Imaginary Concerts is a collaborative project organized by Coffin, featuring the contributions of more than 75 artists, curators, and musicians. At the artist’s invitation, each contributor submitted a fictitious concert line-up they’d like to one day see take place, regardless of how unrealistic or unrealizable. The billings were giving to designer Adam Turnbull, who typeset the texts in the house style of the Colby Poster Printing Co., the LA-based print shop which famously churned out iconic “show print” posters for nearly 65 years before closing their doors in 2012.
With contributions from Lizzi Bougatsos, Rhys Chatham, Kerstin Brätsch, Malcolm Mooney, Nico Muhly, Genesis P-Orridge, Charlemagne Palestine, and many others, the dream line-ups span across generations and musical genres to fulfill some individualized fantasy. The far-reaching mashups – sometimes whimsical or humorous – are also revealing of the profound impact that the concert experience has had for many. Accessing this musical history (even as a fabricated one) through the varied and expansive knowledge of the contributors gives us something that feels deeply personal, driven by nostalgia and remembrance as maybe music is uniquely suited to do.
Collected together, the works in Imaginary Concerts also offer a reflection on the difficulties of justly documenting any shared history – the disconnect that exists between the ‘experience’ of an event/show and what gets captured in the ephemeral material that emerges from it, first as promotion and then as archival record. As a conceptual artwork and forged document, these posters skip the event altogether, revealing the tangible ephemera of the event to be what unites those unshareable experiences.
Including contributions from:
Tauba Auerbach, Mark Beasley and Dan Fox, Adrianne Born, Lizzi Bougatsos, Kerstin Brätsch, Edgar Um Bucholtz, Rhys Chatham, Bill Coffin, Bjorn Copeland, Jan von Dallwitz, Simon Davenport, Jeff Davis, Brian DeGraw, Bridget Donahue and Jory Rabinovitz, Paul Duncan, ESP TV (Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan), EYE, Leo Fitzpatrick, Don Fleming, Alexis Georgopoulos, David Grubbs, Guardian Alien (Alex Drewchin and Greg Fox), Frank Haines, Kurt von Hammerstein, Patrick Higgins, Matthew Higgs, Sam Hillmer, James Hoff, Christian Holstad, Karl Holmqvist, Beth Houfek and Dean Spunt, Dan Hougland, Marc Hundley, Jay Israelson, Rose Kallal, Andrew Kuo, Steve Kurtz, Karl LaRocca, Sadie Laska, Mark Leckey, Cary Leibowitz, Devon E. Levins, Nate Lowman, Justin Luke, Nicky Mao, Ari Marcopoulos, Adam McEwen, Malcolm Mooney, Nico Muhly, Takeshi Murata, Virginia Overton, Genesis P-Orridge, Charlemagne Palestine, Asher Penn, Ariel Pink, Lee Ranaldo, Larry Rinder, Lele Saveri, Richard von der Schulenburg, Kerry Schuss, Mike Seely, Trevor Shimizu, Sun Araw, Alexis Taylor, Nico Tepreff, Title TK (Cory Arcangel, Howie Chen and Alan Licht), Prince Toffe, John Tremblay, Neville Wakefield, and Matt Werth