Kill Your Value Judgements

Article by Ben Robinson | 04 Mar 2010

If any members of the DCA crowd were excitedly looking forward to another year’s feast of experimental music from the justly renowned Kill Your Timid Notion festival, well they were in for an upset. 2010’s edition offers no such conventional entertainment, and indeed the opening night’s events took such timid notions and killed them outright.

Inaugurating the festival was Basque “noise artist” Mattin who, under the glare of spotlights, took a seat opposite the audience and did nothing. Eventually some brave souls began to stand and move around the gallery, one exhibitionist even performing a seductive dance to a few chuckles, and after about half an hour many spectators started to drift outside for some chat amongst themselves. Next up was Loïc Blairon, a young French musician who set up a speaker in the room’s corner that muttered inaudibly (something about words maybe?) before he (eventually, after quite some time) got up and pushed two blackboards across the space. Again, the crowd’s quiet spontaneous discussions duly began to strike up. Headliners were Scottish performance artists Smith/Stewart who had us queue up the gallery’s outside staircase. We then each filed into a room and were given instructions to face a camera and say the word DEAD before finally sitting inside the gallery to patiently view the actions of those next in line.

Any value judgements or star ratings here seem quite redundant. Dear reader, I urge you instead to act in the spirit of the event itself. Best to write your own review and award marks ranging from 5 (exciting, radical, innovative) to zero (old hat). Keep in mind this is being judged according to your own personal tolerance for this sort of ultra-minimal, process-based activity. When you’ve done that, sit down in groups and discuss your conclusions (if any). Then go home.