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Editor's Idea

This issue is full of tr icksters, i l lus ion ists, and - in the very best sense - con artists. I l lusionists force the suspension of disbelief that makes art and music sa il so close to the paral lel activity of magic , and the history of music is filled with practitioners whose business involves a fair share of conjuring. For Swedish artists Leif Elggren & earl Michael Von Hausswolff (featured on page 24), the world - as represented to them th rough such f i l ters as the media - is a mirage-li ke construction held together by fragile knots: the symbolism of hereditary power and the totems of a monarchic state . Their most well known work is the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland , a selfdeclared nation which annexes borderlines and areas of the physical and virtua l world still unclaimed by the world ' s existing cbuntries . l t is not an isolated manoeuvre. Laibach 's NSK State is another autonomous zone where irony and political ambigu ity run r iot . Similarly, a few years ago a consortium seized an unused oil rig in the North Sea and named i t Sealand , creat ing a data haven and 'country '

requiring app li cation for ci ti ze nship , and with i ts own king and queen .

In time , perhaps, such ventures as these may come t o be viewed as some of the most significant artistic gest ures since Duchamp 's R Mutt urinal. In the light of the increasingly complex conflicts over territorial governance , sociogeographical politics and massive population displacements due to ecological and manmade disaster, the deterritorialisation and 'vir tu al state' which is the focus of so much cultural discourse, particularly around contemporary electronic music, may be about to receive a harsh kick in the pants .

Tom Waits, as Phil Freeman points out in his extensive profile, has remained a supreme master of deception , t o the po int whe re the 'Tom Waits ' familiar as the barfly persona of his early Asylum years and various movie cameos has become difficu lt to unpick from the family man who li ves a relatively quiet life in California (on a recent appea rance on the David Letterman show, he said th at he gets recognised at the local garbage dump, but never when he takes his kids out shopping). Waits 's extensive theatrical work in association with his wife and writing partner Kathleen Brennan has reached fr uition with his latest production with Robert Wilson : a version of the 1843 expressionist drama Woyzeck, wh ich forms the basis of his recent Blood Money CD.

For veteran free jazz bassist William Parker, the real world is explicitly an i l lusionary place . His 'tone world' is an imaginary dimension into which he can slip sideways at the vibration of a bass note. Retreat from reality, or a reasonable strategy for dealing with a wider world that refuses to take you seriously either as a human being or as a creative ar t ist? Just about all the music yo u'll read about in this magazi ne is - using a myriad of different strategies - struggling t o escape the bland restrictions and simplifications imposed by the world of common sense, of consens us va lue . And so , with nothing up our left s leeve, nothing up our right , we l i f t the handkerchief on this month's hatful of rabbits and doves. ROB YOUNG

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Adventures In Modern Music

Issue 222 August 2002 £3.30 ISSN 0952-0686 (USPS 006231)

Editor-in-Chief & Publisher Tony Herrington publi sher@th ewire .co .uk

Editor Rob Young editor@thewire.co.uk Reviews Editor Chris Bohn reviews@th ewire.co. uk Assistant Editor Peter Shapiro

Projects & Web Editor Anne Hilde Neset projects@ th ewire.co.uk

Advertising Manager Andy Tail ads@thewire.co.uk (7422 5014) Advertising Production Slim Smith design @thewire.co.uk

Subscriptions & Administration Ben House, Phil England subs@thewire.co.uk (7422 5022)

Art Direction & Design Kj ell Ekhorn , Jon Forss info@ekhornforss.com

Intern Felix Cemmell

Words Steve Barker, Mike Barne s, Ed Baxter, Clive Bell, Chris Blackford, Marcus Boon, Ben Borthwick, Philip Clark, Byron Coley, Jul ian Cowley, Christoph Cox, John Cratchley, Alan Cummings, Brian Duguid, Phil England, Kodwo Eshun, Matt ffytche, Sasha Frere·Jones, Louise Gray, Natalie Gravenor, Andy Hamilton, Jim Haynes, Richard Henderson, Ken Hollings, Hua Hsu, David Keenan, Monica Kendrick, Rahma Khazam, Biba Kopf, Art Lange, Alan Licht, Howard Mandel , Dave Mandl , Jerome Maunsell, Andy Medhurst, Will Montgomery, Jon C Morgan, John Mulvey, lan Penman, Tom Perchard, Ed Pinsent, Edwin Pouncey, Simon Reynolds, Tom Ridge, Stephen Robinson, Chris Sharp, Philip Sherburne, Bill Shoemaker, Mark Sinker, Dave Tompkins, David Toop, Dan Warburton, Ben Watson, Don Watson , Val Wilmer, Barry Witherden

Images Amy & Tanveer, Frank Bauer, Nigel Bennett, Kareem Black, Hamish Brown, Mattias Ek, Oily Hewi tt, Tim Kent, Simon Leigh, Sebastian Mayer, Savage Pencil, Miche le Turriani , Eva Vermandel, Johnny Volcano, Jake Waiters, Wandy

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