been exhibited at the VVM5 Project, as part of the Seychelles Pavilion, at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Meta-Novel at documenta 14

I will be launching the first phase of my multi-disciplinary project: The Meta-Novel, at documenta 14.

documenta 14 takes place in Kassel, Germany, from 10 June–17 September, 2017.

Further information on The Meta-Novel can be seen here:

http://amlehn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/the-reinvention-of-novel-for-21st.html

Monday, August 22, 2016

Collaboration with Faust

 

Krautrock band Faust have been using my pre-recorded vocals in their live performances recently.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amlehn/Fripp/Jeanrenaud: Saudade



From 2008-2012, I worked on an album project with guitarist Robert Fripp (King Crimson), and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud (Kronos Quartet). The project was to consist of a number of soundscapes with spoken word by myself. I wrote several texts which Joan responded to musically along with Robert's soundscapes. In the end, I decided the works functioned better as instrumentals without my voice.

The cover art for the album has been provided by artist Gerhard Richter.

You can listen to the album here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXDd9XG0glOaDFUockdut1EUpMEUNDXPJ

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photo-Painting Work Exhibited at Luhring Augustine Gallery



One of my Photo-Painting works will be exhibited at Luhring Augustine gallery in New York, in the Postcards from the Edge show with art by Vito Acconci, Kiki Smith, John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, and others. All proceeds from sales of the work go to Visual AIDS, an organization that raises awareness about AIDS and supports artists living with the disease.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sound Art Works Exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale



Earlier this year, two of my sound art works were exhibited on a lathe cut polycarbonate record at the 55th Venice Biennale. The work was presented as part of the Road to Nowhere panel discussion at the University of Venice.

The sound art works on the disc where: The Snow of Your Name, with music by myself, Ariel Lorca, Eleonor Sandresky (Philip Glass Ensemble), Mick Rossi (Philip Glass Ensemble), and David Crowell (Philip Glass Ensemble); and: Oannes (Reprise), with music by myself, Ariel Lorca, Julia Kent (Antony and the Johnsons), Jem Finer (The Pogues), and Andrew Sterman (Philip Glass Ensemble).

This is the second time my work has been presented at Venice. In 2005, one of my text works, Untitled, was exhibited at the Isola della Poesia, at the 51st Venice Biennale.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gerhard Richter to Provide Cover Art for the Paul Amlehn and William S. Burroughs Album A Walk to the End of the World

Painter Gerhard Richter is providing cover art for my forthcoming album with texts and vocals by William S. Burroughs: A Walk to the End of the World.

My heartfelt thanks to Gerhard.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Paul Amlehn and John Cage Project

I am currently working on a project, which will re-visit and re-imagine the work of John Cage.

I will be utilizing a number of John's existing recordings, de-constructing and re-constructing them into new forms. It is important to ensure that these works are not merely a pastiche or homage, but, are in their own right, functioning musical organisms. To this end, I will employ chance procedures and other processes that incorporate hazard and indeterminacy, as well as considered conceptual, thematic, and narrative approaches.

Cage is widely considered to be one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. I am looking forward to engaging with his oeuvre and seeing what arises from that interaction.

My thanks to the John Cage Trust and Edition Peters.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Paul Amlehn and William S. Burroughs Project: A Walk to the End of the World



In late 2012 and early 2013, I worked on a number of compositions of music which utilized the texts and vocals of William S. Burroughs. After a brief hiatus, I am back working on the project, which will be released as an album, titled: A Walk to the End of the World. The most recent compositions that have been completed on the project are: The Piper Pulled Down the Sky, with music by Mick Rossi of the Philip Glass Ensemble, and Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet, arranged and produced by myself; and Interzone, with music by Ulrich Krieger of the Metal Machine Trio and Stephen Vitiello, graphic score by John Cage, produced and arranged by myself and Ariel Lorca.

Cover art for the project has been provided by Gerhard Richter. Pictured above is the cover image, from Gerhard's November series: 3 Nov 2008.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Meta-Novel: The Reinvention of the Novel for the 21st Century

I am about to embark on a new project, one which gives rise to a completely new art form: The Meta-Novel.

Since the 18th century, the novel has held an important place in culture, as one of the most preeminent artistic forms, gifting us with works such as: Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath, Tropic of Cancer, and A Clockwork Orange, works which both distilled the quintessence of our times and brought about a seismic paradigm shift in our cultural landscape.

More recently, John Barth, in his influential and controversial essay: The Literature of Exhaustion, announced the death of the novel.

My project, challenges the concept of writing as exclusively being a representation of language through graphic means. It instead posits a form of "writing" which is inclusive of the systems of proto-writing, ideographic, and mnemonic symbols, as well as conventionally encoded linguistic utterance, while also adopting new means, modalities and registers outside of what is traditionally thought of as written expression.

The Meta-Novel is a form of "writing" that moves in a protean way through various artistic mediums and disciplines, adopting these forms as a virus adopts a host vessel, before moving onto the next one in a new shape or structure. It is a work that is constantly evolving and metamorphosing, expressing, divining, and interrogating itself.

The Meta-Novel will utilize mail art, poster art, land art, robotics, telematic art, bio art, live performance, thought experiments, virtual reality, theater, film, music, painting, and interactive media, traversing and inhabiting a myriad of forms and conceptual territories in order to achieve it aims.

My work will explode the idea of the novel, fracturing it into a web of shards or fragments, while at the same time, allowing the novel as a form to sustain its structural integrity and durability, as a unifying ideological construct and vehicle for storytelling. In this way, The Meta-Novel is simultaneously blown apart and whole, alive and dead, existing in a quantum state of superposition, before collapsing into the singular reality of each of its chosen forms.

Both traditional and experimental media will function as a vehicle for the storytelling, propelling the characters, concepts, and themes, through a metabolic chain of narrative, where the energy generated by the death of the previous chapter will fuel the birth of the next. This Meta-narrative, this Ur-text, will, in a variety of structural configurations, elemental forms, and artistic media, revisit, reorchestrate, and reprise the central concerns of the work itself.

The Meta-Novel will be comprised of 360 "chapters," each chapter explored in a new medium or form, the 360th final chapter, bringing the narrative cycle to a close, as the Ouroboros, the cosmic serpent devouring its tail, simultaneously destroying and giving birth to itself.

Possible configurations for several of the chapters are: actors improvising in real time, their dialogue being captured by voice to text software which writes it into the novel; the study of the effect of chemical reactions on biological systems on both the micro and macro level (for example: petri dish and marsh ecosystem) the shifts in biological architecture influencing the structure of the textual material; a performance work near Te Reinga and Te Po - The Leaping Place of the soul and the Underworld, in the Maori system of belief; a chapter that is an olfactory museum composed entirely of scents; a sculpture of salt likeness of the author dissolving in the sea; moving images by myself, New Zealand artist Paul Amlehn, projected onto sculptures by Swiss artist Paul Amlehn (1867-1931) on the facade of the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva; a chapter sent via telepathy to receivers in multiple countries each of whom transcribes the text allowing it to morph into various permutations; and the final chapter of the work placed on a microchip and implanted in the author's body (mine), where it will remain, until my death. At the demise of the author the bio-chip will be removed from the vessel of the body in a ritual ceremony, the final chapter of the work revealed, and the art cycle of The Meta-Novel complete itself.

The Meta-Novel is a new form for the new century. It is a work that has a correlative in the Greek deity Proteus, who, according to Jung, is both a symbol of the unconscious and the perfection of the art. The Meta-Novel is the fulfillment of the notion Wagner proposed in his The Artwork of the Future, of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. It is at once an open laboratory; a functioning organism; a ritual space; an alchemical vessel; and a prosthesis of the unconscious. Ultimately, The Meta-Novel is a work which addresses and seeks to answer the fundamental questions of our existence: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Tears of Eros Text Work Exhibited at Art 42 Basel with the Serpentine Gallery

My text work for The Tears of Eros film project was exhibited in the Agency of Unrealized Projects exhibition, at the Kopfbau, in Art 42 Basel, Switzerland. The Agency of Unrealized Projects was organized by e-flux and the Serpentine Gallery, and was devised by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones.

Untitled Text Work Exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennale

My text work: Untitled, was exhibited in the Isola Virtuale, which was part of the Isola della Poesia exhibit, at the 51st Venice Biennale.

UNTITLED

When the world has been reduced to a dark wood I will find you a taste of ashes floats on the air. The musk is in the deer, the fire in the wood. What new constellations of torment rise for me now? Like weak prey torn open I have bared my innermost hidden pulse to my killer. And if I become the ancient traveler I shall go down the path the air milky and spiced with trade winds with rose leaves in closed jars. Here it has the sublime confusion of a dream we cannot remember. The great fire which illuminates us and sings in our flesh leaves us a husk of helpless shadows. Again these same thoughts that fall and fly. Whistlings of death and unheard music. I have been humiliated by the destructive powers of my own love. I have confessed an appetite that is unspeakable. At the time of telling blood flows from each eyelash pieces of the heart that come through the eyes.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blood of Union




I have recently completed the album work: Blood of Union.

Blood of Union features contributions from musicians from the bands of Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, and Leonard Cohen, as well from members of the Philip Glass Ensemble. Recorded over a three year period, the project utilized an aleatory process, whereby my texts and vocals were sent to musicians in various countries to use as a catalyst and point of departure for their own imaginings. The vocal material was used as a carrier for the intellectual, emotional, psychological, and psychic matter of the work. It was also a way of teleporting my nervous system across cyberspace, so that the nervous systems of the musicians could meet and fuse with my own. Each musician heard the same point of reference, the vocals, but, none of the musicians heard what any of the other musicians were composing.

In this way, the portal of chance was open to allow the magic to manifest in the work. Another methodology I employed on the album was the use of V-A Synthesis (Visual-Aural Synthesis). I used a specially written computer program to interpret the information in an image as a form of visual score. The program read the visual data and translated it into a series of values, which were then applied to the sonic material, color to stereo position, height to frequency, brightness to amplitude, etc. This radically altered the structure and nature of the sounds themselves and gave rise to startling and wonderful results.

Cover art for the album has been provided by filmmaker and artist David Lynch.

You can hear compositions from the Blood of Union album here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXDd9XG0glOZ8xG4Lm4L-N-bj7o-pJhcF

The Seven Words: Into Inner and Outer Space

In 2007, I created a series of recordings of spoken word with soundscapes by Robert Fripp (King Crimson), titled: The Seven Words. These works were exhibited in galleries, museums, and festivals, around the world, and were also exhibited in a two part installation.

Part 1: The Inner

The Seven Words was installed in isolation tanks at Blue Light Floatation, in New York, and at The Floatworks, in London.

Participants were able to experience the sound art works in a sensory deprivation environment.

An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof chamber in which subjects float in salt water heated to skin temperature. They were first used by neuroscientist John C. Lilly, in 1954, to test the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain/mind. While floating the brain slows down into theta waves, the brain wave state of tranquility, creativity and very deep relaxation. Theta brain waves, measured at 4-7 Hz, is the brain state of REM sleep (dreams), hypnosis, lucid dreaming. Theta is the twilight state just before sleeping and just after waking, the border between the conscious and the subconscious world. In this womb-like environ, the music works can, all the more effectively, penetrate and be absorbed, into the substrata of the consciousness of the individual.

Part 2: The Outer

One of the compositions from The Seven Words, Ophiuchus Improvisation / Queer Reflection Harmonic Minor, was transmitted off-world, 3-4 light years into space.

The sound art work was transmitted by a private organization located next the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This organization was formed specifically to communicate with outer-space by a group of broadcast engineers that regularly transmit from the space center. The engineers use state of the art satellite broadcasting equipment with high-powered klystron amplifiers connected to a parabolic dish antenna. The Seven Words transmission was carried trillions of miles beyond our solar system, a humanistic gesture towards other worlds and, conceivably, civilizations as yet unknown.