Starbucks War is over if the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu want it

[update 26.8.] Clips vom Auftritt gestern abend.

Vor 23 Jahren, am frühen Morgen des 23. August 1994, verbrannten James Cauty und Bill Drummond aka The K Foundation aka The KLF 1 Million Pfund in bar auf einem Hausboot vor der Isle of Jura, veröffentlichten einen Film und ein Buch über die Aktion und verschwanden schließlich (nicht so ganz spurlos) aus dem Musik/Art-Biz. Seit gestern sind sie wieder da.

Seit ein paar Monaten rutschen immer wieder Flyer und Poster durch meine Timeline mit kryptischen Botschaften und Hinweisen, dann wurde bekannt, dass die Herren ein Buch
namens 2023: A Trilogy („Well we're back again, They never kicked us out, twenty thousand years of SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT“, Auszug) geschrieben hatten.

Aus einem Review beim Guardian: „It is littered with bastardised references to 2017 culture in a nod to the grim future that could befall us all – the Big Five who rule the world are GoogleByte, Wikitube, Amazaba, FaceLife and AppleTree. Winnie, the main protagonist, has had an affair with Julian Assange in her younger years, and now uses an iPhone23; Michelle Obama has been the first female president of the US in 2020 but now models for Damien Hirst; Putin was crowned (ceremonial) czar of Russia; Simon Cowell was murdered by a former contestant live on China’s Got Talent in 2017.“

Schließlich fand gestern ein „Book-Stamping“ statt („logos of The Jams, Badger Kull [a mysterious new music group], Built By The Jams, The Toxteth Day Of The Dead, Pyramid Blaster and Starbucks War Is Over“), da The KLF natürlich keine Bücher signieren und dort wird es nun wirklich interessant (ein neues Buch von Drummond und Cauty interessiert mich eher so mittel, legendäres Vermächtnis hin oder her).

„It's not a book launch“ waren die ersten Worte von Bill Drummond, und in der Tat: Das Buch ist Nebensache, genauso wie das Verbrennen der Million vor 23 Jahren nie das eigentliche Kunstwerk darstellte. James Cauty selbst erzählte im Observer-Artikel damals: „Any meaning in it will have to do with how people react to it. […] The art works not in the action, but in the void of what it is. The dilemma that anyone receiving the information is put in… that, if anything, is what embodies the art work.“

Folgerichtig war der „Non-Book-Launch“ gestern (neben einer Buch-Stempelung) eine „öffentliche Anhörung“, um herauszufinden, warum zum Geier The KLF eine Million Pfund verbrannten:

People wanted to know why the K Foundation burnt the money. Cauty & Drummond did not have an adequate answer. Cauty & Drummond felt it was for others to tell them why. Cauty & Drummond signed an agreement to stop trying to explain the burning of the money for a period of 23 years. This was done to provide adequate time for others to tell them why they burnt the money. The agreement took on the name The Twenty Three Year Moratorium, and was backdated to the night of the burning. This moratorium will be complete on 23 August 2017.

On the evening of 23 August 2017 a public hearing is to be held at The Black E in Liverpool, to find out if there is an answer to the question.

Der Guardian hat ein paar Antworten aufgeschrieben: Tattoos, gravediggers and traffic cones: the KLF take Liverpool.

Suggestions are put forward by five guest speakers – artist Jeremy Deller kicks it off with some chat about neolithic ancient rites, while economist Ann Pettifor describes the act as “quantitative tightening”. The most persuasive argument is put forward by the band’s PR Mick Houghton. “They were both having breakdowns,” he says. “They wanted to eclipse their history.”

In a shambolic voting session, the audience decides it was all down to “a deep historical tradition of weirdness”. Cauty and Drummond appear on stage in order to face this verdict but one heckle leads to unplanned discussion on whether they’ll destroy their ice-cream van (Cauty: “We’re not blowing it up, we’ve only just had it MOT’d”) and when asked for their response to the vote they seem lost for words. “Whatever,” Cauty announces. “I don’t know what to say,” Drummond adds. “Just say ‘whatever’,” Cauty advises him. “Whatever,” Drummond says.

They leave the stage to cheers — this is not exactly the world’s toughest audience — but one of the biggest cheers of the night had come earlier, when Deller attempted to contextualise the money burning’s supposed artistic value. “There’s no greater artwork,” he announced, “than a great pop record.”

We won’t know for another two days whether Badger Kull can hope to substantiate that claim. But there’s a ritual involving that coffin to get through first, and don’t bet against at least one exploding ice-cream van.

Es gibt auch ein ganzes Blog über die Aktion: Welcome to the Dark Ages. Von dort:

With the bombardment of media that we now endure as a norm, it appears that our authors are aware that ‘heroic’ efforts are required for the art to reach where it needs to go. The traditional methods are unlikely to evoke the emotion and interest that these two are capable of achieving.

All in all, this was an evening where a chapter ended, a new verse started and past symbols were further perpetuated. We saw the strength of a stay of absence in effect (but this is likely to go a step further at the hearing tonight).

This was just a beginning…

Heute wird es noch so etwas wie eine Aufführung einer öffentlichen Theater-Version des Buches in der Liverpooler Innenstadt geben und am Freitag findet ein „Graduation Ball“ statt mit der neuen Band namens „Badger Kull“, die nur einen einzigen 3-Minuten-Song mit dem Titel „Toxteth Day of the Dead“ am Start hat. Und auf den bin ich mehr als gespannt.