Kamikaze Jones – “The Degeneration Loops” & “End of the Line“
TX: Thursday, 31st August, 11am / 5.30pm / 10.00pm plus omnibus version: Sunday, 3rd September, 9pm – 9.30pm,
The Degeneration Loops
Directly evoking the work of William Basinski, The Degeneration Loops are a series of dronescapes using sonic ephemera from queer pornography. Each loop is recorded to tape and subsequently eroded through a deliberate misuse of digitization technology. Jones mines the historicity of the “loop” as an early means of disseminating erotic material, while pondering the innate unknowability of the archive: subject to the shifting attitudes of posterity, ontological dust, spectral intervention, and weaponized erasure.
‘Degeneration Loop 2: Pier Groups’ is a loop from the 1982 gay pornographic film “Pier Groups” which prominently features men cruising the abandoned Pier 52 warehouse of the New York City waterfront.
‘Degeneration Loop 3: My Masters’ is a loop from the 1986 underground gay kink video “My Masters” by Christopher Rage.
Both loops have been subjected to multiple scalpels until the tape can no longer fully function.
End of the Line is an experimental radio play that juxtaposes found audio sourced from gay phone sex hotlines with electronically manipulated recordings of hold music from pharmacies across the USA.
The hotline is an arguably outmoded telecommunication technology that has sculpted and mediated generations of queer desire. After obtaining a free trial to chat with “local guys” via hotline one lonely December evening, I was granted access to the explicit spoken word bios of men seeking erotic company throughout the United States, some of which seemed to be months-if not years-old. This aural landscape felt both divinatory and predicated on the ideologies of cruising; the faceless ghosts of public sex circulating in a feedback loop. This aura of unfulfilled expectation felt similar to the liminal psychogeographies that occur upon experiencing “hold music”; music created to fill a bureaucratic void and intended to ease the anxieties of waiting.
Recorded directly from my phone, I began to document these voices while compiling snippets of hold music from CVS and Walgreens’ pharmacies throughout the nation. There were two predominant hold music compositions featured, but depending on the quality of the connection, the recordings were subject to aleatoric distortion and degeneration. These disparate audio sources delineate simultaneously purgatorial and quasi-cartographical spaces, and when in dialogue with each other, create a unique hauntological topography that addresses archival loss, queer longing, the failures of the medical industrial complex, and the occult properties of “being put on hold.”
Kamikaze Jones is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores extended vocal technique, queer hauntologies, and ritualized erotic transcendence. Utilizing counterarchival impulse and experimental research procedures, Jones endeavors to provide both sonic and ceremonial sanctuary for the ghosts of public sex. His work across mediums has been featured by Anthology Film Archives, Black Mountain College Museum, Montez Press Radio, Wave Farm, The Poetry Project, and Onassis USA. He was a founding member of the poetry and performance collective The Anchoress Syndicate, and the host of the podcast “Pure Garbage: An Oral Examination of John Waters.” He is the current arts editor of WUSSY Magazine.