Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Performance Art: Pop 'n' Fresh

Mark Dery, L.A. Weekly, 21 April 1988

THE CHAIN linking performance art and pop music is 75 years long this March. It's a tangled, meandering chain, stretching all the way from Italian futurist Luigi Russolo's March 1913 manifesto, The Art of Noises, to the spoinging, boinging sound-effects suites of synth-trio Art of Noise. Here and there things have rusted, couplings have weakened, but for the most part it's intact, connecting artists as disparate as They Might Be Giants, Hugo Largo, Laurie Anderson and Test Department. These acts, as well as countless others, share stage shows and musical styles that owe more to painter-performers like Russolo than they do to rock icons like Elvis.

Total word count of piece: 1666

Subscribe

Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.