Black Sun Productions

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Black Sun Productions collective is a project of sound, visual and performance artists, primarily featuring activists Massimo and Pierce, who also perform under the stage name the Anarcocks.

Biography[edit]

Self-described "artivists", Massimo and Pierce, met on October 26, 2001 on the set of an underground pornographic film in which both were performing. The pair, who had both worked as male sex-workers since their teens, formed a romantic and artistic relationship which cumulated in the formation of the queer, post-industrial Black Sun Productions collective. The pair also operated Zurich-based queer sexual fetish clubs and engaged in collaborations with a diverse range of artists including Coil, Lydia Lunch and H.R. Giger.[1] The Black Sun Productions collective have a long standing commitment to the exploration of altered state of consciousness, esoteric sexual practices, anarchist political theory and practice, DIY ethics, anti-fascism and anti-racist movements.[2]

Personal lives[edit]

Massimo and Pierce, who are primarily based in Switzerland, were married in Zurich on December 1, 2003.

Plastic Spider Thing and collaboration with Coil[edit]

Massimo and Pierce had previously been well known as artists in Switzerland and Italy; however, in 2002, the pair gained international attention when their ritual performance piece, Plastic Spider Thing, was included in industrial band Coil's European and Scandinavian tour. Black Sun Productions explained Plastic Spider Thing as " A highly moral, yet sexually explicit exploration into the relationship between the spider and the fly", whilst Brainwashed.com described the performance as "The sex act turned into a sadomasochistic, predatory dance of sorts." Plastic Spider Thing included performance art from Massimo and Pierce, accompanied by loops and fragments of numerous Coil works that created a multi-layered electronic 'dronewerk', created by the third member of the Black Sun Productions artistic collective, DraZen.[3]

Coil members Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson were introduced to "Plastic Spider Thing" while receiving a demonstration of various pieces of bondage paraphernalia at a private ceremony at Massimo and Pierce's fetish club in Zurich, Switzerland. Balance and Christopherson, who were impressed by Black Sun Productions, signed the group to Coil's Eskaton label[4] and subsequently invited the collective to support their 2002 tour.[5]

Following the 2002 Coil tour, Black Sun Productions continued performing throughout Europe. The collective performed a 23-part performance and installation art tour, based on the original "Plastic Spider Thing" concept. The tour's performances were often considered controversial as they included elements of chaos magick and ritualized sex magick that involved nudity and explicitly sexual material, such as urination.[6] Almotriptan in Athos (or A Well Hung Monk), a film directed by Daniel McKernan, commemorating Black Sun Productions' eleventh Plastic Spider Thing performance in Coil's English home, "The North Tower", on August 23, 2002, was completed in 2008. A Well Hung Monk has been shown in Turin, Italy at the 24th Torino Film Festival: "From Sodom to Hollywood" and at TLV International LGBT Film Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel.[7] The film will also be included in the 25th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival as part of the program "X Marks the Spot" on October 17, 2012.[8]

Controversy[edit]

On March 31, 2003, Black Sun Productions' offices in Zurich were raided by the vice squad of the Zurich metropolitan police as a result of claims that the collective were in possession of items promoting "deviant or lurid sexual activity". Computers, cameras, tapes, DVDs, magazines and pictures were confiscated by police in order to be copied and investigated. The Black Sun Productions collective was charged with possessing and producing "illegal pornography". According to Swiss laws any picture showing human excrement, including urine, is considered illegal pornography.[9] A fundraising campaign by fellow artists was launched to support the Black Sun Productions collective's legal costs.[10]

Astral Walk and Toilet Chant[edit]

In 2004, Black Sun Productions issued two CDs, Astral Walk[11] and Toilet Chant.[12]

OperettAmorale[edit]

In 2005 Massimo and Pierce released a new album, OperettAmorale. OperretAmorale is the fifth official release by Black Sun Productions and it features Massimo and Pierce paying homage to the poetry of German poet, playwright and thinker Bertolt Brecht (1898 - 1956). As many of Brecht's lyrics explored themes of human sexuality, morality and prostitution, Brecht was an influence on both men’s lives from an early age. OperettAmorale features Brecht's original work retranslated by guest musicians including Coil (contributing a version of "A List Of Wishes", recorded by John Balance prior to his death), Lydia Lunch (providing vocals to "The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency") and H.R. Giger (performing "Seeräuber-Jenny" in addition to providing a cover image for the album).[13]

Massimo and Pierce have also collaborated with the Italian industrial music producer Mariae Nascenti in live performances and on the CDs Morituri Te Salutant and Anarcadian Night.[14]

In 2006, Black Sun Productions released the double album titled The Impossibility of Silence, featuring Massimo and Pierce and guest artists such as Lydia Lunch, Val Denham, Sudden Infant and Sonne Hagal. Throughout the year the collective played a number of live performances including "Darkness Is Enlightening" at Paradiso, Amsterdam, on a multiple bill with Psychic TV, Lydia Lunch and Val Denham.

Chemism and Dies Juvenalis[edit]

On 23 April 2007 Black Sun Productions ceased to be a collective. Down to a duo, Massimo and Pierce released the album Chemism in April, 2007.[15] A follow-up EP, Dies Juvenalis, was also released and the duo gave a number of live performances at venues including the Transformer Festival in Biel, Switzerland (with Val Denham), the IV Congresso Post Industriale in Prato, Italy and the Dada Industrial Nights in Pavia, Italy. A numbered edition of 23 cdr copies, wrapped in gauze fabric were created for Lady Day Lord Night, a contemporary art group exhibition/event co-curated by Andrew Zealley and Chrysanne Stathacos, and staged simultaneously at Art Metropole (Toronto)/Printed Matter Inc (New York City). In November 2007, Massimo & Pierce's short film Uncle Billy was premiered in New York City at the 20th MIX Festival. Two compilations featuring Black Sun Productions' tracks were released in 2007: Radio Intereference from Unknown Orgasm (Somnimage) and Old Europa Cafe (OEC100).

Phantasmata Domestica[edit]

Phantasmata Domestica, an album which took three years to complete, was recorded between New York City, Zurich, London and Barcelona. The album, which is dedicated to the memory of Coil's Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, features performances by Lydia Lunch, Othon, Cory Smythe, Fung Chern Hwei, Sirius Quartet and Michael Bates. Black Sum Productions have described the album as "an epic and emotional tale about sorrow and loss". Phantasmata Domestica, which was released in July, 2012, was co-produced by Mikael Karlsson and Massimo and Pierce.[16]

Disbanding of Black Sun Productions[edit]

On May 3, 2012, Massimo and Pierce issued a press release through the Anarcocks website stating that Black Sun Productions would disband on December 20, 2012. The press release stated: "Dear all, on the eve of 20/12/2012, Black Sun Productions will cease to exist. Phantasmata Domestica, our collaborative work with Mikael Karlsson to be released this year, will be the final Black Sun Productions studio album. (...)It has been a decade of exciting actions and productions. We met many lovely individuals, amazing people and we are thankful for each and every day we've spent creating and performing. As we decide to terminate this mission, there is no sadness in our souls but gratefulness and a feeling of achievement. This is not the last you will hear from the two of us. We'll be working together again in the future though we will manifest ourselves in new ways and under different monikers. Every end is a new beginning."[17]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Anacdrs[edit]

  • Toilet Chant, anarcocks.com, 2004
  • Anarcadian Night, anarcocks.com, 2005
  • Musick for Porn Volume 1, anacdr01, 2005
  • Musick for Porn Volume 2, anacdr02, 2006
  • Once in a Full Moon, anacdr03, 2006
  • Dies Juvenalis, anacdr04, 2007

EPs and Singles[edit]

  • Das Gegenteil, Danhuser, 2006
  • Uncle Billy / His Secret Secretions, Danhuser, 2006

Compilations[edit]

  • The Loneliest Link in a Very Strange Chain, Else.product, 2005
  • X-Rated: The Dark Files, Steamin' Soundworks, 2006
  • Splicing the Icy Expanse, Else.product, 2006
  • A Tribute to the Wor(l)ds of Jhonn Balance, Creative Fields, 2006
  • Radio interference from unknown orgasm, Somnimage, 2007
  • Old Evropa Cafe, OEC100, 2008

Films[edit]

  • Fetish Garden, 1994
  • Empire, 2003
  • Macabre, Meet Murder My Angel, 2004
  • Pirate Tapes #1, 2005
  • Lustre, directed by Scott Treleaven, 2006
  • Uncle Billy, 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malahki Thorn (15 April 2006). "Black Sun Productions - OperretAmorale". Heathen Harvest. Heathen Harvest. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Black Sun Productions (2 November 2002). "Black Sun Productions press release". COIL News 2002. Brainwashed Inc. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "COIL/BLACK SUN PRODUCTIONS, "THE PLASTIC SPIDER THING"". Brainwashed.com. Brainwashed Inc. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  4. ^ johnwoodcock (2 April 2009). "New Noise Net". New Noise Net. New Noise Net. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Massimo & Pierce (23 December 2003). "Plastic spider thing". anarcocks.com. anarcocks.com. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "plastic spider thing, Black Sun Productions". anarcocks.com. anarcocks.com. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "DANIEL MCKERNAN:OFFICIAL BIO". Daniel McKernan. brainwashed.com. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "A WELL HUNG MONK". ANARCOCKS's Blog. Myspace LLC. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  9. ^ ricevuto e inoltrato da layla (26 April 2003). "Sad news from Black Sun Productions". Indymedia (in Italian/ English). Indymedia. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "COIL News 2003". COIL. Brainwashed Inc. 26 April 2003. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Astral Walk". Spirit of Rock. Spirit of Rock Webzine. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Black Sun Productions – Toilet Chant". Discogs. Discogs. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  13. ^ John Kealy (25 July 2005). "Black Sun Productions, "Operett Amorale"". Brainwashed. Brainwashed Inc. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mariæ Nascenti". Discogs. Discogs. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Black Sun Productions, "Chemism"". Brainwashed. Brainwashed Inc. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  16. ^ Massimo & Pierce (2012). "PHANTASMATA DOMESTICA". Anarcocks News Archive. anarcocks.com. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Black Sun Productions". Last.fm. Last.fm Ltd. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 

External links[edit]