The Devil’s Blind Spot – Jumping the Gate

The role of storytelling has functioned as a creative archive of the history of culture since spoken language originated. It is an oral document around which societies have structured their customs, morals, entertainment and every aspect of daily experience. These stories have developed and mutated to create our understanding of ourselves and the connection to centuries of our ancestry. Film, literature, art and science are all based on a history of this knowledge. One informs the other. The progress of each of these human expressions leaps between these forms. Science informs art. Art informs music. Music inspires the painter. A creative mind has explained the possibility of time travel and speaks of speeding parallel to a ray of light, the same light perhaps travels through a strip of film. These stories transport us and connect us and help us remember who we are or who we could be.

Music is a development of these oral histories. One form is directly connected to its predecessor, like veins, to allow these stories to continue being told and interpreted. In modern times the concept of plagiarism as a crime can be said to be an attempt to put ownership on moments of this process. Isidore Ducasse says in his book Maldoror "Plagiarism is necessary. It is implied in the idea of progress." The role of sampling in Hip Hop seen as storytelling in the oral tradition opens up new possibilities in all arts most importantly with a direct line to our common past.

The Concert

The Devil's Blind Spot create music with sound fragments from documentaries and features in the Arsenal's archive. Parts of conversations between Lightnin' Hopkins and his friends and fellow musicians or Hitchcock dialogues about the role of the artist in society have been isolated and transformed into self-contained musical units. At times a whole sentence from the inspirational material can be heard, in other cases just the click of the audiotrack on the film's leader. John Blue uses these elements as a starting point for a performance with the guitarist Axel Scheele and the drummer Daniel Grinstead that links samples, electronic and live instruments. The concert took place at Grüner Salon on June 29, 2013.

Selected soundbites from:
MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES: TÔRU TAKEMITSU Charlotte Zwerin, USA 1994
THELONIOUS MONK: STRAIGHT, NO CHASER Charlotte Zwerin, USA 1988
MURDER! Alfred Hitchcock, UK 1930
JAMAICA INN Alfred Hitchcock, UK 1939
BOOMERANG Richard Serra, USA 1974
TELEVISION DELIVERS PEOPLE Richard Serra, USA 1973
SOLJARIS Andrej Tarkewskij, USSR 1972
ANDREJ RUBLJOW Andrej Tarkewskij, USSR 1969
STALKER Andrej Tarkewskij, USSR 1979
THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON Mike Gray, USA 1970
THE BLUES ACCORDIN’ TO LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS Les Blank, USA 1968
DIZZY GILLESPIE Les Blank, USA 1965
POINT OF ORDER Emile de Antonio, USA 1963
plus: Films by Len Lye

Biography of John Blue