Friday, October 16, 2009

The Genius Child Orchestra

(A text about collaboration.)

1.The Genius Child Orchestra Project includes a number of texts and performances: A fictional
blog, a spectacle called The Widow Party, a novel called HauteSurveillance, a pageant in which we all begin to intricate, and John’s and mine comics.

2. Except for the most recent effort, the comic, the figure of the Genius Child Orchestra is mostly absent from the plot of these texts. They remain an indistinct force of violence on the outskirts of the action. In The Widow Party, the entire spectacle consists of the build-up to their show, which is then not shown (or is replaced by the bank surveillance footage of Patty Hearst), followed by the violent recollections of the daughter and son who witnessed it (the daughter goes all Abu Ghraib on the Son). They are indistinct, born somehow like orphans out of the Iraq War and/or the various bodies that this war has accumulated and intertwined.

3. Following the conventions of the comic book, John’s and mine comic book does give a very graphic and very narrative account of the individual members. But this act – which in normal circumstances would be the first “genius”-granting treatment of these genius children – is undermined by the ludicrous “super hero” conventions of the comic.

4. In both the texts and the collaborative processes behind the composition of these texts, The Genius Child Orchestra operates like parasites. They infest a medium (the writer, the material) and out of this infestation comes the projects. The projects never get completed, never get proper plots or dramatic movements; The GCO creates as it exhausts. All of these texts are exhaustions.

5.The GCO makes the collaborative process and the text it produces one and the same. This parasitical force always dies into itself; the collaboration becomes the text.

6. The GCO consists of orphans and cutters, starvers and stranglers. But most of all it consists of orphans. It is an orphan-parasitical force.

7. The GCO is a patricidal force. It kills the head of the family, the head of the state, the head of the allegory. It turns artworks into crime and ornamentation.

8. I first took the name GCO from Brazilian-Swedish conceptual artist Oyvind Fahlstrom’s sonic collage (or “Blind Movie” as he called it) Heliga Torsten. In this work, the orchestra travel to china and end up murdering Lyndon Johnson by the poolside of his ranch in an elaborate happening.

9. At its coreless core, then, this project posits a translation of a dead father (Fahlstrom), who had no children and no followers. A loser. A dead-dad.

10. I was told long ago that poetry is what is lost in translation, so ever since I’ve lost and lost in order to gain poetry. The GCO is a force of loss. Like Translations, the GCO cannot be contained in an urn or a wax museum.

11. As Langston Hughes wrote, "nobody loves a genius child." As Langston Hughes wrote, “Kill him.”

12. The Genius Child Orchestra has no future.


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