Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
NAi Publishers, ISBN 978-9056626006, The Netherlands, 2009, English
The slow and almost unavoidable disintegration of pieces of early electronic art is part of a broader problem that involves the preservation of both their materials and their historical documentation. This task can be accomplished only by trying to systematize the rescued documents, in order to ease the work of current and future researchers. This weighty book is the result of two years of effort by V2′s Arjen Mulder and Joke Brouwer, working together with Dick Raaymakers – one of the undisputed fathers of Dutch electronic music. Raaymakers is an eclectic and prolific composer who has experimented in a very peculiar way at the intersection of theatre, electronic music, performance and art since the fifties. Furthermore, he is a skilled theorist, and his pieces made with bodies (often explicitly relating to chronophotography), sensors, cables and mechanical parts have built complex and fascinating spatial and cinematic works. While many of these projects only ran a handful of times, the artist collected good documentation, essential for posterior evaluation and judgement. This book provided him with the motivation to dig through his archives and collaborate with the editors. The editing process has been conducted in a philologically correct way, also making shrewd decisions, focusing on the visual aspects more than on the musical ones, a theme already investigated in a couple of CD anthologies. This book is an example of how a documentation process can offer an exhaustive and compelling vision of a pioneer’s body of work.