Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Surrealist General Store

I've finally been made privy to the website and hypnotically beautiful collage esoterica of Scott Carlton Harris aka "Mousetrap".

A founding member of Chicago experimental and punk outfits Terminal Beach, A Mason in Ur, and perhaps most notably, NGA JIWA, whose Neubauten-esque industrial/performance and ritual aspect seemed quite revolutionary in the city at the time, Harris has remained somewhat of a buried secret to many Chicago experimental music and art enthusiasts. I've never met the man, heard any of his music, or witnessed live performances, the only knowledge I have is the myth and folklore of the man passed down through a good friend, David Thomas, who along with founding art punk group DA!, performed with Harris in Terminal Beach and NGA JIWA. David has told me some amazing stories about the performances of NGA JIWA: burning bones, using giant oil drums as percussion instruments, incense, candles, Tibetan thighbone trumpets, etc. The stories David has to tell about Harris, the occult, Chicago punk, art, music, film, books, could fill a couple dozen volumes. If you ever run into David, ask him how Harris got his nickname "Mousetrap".

I've been intrigued with the persona of "Mousetrap" for some time now, and was very happy to see that his visual art finally has a web presence. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the old NGA JIWA or Mason in Ur performance recordings, photographs, or other ephemera will surface sometime soon.

More info at: Chicago Punk Database, DA!, Conjuring Mythologies

Thanks David!

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