Rabbits Full of Magic

01 June 2009

 

#Phonepunk# Redial


Rediscovering that interview I did a long time, and how it's not online anymore except in the internet archive, I decided to copy and paste it into this blog (see below), so it's life expectancy is now enhanced. Also I am using this opportunity to host a bunch of #Phonepunk# mp3s which are severely lacking online, so download at your leisure. Many of them are very very old (look at that flyer above, it's from when MJQ was still having shows) but all of them are guaranteed to have you either declaring it garbage and absolute noise or falling in love it with because of that. So we got:

Early Four-Track Recordings
These were taped by me (in 2003?) on a four-track hours after devising the #Phonepunk# ethos, and are noisey as hell and extremely lo-fi and rough. A few telephones are used, along with my cel phone, a really old delay pedal, and a guitar pickup. These performances are all improvised. 003 was used to create the first ever #Phonepunk# video and I still remember the look on Mark's face when I played him this in hopes that he would put out a record on Die Slaughterhaus.
001
003
008

Electronic Music Concrete
These were devised soon after hearing Ben's compositions make by sampling phones and arranging the samplers, rather than using the phones as a live instrument. Ben was in the Kiwis and Tabitha at the time and we lived together and recorded a back-to-back #Phonepunk# CDr that both of us used to develop our musique concrete FLStudio skills. "Ghetto Phunk" was actually played on WRAS a few times in the middle of the day. At that time I was listening to alot of Matmos, DAT Politics, and Soft Pink Truth, so the top half of these are abstract and the bottom half of them are more electronic/dancey.
We're Sorry
Collision Detection
Phone Power
Phone Disko
Ghetto Phunk
New York Telephone Conversation (Lou Reed cover)

Ben Crum's #Phonepunk#
Ben made some amazing recordings that inspired everything I did with the project for a number of years since, and we played plenty of shows together, at the old Lenny's, MJQ, a few house shows, and the Art Farm, which was this amazing artist compound/co-op in Atlanta that threw the most insane fucking Halloween parties ever. Ben's stuff is beautiful and electronic.
Ben's Song
Ben's Song 2

Brent's #Phonepunk#
Brent Nicholson is the brother of Andrew, founder of the Kiwis, and he was in the band too at the time, so naturally he ended up making some telephone-based recordings. Here is a wonderful Brent Nicholson #Phonepunk# recording:
Brent's Song

And now for the interview:

Politics Of Play
posted by alex
on Apr 05, 2004 - 09:01 AM
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'#Phonepunk#'s music is made up entirely of noises from (wait for it) phones, creating noises that run the gamut from ambient sound space to pop boogey-rock. Automated operators, quarters careening down slots, switchboards, receivers being slammed and flicked, touch-pads sequenced melodically and the awe-inducing hum of the dial-tone are fair game for a surprisingly polyphonic embrace of low-tech communications technology. Oliver recently subjected to an e-mail interview on the project, and we decided to shoot off at the mouth on the subjects of communications technology, punk politics, musique concrete and technology-art. Unfortunately, a phone interview would have been too expensive.'

Politics of Play In the field of self-vibrating, interconnected plateaus that is electronic music, trends emerge and collapse so fast that we seem to observe them in fast-forward, a wave of non-linear spirals shuffling down a sonic drainpipe. It's hard to stick out if you are a software-obsessed, glued-to-your-laptop info-junky trading MP3s from wireless nodes during lunch-breaks. You're grasping at new cuts and sequences that are continually dissolving into obsolescence before you can record them into your I-Pod. Which is why, at the end of the day, electronic music has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with enthusiasm and imagination. To wit: The first time I saw Oliver Cobol, one half of Momus signees the Super Madrigal Brothers, he was on stage at the Warsaw Polish Center at a 2002 show playing a Game Boy set up to a soundboard laid out on two chairs. He was playing Super Mario Land while his partner, the immensely talented Dadaist sonic 'mangler' John Fashion Flesh mixed his 8-bit soundscapes live. Head-banging while playing, the set up assured me of the real reason people spend their time fiddling with dials, wires and gadgets: because of fun, because of play. As a member of the Super Madrigal Brothers, Oliver Cobol composed 8-bit renditions of Renaissance symphonies, rendering the madrigals of Dowland, Campion and King Henry VIII into playful, stripped down bleeps and electronic flickers. The result was Shakestation, an album comparable to Wendy Carlos' Switched On Bach in its evocation of anachronistic difference and cross-temporal plug and play. The music exposed the technological and aesthetic quirks of early video game technologies; the boss-level drilling and two-dimensional, liquid color soundscapes shaped and melted somewhat familiar madrigals into something new, something perversely old, something I could actually rock out to. Since this 2002 album, the Atlanta based Oliver Cobol has gotten into a new project, a junk technology music outfit calling itself #Phonepunk#. #Phonepunk#'s music is made up entirely of noises from (wait for it) phones, creating noises that run the gamut from ambient sound space to pop boogey-rock. Automated operators, quarters careening down slots, switchboards, receivers being slammed and flicked, touch-pads sequenced melodically and the awe-inducing hum of the dial-tone are fair game for a surprisingly polyphonic embrace of low-tech communications technology. Oliver recently subjected to an e-mail interview on the project, and we decided to shoot off at the mouth on the subjects of communications technology, punk politics, musique concrete and technology-art. Unfortunately, a phone interview would have been too expensive.

R: How did the #Phonepunk# project start?

O: #Phonepunk# started as just an absurd exercise in spontaneous sound composition. It was almost exactly a year ago in the Die Slaughterhaus, an Atlanta punk rock house where The Black Lips (a local garage band on Bomp Records) lived and put on shows and parties and recorded bands. There was this absinthe party after some show - someone had smuggled a bunch in from Spain - and I was explaining why I liked the film Adaptation, and there's this scene where Meryl Streep's character is tripping on powder from these rare orchids and holding up a phone receiver to her ear to listen to the dial-tone. She’s almost crying because it’s so beautiful.

I immediately went to the nearest phone and started dialing, and writing down “songs” as strings of numbers, and in the spirit of it all everyone in the house kind of crowded around and brainstormed the genre on the spot. Someone started prank calling radio stations and demanded to 'hear this new Phonepunk band that everyone’s talking about', and one of the DJs thought it was a wild thing to hear at 2 in the morning, so he replayed this entire prank phone call rant, which was something like 10 minutes long. He had taped it and played it over Neu! or something.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the absurd and random, so I took this idea and ran with it. A few days later I was recording with a cell phone and a 4-track machine, and a few months we had our first show, at somebody’s house. Ben Crum, this electronic musician in Atlanta, made a full-length CD with me in about 2 weeks, and it’s just been strangely evolving from there.

R: This is a very specific, very idiosyncratic project. The obvious question is: why are you making music specifically in this format? What lead you into this sonic territory?

O: I don’t really think too much about this, I just do it, but there are things about it that I really like and I’m discovering all the time. I really find the strangeness of the idea appealing first of all. It is kind of limiting but the sounds you can get from phones (even by pressing buttons or clicking the receiver switch) are amazing. I like the idea that anywhere, anytime, someone can walk to a payphone and compose with it, because phones are everywhere. It’s almost a utopian image, that with some change you can talk with someone on the other side of the world.

It’s very surreal, to me at least, that every day people use these machines to dial tones - in a way they are almost very low-tech public-access synthesizers! It seems like a very playful, youthful thing to me, playing with something and making sounds by using it in an unintended way. A lot of people probably know how to play 'Happy Birthday' or 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' with a dial-pad, and most of them learned how to by experimenting when they were children. I think at the heart of it, this playfulness, this is the #Phonepunk# spirit.

Really to be honest, the territory is leading me into it simply by existing. I like to think about how vast and important the telephone system has been to the psychological development of the human race, the start of the information age, the accelerated globalization that everyone has been going through over the past hundred or so years, etc. But the simplicity and playful absurdity of it all is what attracts me the most to it.

R: So, would it be fair to call #Phone punk# a tactical media project advocating the liberation and revitalization of old technologies, or is that being too overdramatic?

O: No, that’s part of it. 'Getting back to the basics' of electronic music perhaps, to an extreme almost. That’s not the overall goal but it does seem to be a part of the aesthetic.

R: Part of “punk” is the recontextualization of old styles and technologies, and the phone is the most undeniably transformative and ubiquitous one we have. You seem to be thrilled by the accessibility of these “low-tech public access synthesizers”, so even if this is not an overtly political band (And I’m sure it isn’t) do you think there’s something unconsciously liberating about attributing these whimsical, melodic characteristics to a ubiquitous but underutilized technology?

O: It’s not a political band in any way really, it’s a playful band. The “punk” part is more or less a nod to the spirit of the Phreaker cultures of the 60s, 70s, 80s, who would construct fake tone dialers and cheat pay phones into letting them make free long distance calls and such. The politics were definitely there and most of them held strong opinions about Ma bell and AT&T and the big companies that were monopolizing this supposedly free system. It is this liberating spirit that #Phonepunk# is interested in.

R: The phreaker culture you are talking about were like analog hackers, weren’t they? Why do you think they aren’t really around today? Did telecommunications become more centralized; and if so, shouldn’t there be more of ‘em?

O: I don’t know, I’ve really wondered myself, because I’d really like to get in contact with some of them. I think a lot of that subculture relied on BBSes and BBS-ing to form strong underground networks of really dedicated people. I’m sure it’s still around now, but I think the rise of the internet and all the hype over 'hackers' in the 90s and all that has forced them to go deeper underground. So to answer your question again, I don’t know! It’s probably better that I not anyways . . .

R: I’ve heard early 90’s rave compilations that spliced modem tones in with 500bpm house, but the fact that you’re using the keypads and ringers of landline phones make this project seem almost nostalgic. How old are the phones you’re using, where did you get them, and why did you choose them?

O: Well it’s really more or less whatever I have on hand, whatever is available. My friend Andrew Nicholson, who used to duplicate 70’s light boxes and was a synthesizer freak, rewired a receiver so that you could plug in a quarter-inch cable and have it go directly into a 4-track or guitar amp. I’d like to use old switchboards and really old phones but they’re rather expensive. The main phone I sampled for the electronic concrete parts of the record I stole from an abandoned mental hospital in Atlanta a few years go, and it has nice big buttons that give a real prickly mechanical sound. Just whatever sounds nice.

It’s funny, because I didn’t really think of it like that. Land phones aren’t anywhere near the top-of-the-line as far as technology goes, but I think there is something to be said for the duration of the medium, it’s almost a timeless thing, in a 20th century kind of way, which I find very appealing. Technology does seem to move at a rapid pace and these days it seems to change so fast. I’d like to think of #Phonepunk# as semi-Futurist in nature.

R: A phone from a mental institution! That’s cwazy! What does it look like? Are there like, huge novelty touch-pads and shit?

O: It’s actually not that amazing, though I wish it was. It’s a beige AT&T 705 with a mid-80s design and standard speed-dial functions.

R: Well, I think it’s “semi-futurist” in that you’re potentializing an old technology, in a way. In that sense, it is (again, I know it’s not that dramatic, but I just want to play with all the implications) a kind of user-friendly Situationism. My first Guy Debord play-set. I’m also largely of the opinion that 1. All aesthetics are inherently political, in that the personal act of creation is itself exhilarating and rewarding to the collective. 2)Politicizing aesthetics saps art of its ability to “make the personal political”. It’s redundant and drains art of its political meaning by self-righteously suggesting that it’s a collective responsibility; it gives it an ideology. My favorite Situationist, Raoul Vaneigem, poetically outlines this in The Revolution of Everyday Life: 'The moment of revolt, which means now, is hallowing out for us in the hard rock of our daily lives, days that miraculously retain the delicious colors and the dreamlike charm which-like an Aladdin’s cave, magical and prismatic in an atmosphere all its own-is inalienably ours. The moment of revolt is childhood rediscovered . . .' It’s the narcotic of human passion and revelry that really inflames, inspires, makes life worth living in a corny Roberto Benini dancing in a concentration camp kind of way.

O: Okay, that quote is amazing, that is SPOT on. You have to print that.

This is a very important quote because it is so infinitely true, it’s vital if you want to be able to express yourself, if you want to show people how beautiful the world really is. Repetition can entrance but it can also deaden the senses - look at what happens to people when they grow up, caught up in the rush of daily life? They fail to notice the beauty and the strangeness of simple things like trees, shoes, newspapers, rocks, light bulbs, leaves, buildings, whathaveyou.

Not that you necessarily have to, but it does keep life fresh and exciting and fun, which is a good thing. Kids can look at the world in wonder, and simply play in it, because it’s new to them, it is actually, physically new. They are still years and years away from getting used to the raw look and feel and sound of things, forms are less defined and more flexible. I think a lot of children have a generally hard time telling the difference between reality and fantasy. I know when I remember my childhood, images are mixed and blurry, I can’t tell if memories really happened or if they were dreamed. I suppose it is a political thing then, perhaps, although I never thought of it in that way. It’s something that finds liberation in restraint, because there are certain socially-cultivated functions attached to this technology. #Phonepunk# is about embracing the form and recontextualizing it. If it’s political, it’s about the politics of play.

I’d really like to start seeing more people using #Phonepunk#, but at the same time I’m becoming aware of being protective of it - there was a debate with one of the members who wanted to bring in drum machines for live shows and I desperately talked him out of it, I felt like a dictator or something, which at times when I think about it is rather silly given what we’re talking about. But I do feel strongly about it, I definitely have a vision though I feel like #Phonepunk# is leading me, that what comes of it isn’t my creation really.

(For our second show I poked fun at this by appropriating a famous Soviet propaganda poster, I’ll need to find it and e-mail you a copy.)

R: The album seems to be bound less by its content and more by its form, to lapse into a boring and overused binary. That is, the 5 or 6 telephone produced sounds that are sequenced on the album keep it restrained, but from song to song it’s as if you’re rediscovering pop music, ambient electronic and prig-rock with telephonic acoustics. What music inspired the actual compositions on the album? What reference points does the album aspire to?

O: There are actually a lot more sounds though it all does seem to kind of gel together, though I’d like to try and vary it a bit more. I try to avoid referencing pop music at times and at times I try to embrace it just to see what happens. One piece I started out trying to duplicate the boogie of T-Rex and it ended up sounding a like circus carnival music! In the past year I’ve been listening to a lot of Holger Hiller and Die Toedliche Doris for musique concrete inspiration (I’m very big on the idea, I just haven’t heard too many composers other than Varese or Stockhausen). Lately I got into Giorgio Moroder’s solo album, so this counts for the existence of the disco songs.

I don’t think #Phonepunk# shuts itself off to pop music, and at times it does find joy in playing with the structures of it. But at the same time it doesn’t limit it to that either.

R: I love the idea of Musique Concrete blending with pop music! Along those lines, do you usually go about making the somewhat marginal, strange, anachronistic sounds of your music poppy and accessible?

O: I love a good pop record, but to me pop can be anything, it’s just very much a letdown to think about how endless the possibilities are and how narrowly defined everything actually sounds. I love a good pop song as much as the next person, but so much of what passes as pop music these days is just totally uninspired drivel.

The only thing I tend to like on the radio anymore is hip-hop and/or rap. Because it’s a sample-based medium, and because it is grounded in rhythm and not melody, I think it is the most forward thinking realm of pop music around today. And the producers seem to get more and more out there, more and more minimalist, more and more concrete. The last Missy Elliot song, 'Pass That Dutch', is so simple and fun, it’s like playing with a Speak and Say ('The cow goes moo').

I don’t consciously try and mimic pop music or pop conventions, but it is what I grew up on, and since I’m being playful and since I’m playing with music, from time to time I simply feel like putting my own spin on things. I could say 'no I absolutely hate it, I never want to be accessible' and make sparse records with one tone or such (which I may do in the future!) but at this point, I’m playing, and what’s the point of playing if you can’t share it with someone and try and make them laugh?

R: I am so down for “Speak and Say Punk”. I gotta be honest though, I can’t stop thinking about that scene in “Short Circuit 2” where Benjamin communicates with Johnny-5 via dial-tone, specifically by coding a message into the lyrics that (miraculously) provides exact directions to the meat locker where he and a newly reformed Michael Mckean are being held captive. I find that almost as exhilarating and rewarding as your 'Adaptation' story, but not quite.

O: I will have to watch that movie again! Too bad Close Encounters of the Third Kind didn’t use phones instead of computer tones . . .

R: There are other people making music on phones, but it seems mostly to be cell phones. For example, Golan Levin, creator of “Dialtones: A Telesymphony.” He is really limited sonically and creatively by using new, 'softer' technology. It’s just a series of rings that he’s organizing with a computer. Yawn. Do you think that the further technology progresses, the more soft, miniscule, invisible and indistinguishable it becomes to the senses? Are we losing “touch” with everything that is exciting about technology; its clunkiness, its glitchiness, the head-scratching design decisions, the awkward shapes, its ability to warp and distort human communication in incongruent and often humorous ways? Doesn’t that hurt the creative uses of technology-art? It’s hard to imagine an electrolytic symphony composed by nano-machines, although it sure would be nice.

O: We definitely are ‘losing touch’ with the clunkiness of technology, but I think it will simply be another source of nostalgia for our generation, by the time it’s gone, it won’t really matter in the long run. This friction we’re experiencing now between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ is great though, we’re in the Growing Pains, the pre-pubescent years of computer technology.

I think it’s healthy for the creative uses. For one thing, it feels more important to celebrate this kind of older technology, because there is a genuine urgency, because things move so fast and before you know it, something you have grown up with will be completely forgotten. Maybe not completely forgotten, maybe there will be something like in Futurama where they visit museums and see Apple IIe’s behind security-glass and holograms will talk about Number Crunchers and Oregon Trail.

R: There is also something to be said about the speed at which we’re discovering new gadgets and the mounting pile of old, underused gizmos lying by the wayside. It’s like laserdisc, which now occupies this bizarre historical space between mediums. It was never really widely used, it was kind of the clunky red headed middle child between the video tape and the DVD. But they’re still kind of weird and interesting in a way. I watched Sid and Nancy on laserdisc the other day and it was fun to carry this huge record-like disc and plod it into a machine as if I was about to watch a screen connected to a phonograph. Then Nancy’s bleeding to death in her bed but she’s too high to notice, and the laserdisc is flipping out and making loud noises, and the screen flickers awkwardly and goes black. And I think, 'how perfect'. When a DVD glitches, the image stops, dissolves, blinks, disappears. When a videotape or laserdisc glitches, the image distorts, mutates. To an extent, we have to teach people not only to keep up with the exponential rate of technological expansion but to cultivate and potentialize the historical artifacts which are piling up. It's like saying, 'it's the greatest thing since sliced bread' when you haven't tried sliced bread yet. Sliced bread is really great, you know.

O: I think in the past people have ignored the aesthetics of technology for functionality, but it's beginning to change. When I celebrate the sounds of phones or old videogames or whatever, it's not because they are outdated technologies, but because they are wonderful in and of themselves. I agree about the 'cultivating of historical artifacts'. People always liked to find beauty in the past, but I think nowadays the standard idea of what is 'historic' is extremely exaggerated, so it's fun to play with that. You can buy a t-shirt from 2001 at a thrift store and consider it historical slumming; it’s really rather silly.

R: Now that I think about it, dial-tones are totally hypnotic. It’s as if the phone company captured that Zen moment between death and the Tibetan Bardo state in all its identity-dissolving bliss and affixed it into my receiver. I’ve definitely sat, unthinkingly spaced out with a telephone to my ear for ten or twenty minutes at a time. What other “happy accidents”, unseen quirks, Ghosts in the Machine are you unearthing in your telephones?

O: I don’t know, the dial-tone is just such an amazing thing. I almost want to put out a #Phonepunk# album with one single dial-tone across 2 sides of vinyl.

It’s interesting because phones have a language that they use to talk to each other, through switchboards, through operators and such. When you dial a number, the composition of the tones is like a sentence, a direction for that phone to quite literally 'call' another phone. When you drop in a quarter at the payphone, a series of clicks are generated that tell the phone 'okay, 25 cents have been dropped in'. The dial tone is really the only way that phones can talk to their users, and all they can say is 'who would you like to call?'. It’s almost cosmically sad in a way.

The overall sound of the phone, which includes buttons being press and switches and clicks and pops, has led me to believe it is a mechanical-electronic technology, almost something caught halfway between the Industrial Revolution and the Altair Computer Revolution. Because the sounds it makes electronically are reminiscent of videogames, while physically it sounds like what it is; a gizmo of plasticized machinery from the age of gadgets.

R: There is a kind of limited communication flow between phones and their users in a way, which is a little ironic. But when you think about it, why would they need to talk to us, when they communicate with each-other so eloquently? It’s like people are just the medium by which phones are communicating with one another. When we pick up the receiver, our only function is to create the communicative space between phone A and phone B, who then make love in a complex series clicks and electric pulses, while we order pizza from Domino’s or some shit.

O: Part of #Phonepunk# is about finding the glory in these things that we so take for granted. Again, people are ignoring the form to abuse the function.

R: Your music tends to be more intuitive and creative rather than being wrapped up in the illusory gloss of brand new software. I take issue with the throngs of ‘IDM’ (most of whom are neither intelligent nor know how to dance) practitioners who opt towards clichéd quasi-cyberpunk aesthetics and clunks of drum machine and sample driven drivel that they would like to think is neo-modernist and fragmentary and post-whateverthefuck. It seems like all your projects start with an idea, which you then wrap your music around. In that sense, it seems to be more about the recreation of some parallel world you’ve got in your head. Do you ever situate yourself in relation to other electronic musicians?

O: I don’t really know much about what goes on in the electronic music world, I like to think of it as random pockets of people doing things. I like listening to what people are doing now, but I like the approach of cartoon sound effects orchestrators more than anything. If I had the time to, I’d be splicing tape together.

R: Why is it that you like to get your hands around old gadgets, video games, telephones, rather than working this out on a computer? What is it about the tactility of gizmos that is more musically potent to you than mouse clicks and flickering screens?

O: That’s funny because I actually do use my computer for a lot of things these days. I like the ways computers mimic and distort reality, they are like make-believe cave paintings. The information age and the industrial age have a lot in common, but the machines are alive and well even now. People think this is a time of short duration, but in many ways that isn’t the case. Traditional things are still important.

R: I know that you’re also interested in the Mayan Tzolkin calendar and the described 2012 end-date for the world. There are a few musicians interested in this date, one of which are Japanese electronic noise-punk band The Boredoms. How has this eschatology influenced your music, aesthetics, philosophy? When did you first learn about it?

O: I didn’t know the Boredoms were into that! I read about it when 2000 hit and I kept seeing these trashy novels about the Christian apocalypse appear in stores and as made-for-TV movies, and I think I read about it because it was mentioned on a Church of the Subgenius message board. I don’t know, I don’t really believe in it anymore than I believe that the human race will end in a freak second ice age in a hundred years. There’s a lot, astrologically, to be said for the Mayan calendar. Maybe I just find some perverse pleasure in the idea that a comparatively obscure culture several millennia old could be right about the end of the world.

R: #Phonepunk# has a kind of meme-friendly feel to it. I could easily see colorful “pockets of resistance” of people playing with payphones, making strange noises with them, turning abandoned payphones into synthesizers. Outbreaks of play. Ontological graphitti. Any plans for brand expansion?

O: Not just yet. I’m still having trouble finding shows to play, and I would really like to put out a vinyl record this year, and possibly a video. I’ve seen evidence of some people using phones now (Japanther uses them as microphones) so I’m hoping it will creep into the collective unconscious.

I think people are catching on to something. I hear a lot of faux musique concrete on television commercials these days. People are making symphonies for dot matrix printers. I would really like more people to score cartoon music.

R: Like, Raymond Scott? It’s funny because I describe my favorite electronic group, DAT Politics, as “Serge Gainsbourg joins Kraftwerk, orders Pro-Tools and together they score a Warner Bros. cartoon”.

O: I went through a period where I listened to nothing but Carl Stalling, who I find appealing because both the music and sound effects of his old score act as musical cues to the action on screen. All the records I could find of him had both elements present, as if it would be foolish to separate the violins from the guy beating empty egg crates with rotten vegetables, and I really like that.

Goodiepal is also terrific, and I recently learned he actually did some work for Nokia, the world leader in mobile phones. I want to give props to the eternally brilliant Kraftwerk, whose record 'The Telephone Call' I recently found in an Alabama thrift shop. Honestly, I had never heard of this song until a few months ago, otherwise I might have never even attempted #Phonepunk#. God, they were so ahead of their time. . .

R: Last question, then we have to wrap this up before my brain gets squeezed through the sound aperture on a phonograph; If you could prank call Alexander Graham Bell, what would you say, for how long, and under what calling plan?

O: I think I would ask him if he prefers coffee or tea. Then try and find out how many hours he sleeps in an average day. We would film him making shadow puppets in front of a gas light-bulb.

Roshan Abraham is a freelance writer and an undergraduate student at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, focusing on Comparative Literature and Media Studies. He graduates this year. E-Mail: Roshan@NYU.EDU

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