The following series and miscellany of images are inspired by a night of hideous rave music and police inaction I suffered a couple of Fridays ago, when a large horde (as opposed to a small horde?) of ‘Norfuk Ravrz’ descended on my village like a band of Adidas wearing slack-jawed lemmings, for a rave in a farm shed about 900 foot away from my home.
The music wasn’t the problem; I’ve listened to some appalling music in my time – some if it good fun. No. It was the snooping around that this litter of ne’er-do-well’s were doing in my backyard at 2am that got my goat. Or any other farmyard animal you care to mention.
The entrance to my garden looks like, to a townie at least, an entrance to a field or back lane – so they were popping their canisters of laughing gas (Nitrous Oxide is the new E apparently) and getting confused as to how to access the path that led to their little illegal shindig, mistakenly venturing down my drive a couple of times. As I hid behind my 6ft high fence at 3am I overheard one say they were from North Lynn, so I knew reasoning with them wasn’t on the cards. So I blinded one with my trusty Halogen torch.
They soon left and went on their merry way.
After calling the police I went to bed and thought nothing more about it.
I whizzed down to the shed the next day, following a strange, erratic trail of silver pellets on the way down the road. Upon closer inspection, these glinting sliver bullets were clearly Nitrous Oxide canisters.
Collecting a few from a bag of rubbish (see below), as well as many from the ground, I thought I’d make something out of them and capture my results.
The drug canisters lost a little of their mystique for me when I found out that the gas pellets doubled up as whipped cream gas dispensers. If the cops ever came a-calling, I suppose, this rabble of youths could claim their innocence by holding a makeshift cake stall and stating that they were merely holding a 3am village fete. But I seriously doubt a court jury of 12 men good-and-true would get hoodwinked by it.
There were literally hundreds of these little blighters laying around the shed and adjacent field, so I took a couple as mementos for my lodge ‘inspiration drawer’, and was about to leave on my electric bike, when I saw a couple of dead rats on their own, still clearly stiffened by the rave boom that rattled their dessicated little skeletons in the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t help but mirror them with the culture that inflicted itself upon their fading existences the night before.
These sorry souls posed for a couple of snaps before I left the scene of trashed farm machinery, pools of mandatory urine and piles of silvery pellets (that looked like they had been produced by the eager gullets of cyborg Owls) and returned home for a night of real ale and hard-drive defragging.
p.s. I found the contact details and photographs of the rave organisers on the net a few days later, after a 5 minute search, so decided to add their pictures in the mix too. Riiiiiiight next to the rats.
The Overdose Sessions are part of the ‘Death’ manifesto node.
I have to say I felt sorry for the two forgotten rats that I stumbled upon in the rave shed, long dead by natural means, and in the slow process of being recycled by Mother Nature. So I thought I’d immortalise them on digital format.
Several days afterwards, my black and white images of these sad, dead creatures for the ‘death’ manifesto node (like the dying flies I have previously recorded) reminded me a little bit of David Lynch’s dead animal that Henry gets caught up in, in an out-take from Eraserhead. Or Nine Inch Nails’ reverse-decomposing of a fox (recomposing?) in the Hurt live music video. Or, indeed, the Buñuel/Dali dead deer on a piano in Un chien d’andalou. Just laying there, silent and motionless, yet saying so much.
“The Fascism of Youth”. July 2007. Part of the ‘Violence & Intimidation’ Manifesto node.
Discarded Nitrous Oxide bottles arranged on smashed glass in the farm shed around 10 hours after the rave disbanded. Also, in the top right of the work, incorporating a still of footage from the actual village rave found on youtube, and several shots of the ‘geez’ who helped organise the all-nighter among the dead rats and deadheads. His ‘sense of fashion’ is clearly only overshadowed by his taste in music.
“His Willingness to Conform (in Denial)”. July 2007. Part of the ‘Violence & Intimidation’ Manifesto node.
An array of used laughing gas bottles found by the artist in the area of the rave the day after the night before, and manipulated on-site to portray an anti-fascist sentiment on a canvas of smashed glass, a sentiment which extends to the mainstream conformity of the young under the false guise of an anti-establishment movement.
How can illegal raves (or rave culture as a general concept) be bloomin’ “anti-establishment”, when the kids have already conformed to a mainstream, Burberry/Beatnik-draped Adidas youth culture that promotes simply getting out of your head in brand-name sports gear, as opposed to getting out of your safety zone and sticking your neck out for what you believe in? Come on people. You must try harder.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for a certain self-induced brain obliteration every now and then, but its never been the be-all and end-all purpose of my own wretched existence.
Taking a cursory look at a few Myspace accounts of these ‘raverz’ clearly “avin’ it large” you can’t help but think that there’s no all-conquering political/moral direction of outrage left (that punk or ska/reggae provided, for instance), just miserable apathy and selfish, bloated decadence. Worse. Miserable apathy with a whipped cream canister up yer nose.
Oh, and if they wanted to listen to extreme electronic music on the night, they should have come round to mine for a few CDs. I have a selection of hardcore audio terrorism that would make their poor little ears bleeeeeeeed.
“Poor soul. Spit upon that poor soul. He never knew what hit him. And it hit him so. Poor dunce. He’s less than within us. The brain talks but the will to live is dead…” David Bowie – ‘A Small Plot of Land’ (1995).