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by Ian McDermott

14-Channel Audio
(Bounced down here to stereo for listening purposes)
Duration: 23:31

Speaker Installation by John Henry Blatter


Premiered during the Coda of Artisphere's sound exhibition, Fermata. The second work of McDermott's Hypercomedy series. This series serves to overload the senses, the most important one being humor, and often won’t be fully comprehended until after multiple experiences of each artwork. The American Dream, In 2-D Surround Sound is a musical semi-narrative inspired by a passage that the artist found written in braille on the outside of a styrofoam coffee cup. The cup had been discarded, for reasons good or bad, in the trash outside of a marketing agency in Northwest DC. It read as follows:

"The American Dream, in 2-D surround sound." Those six words (plus one number, one hyphen and one letter) changed a humble Dr. Guru Gumdrop's life forever. Freshly pressed and refreshed from his Siberian Spirit Quest, Dr. Gumdrop began what any real American would do. Innovate. Turn lemons into lemonade, or in this case, a belly-up catfish farm into crates and crates of money! The MOTHERKNUCKLE Marketing Magistrate got him on the phone and, well to make a long story short, you probably had a cup of their fresh-brewed history this morning. The Magistrate knows what people like, often in advance, so it wasn't coincidental circumstance that the combination of delicious coffee and hypercomedic, real-time sonic movement with aural tracking through the analog output of a 4x3 speaker matrix would transform a Mom and Doc operation into a corporation with a yearly net profit rivaling the entire collective United Nations' GDP. It was marketing substance. Kashima Coffee is a household name, and you're to blame for its fame.

American Dream unfolds in five movements:

The Wake
They Stir
A Word From Our Sponsors
The Sleep of Rationalization Produces Dreams

Many thanks to Sebastian Kennerly, Katie McD, Maggie B. and Mason Trappio for the use of their vocal chords and their beautiful grey matter. Also boatloads of gratitude to The End of Days Nursing Home® Cruise for the hefty amount of funding and bottomless supply of Kashima Coffee®, a rich fuel for the artist’s flames that truly had him, "Hooked 'til the last drop!"™

Mouth Smash

Backing track to an anti-war comedy performance. The quickest way to the hearts and minds of a millennial audience is by embellishing a childhood anthem.

Dinocology 101

Backing track to a MOTHERKNUCKLE performance first premiered at the Kennedy Center during the 2014 Bentzen Ball. The routine is a dinosaur-themed birthday party for a 21 year old. The music is a journey through various sonic landscapes and genres.

Photos by Karlin Villondo Photography - karlinvillondo.photoshelter.com