elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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I'm long overdue for a video post, so I thought I would share this unique tribute to Marcel Duchamp with you all. This video video was submitted to me by Hox Vox, a multimedia, avant-garde artist out of Italy. Hox has given me permission to share his music here, and I plan to share a real masterpiece of an album in my next post, along with a more detailed description of Hox and his music. The video above is for a track found on Hox's 2010 album, Dada (Cabaret Voltaire), which pays tribute to many early 20th century avant-garde artists. You can find a download link to a high-definition version of the video at the bottom of this post, as well as a link to the video on Digital Meltd0wn's fledgling Youtube channel.
Marcel Duchamp was an important figure in the early 20th century avant-garde art movement, particularly his contributions to Dada. His ideas were extremely controversial at the time, and he challenged many people to reconsider the very definition of art with his works. Duchamp was highly influenced by Post Impressionist artists at a young age. His early work primarily consisted of paintings and multimedia works in the avant-garde styles of cubism and fauvism. From the very beginning of his career there was controversy attached to Duchamp's name. His first major cubist painting, "Nude Descending a Starcase No. 2," caused quite a stir at a 1913 exhibit in New York. Americans, who were unfamiliar with Parisian avant-garde and futurist movements, were equally intrigued and dismayed. Many people claimed that it wasn't art, since they found it to be lacking elements of realism, nor did it appear to require a great degree of technical ability to produce.
Although Duchamp's paintings were scandalous for their time, outside of the Parisian Avant-Garde movement, the medium he was working with was still one people were intimately familiar with. Eventually Duchamp's artistic ideology evolved a great deal. He would go on to be a pioneering figure in a few avant-garde styles, and he began to produce works that were unlike anything many people had ever conceived as art. He achieved notoriety for his controversial submission, "The Fountain," to an art exhibit. The fountain was simply a urinal that Duchamp had inverted and signed R. Mutt. Duchamp's "found art," or readymades as he preferred to call them, consisted of inconspicuous everyday items, such as the urinal; yet despite their mundane nature, these pieces became more radical within an artistic context, and proved to be polarizing within many artistic circles. The majority of people dismissed Duchamp's readymade pieces outright, and determined that they had no redeeming qualities, and therefore were were void of artistic value. However, many others, including many prominent artists of the era, believed that he was attempting to replace the image and idea associated with the urinal, and frame it within a different perspective, thus creating a new and unique personal association with the item in question. You can read more about Duchamp and his life on this website.
There was a time in my life when I also dismissed such art as simply pranks, or art for pseudo-intellectual hipsters; however, as I grew older I began to acknowledge the possibility that it could be created for a different purpose. Even if it was submitted by Duchamp as simply a gag, or or to prove a point, I finally managed to find some redeeming value in such artistic "statements." As for "Fountain" in particular, some might call me a sucker, but I like to think of it as a blank, urinal-shaped canvas for the mind, allowing each individual to create a new "thought" associated with it upon viewing it. It can be anything your mind has a natural inclination to associate it with, and the same concept applies to many other pieces of "found art." If some of you wouldn't mind taking the time to share your opinion with me, I would like to read your interpretation of Duchamp's ideas also.
If you could, please provide Hox with some feedback on the video. I'm sure that Hox will view this post, and he would greatly appreciate any comments you have to offer.