My West Coast North American tour begins tonight. It’s strange to be touring in the middle of these pitch black political times. Hopefully, it’s also meaningful and a way of coming together. Hopefully it’s a place to really experience something.
When I made Blood Bitch, one of the most pressing thoughts was shaped by the Adam Curtis sample that plays over the track Untamed Region, which is from a documentary about, among other things, how political leaders in countries like Russia and the UK (and now also America) use theories of confusion and disillution to oppress an entire nation of people. Curtis shows how these theories are taken straight from avant-garde art movements. I was thinking: How could the strategies of so much beautiful and strange and revolutionary art movements be adapted so easily to the machines of power and capitalism? And if the work of revolutionary art is so easily adapted to power, what is the future of, and value of, contemporary art?
I think this question lead me to connect with underrated, “bad” cult movies like the films of Jess Franco. I connected with subcultural art that in many ways was considered bad art, or soft art, art that didn’t shock and was even hard to take seriously for film critics. The films are constantly compromised (by shady film production companies, producers, low budgets, and the strange, very personal desires of the filmmaker), and many of them have been seen as less powerful films. Films with lo-fi images, unrealised desires and makeshift locations and dialogues that fail to create the illusion we’ve learnt we need to believe in.
This type of art is perhaps overlooked because its strategies are too imprecise, too mundane (too human?). But perhaps this is also art that is useless to the politics of power? I was thinking to myself: What kind of desire lies in this imprecision, which possibilities? Is there something, somewhere, that power in the time of Neo-capitalism can overlook? A place to create a different language?
It sounds silly, and perhaps this was a naive search. I don’t think I’m trying to answer these questions directly on Blood Bitch. But I am going through something in these songs, emotionally and artistically, that is related to these questions. And for what it’s worth, I feel this is incredibly relevant to go through at the moment. In addition to coming together, expressing our fears and creating open, revolutionary communities.