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Sun, Jun 23


The Glitter Box Theater


Presented by Matthew Thurber

Time & Location

Jun 23, 2024, 7:00 PM

The Glitter Box Theater, 210 W 8th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120, USA

About the event

Matthew Thurber is a cartoonist and filmmaker based in NYC. He is the author of 1-800-MICE, INFOMANIACS, Art Comic, Looking For The Cat. His performance history includes Soiled Mattress and the Springs 2006-08, Ambergris 2003-15, a decade of collaborations with Brian Belott, a body of scroll based “paper cinema”, an obsession with pre cinematic devices and particularly animation. He has performed at the Serpentine Gallery UK, Hammer Museum LA, and had a 2 person drawing show with William Wegman in 2017. Thurber’s films Fleegix (2019) The Sea Masons (2021), and Vexations (2024) are feature length narratives on 16mm, manifesting as performances. Mrs William Horsley is a cinema “band” in which the films, made in a role playing game process, are projected in ritual performance where the filmmaker narrates, creates the soundtrack live, and operates multiple film and slide projectors.


The CIA around 1959 after successful forays into the visual arts, began to infiltrate “Easy- Listening” music. They secretly funded many favorite artists like Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman, and Ferrante & Teicher as a way to bolster American global dominance, and replace European classical music with Elevator Muzak. Many Easy Listening artists reflected American colonialism in their Hawaiian or Polynesian imagery. The CIA saw potential for weaponized sound in Erik Satie’s Vexations, an infamous piano piece that repeates a simple phrase 840 times, and requires 3 days to perform. As John Cage had organized the only public airing of this work, CIA operatives recruited him to create an arrangement of Vexations for Mantovani’s orchestra, with John Cage’s prepared piano plinking out the main melody line. Breakthroughs in miniaturization technology meant a capsule of microscopic musicians performing this torturous durational piece could be used to assasinate communist targets. What happened instead was a terrible accident during the recording session in Langley, Virginia during which all the musicians were turned into ethereal gas. But the musicians are still with us. In a limbo state out of time, they gather around a piano bar and entertain each other in a kind of afterlife, physically located inside the dumpster of “The Thing” junk store in Greenpoint.

As the condo buildings shimmer into being along the shores of the East River, the waves reflected in glass awaken dematerialized musicians. One by one, they are crossfaded from limbo into our hellish real world… in which the imperialist musical project has prevailed in endlessly Spotified coffee-shopping Furniture Music…

One member of the Edith Piaf Fan Club- a romantic grafitti collective- complaining of a toothache, is turned into ethereal gas by a dentist who will sacrifice their teeth to the waves.An X-Ray tech tries to break the news and soon investigative journalists are searching for the missing records. As human dogs walk the inverted world, only the Living Newspapers, swaying like trees in a park, have the chance to remember the whole story on their paper pulp bodies.

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