PSYCHIC DJ Blog – Fortunes Told
Psychic DJ began as an relational intervention at the Vancouver Art Gallery during their 2009 show “How Soon Is Now”. The exhibition included Instant Coffee’s “Nooks”, one of which features an imbeded record player and a selection of 45″s. Over the course of a month I offered free psychic readings using the 45″s as a divination tool.
Since then Psychic DJ has appeared in a variety of public and private forums offering a unique experience of fortune telling through the detritus of pop-culture and using Pop Music as an esoteric text. For more information about this project, or to arrange for private readings, public performances or other services please contact the Psychic DJ at… 7psychicdj7/at/gmail/dot/com
The Village Project (Dec 5-6, 2009)
“The Village Project was a collaborative project that involved the creative geniuses of the Dusty Flowerpot collective and friends. Sparked by the vision of Jordan Bent, the project took on a life of its own, continually evolving through the hands and minds of the artists coming together to build the village. Using sheer creative force, much hard labour and resourceful scavenging, the crew put together a magical salvaged wood and paper town.”
The Village project took place at the Ukranian Hall in Strathcona on December 5th and 6th all day both days and into the evening. Psychic DJ gave by donation readings to visitors each of the two days.
More info: http://thevillageproject.wordpress.com/
How Soon Is Now/Vancouver Art Gallery Intervention (Feb 24-Mar 17, 2009)
As part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new exibition of new work by “promising” local artists, Instant Coffee has installed a version of their “Nooks” project. One of the Nooks contains a built in record player and a collection of really great – and really trashed – 45’s. After seeing that particular setup, I decided to attempt a guerrilla performance of “Psychic DJ”. This is a variation on a personal divination practice I’ve used called “Radio Psychic”, merged with the process of Tarot reading.
Every Tuesday Night for a month I attempted to perform as a Psychic DJ, offering my services for free, and staying as long as I was able. Below are Blog posts I made during that month.
Tonight was the last time I will be coming to the VAG to do a session of Psychic DJ. The multiple tensions of not trying to monopolize the space, and the obvious discomfort that my presence is creating for security is making the project not fun anymore. At this point I’m only going to perform Psychic DJ using my own equipment.
Other than a brief and awkward interruption by a guard, tonight went well. I felt pretty distracted at points by the volume of people who hovered around the space, but overall I felt I did a good job. One group of four people rotated out from another Nook, each having a turn at a reading – a nice use of the I.C. Nooks I thought…
Here is the night’s playlist…
- The Michael Zagreb Band – “Love Express”
- American People – “Trinidad”
- The 5th Dimension – “Light Sings”
- Walter Murry and the Big Apple Band – “A Fifth of Beethoven”
- Michael Jackson – “Wanna Be Starting (Brothers in Rythem House Mix)”
- Bette Davis Eyes – “Hands Up”
- Walter Murry and the Big Apple Band – “California Strut”
- Donna Summer – “On the Radio”
- 5000 Volts (Airbus) – “I’m On Fire”
- Gary’s Gang – “Do it At The Disco”
- Cub – “The Day I Said Goodbye”
- Little Sister – “You’re the One”
I am a slacker… I arrived too late to do a lot of work. By the time I was able to get a seat at the Nook, I only had a half hour left to go. Luckily the two people who sat with me in that time were great. It seemed the readings did well. Also, I was able to chat with one of the guards for a while. Amazing person. It must be an extraordinary thing to be a witness to art and to the people who engage with it on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. It sounds like a lot of people like to use the record player nook. Apparently a lot of people attempt turntablism.
One thing that this night has made me more determined of is that I need to create my own transportable turntable and record player set up so that I can enact Psychic DJ wherever seems appropriate. To be continued…
- Cub – “The Day I Said Goodbye”
- Blondie – “Call Me”
Tonight was my second attempt at the VAG. It went very well. I felt much more confident this time, though it was still challenging. I stayed for an hour and worked with 8 people. I felt a little awkward occupying the space for as long as I did. The guards were very hospitable, but I could tell that I was a big ? for them. One guard just laughed and said “I know my future! It’s right here in this museum!”
I felt pretty confident throughout, though I definitely struggled with a few. The more I have to do, the less I trust the process. There were two individuals who just had to listen to the lyrics of their song and felt that their question was answered. That made me very happy. The less I do the more successful it feels! There were a few pieces that I really had to take a leap with – who knows what a German pop star singing about Italy is trying to communicate? Still, my intuition seemed pretty strong and I feel I was able to satisfy most of the visitors I had.
Next time… better business cards… and maybe I’ll drop by one of the Instant Coffee folks and actually tell them about my project.
Thanks everyone who participated. Here’s tonight’s playlist…
- Escape Club – “We Can Run”
- LUV – “You’re the Greatest Lover”*
- Martinelli – “Cinderella”
- Ken Dodd – “More Than Anyone Else”
- Bette Davis Eyes – “Hands up / Lay All Your Love On Me”**
- Doobie Brothers – “Long train running”
- Marielle Mathieu – “La Paloma Ade”
- Dean Martin – “In the Misty Moonlight”
- This one had a skip in the lead in. I was going to use that as part of my reading, but querent seemed to be totally satisfied by the song itself, so I didn’t add anything to the reading. I feel like I should have…
- * The querent wasn’t getting anything from the first song, which was challenging. It might have been the first almost negative reading. We decided to return to the record and listen. It was on the second B-side track. This one seemed to answer his question more directly. I wonder if I need to anticipate that on 45’s that have two B-sides.
Tonight I did a low-key test run. I scribbled “Psychic DJ – Fortunes Told” on some paper and sat and waited in the Nook. I worked with 5 people, doing 4 readings. Everyone seemed to feel satisfied – or at least they said that what I “read” related to their question. It was really fun for me. ..
- I was able to appropriate a space in the VAG to do a project (without asking for permission, mind you)
- I was able to engage the I.C. space in a way that I think they’d appreciate (though I haven’t mentioned it to them yet, I will)
- I was able to give an example of divination as a tool that can be applied in a modern context without a lot of Esoteric paraphenalia
- and hopefully I was able to help people work through questions they may have had.
I’m going to try to go every Tuesday night. I’ll keep posts regarding the work, and include “playlists”.
Here was last night’s Playlist…
- Andy Gibbs – “Love is thicker than water”
- Martinelli – “Cenerentola”
- Bohannon Band – “Stop and Go”
- Cub – “The day I said goodbye”