Test Centre: The Museum of Loneliness LP Launch
Over at The Literateur, I’ve written a report on the launch of Chris Petit’s new LP, The Museum of Loneliness. The night featured readings from Petit and Iain Sinclair, as well as a screening of their brilliant collaborative film, Asylum.
It’s a dizzying examination of the ways in which we curate and reorganise ourselves, an exercise in self-stacking, you could say. “Live long enough, and you have a thing called an archive,” Iain Sinclair says by way of an introduction, something that could just as equally be applied to The Museum of Loneliness. Both are projects of obsessive sorting, of reworking; like the clownish figure in Krapp’s Last Tape, we see Petit and Sinclair revisit, time and again, their own records, their own traces, relentlessly, ceaselessly editing ‘versions’ of their work, tentatively proposing some kind of continuum at the same time as radically undermining the prospect. Essentially, they are building upon the legacy of another subversive double-act: William Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s tape experiments from the 1960’s pioneered the use of recorded voice as a disruptive weapon. “You are a programmed tape recorder set to record and play back,” Burroughs concedes in The Ticket that Exploded, but “you don’t have to listen to that sound… you can program your own playback”.
Test Centre are the masterminds behind the project, one of the recent crop of brilliant, bold small presses that are finally making publishing exciting again. Find out more about them and order the LP (among other things) here.