Live Dead: Mike Kelley’s Music. A Seminar with Branden Joseph

PhD seminars series 2011-2012
The Project: the Rise and Fall of a Political and Artistic Paradigm.
Monday Januart 30th from 19.00 to 22.00 – J.J.P. Oud room
Fourth Seminar with Branden Joseph

For more than four decades, Los Angeles-based visual artist, Mike Kelley has engaged both materially and thematically with musical production, first in the Detroit, Michigan art and music collective, Destroy All Monsters (DAM), and then in a series of groups and performances. While DAM has recently received a good deal of art-world attention–with ongoing musical releases, exhibitions in 2011 in Boston and Los Angeles, and a reprint of the group’s “fanzine” publication–the critical and historical stakes of their production (and the larger question of art/music interactions) has hardly been broached. Concentrating on three art/music groups with which Kelley was involved (DAM, the Poetics, and the almost completely unknown Idiot Bliss), “Live Dead” will discuss the relation between Kelley’s musical production and his art into the 1980s to expand and investigate the artist’s larger relations to popular culture, postmodernism, and the historical avant-garde.


Branden W. Joseph, “John Cage and the Architecture of Silence,” October 81 (Summer 1997), pp. 80-104.
Branden W. Joseph, “My Mind Split Open: Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable,” Grey Room 8 (Summer 2001), pp. 80-107.
Branden W. Joseph, “No More Apologies: Pop Art and Pop Music ca. 1963,” in Warhol Live, ed., Stephane Aquin and Emma Lavigne (Montreal: Montreal Fine Arts Museum, 2008), pp. 122-129.