Check Out an Excerpt of Edley ODowd’s New Book on Psychic TV
Psychic TV’s Edley ODowd just kicked off his first gallery exhibition, Discipline: The Art Of Psychic TV, 2003 – 2016, at the Lethal Amounts gallery in L.A. (1226 West 7th Street). To celebrate, he’s shared with TIDAL an exclusive excerpt of the exhibition’s accompanying book, penned by Genesis P-Orridge.
ODowd has performed with Psychic TV since 2003, when he persuaded P-Orridge to revive the band as PTV3 after its initial 1999 breakup. In addition to playing drums, ODowd also designed all the band’s T-shirts and merch, which is now featured in his new book. There are only 320 copies of said book in existence, so make sure to check out our excerpt and order your own post-haste.
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Edley is a prophetic voice that speaks, ironically, through his graphic designs in forward-looking new combinations. Perhaps having worked for decades within the music industry he was looking for a means to reignite his passion for graphic design as ART, not as the custodial corrosive factory farm approach but as a pioneer of graphic design as a quaquaversal, holographic and magickal language. He redefines a medium trivialized by submission to corporate pressure of all kinds with his graphic arts. Instead of feeling like he is on a tightrope, juggling careworn aesthetics, client requests, budget cuts, managerial requests, salary cuts, label requests, studio time cuts, all to serve a salivating culture so obsessed with success and money that it can feel everyone has become a mindless buffalo running over a cliff to become nutrition for those suits who triggered the stampede. A music “INDUSTRY” wants branding (ugh!), wants simplicity of content to maximise a style that generates immediate recognition. This industry is concerned with costing materials, styling the band before any music has been made, targeting age groups, ethnic groups, always budget, budget, budget!
My songs, my poems, are like samples of my blood, my genetic code; they are not shared lightly, obviously with Lady Jaye, but also with Edley. Both have been trusted with the heart within my heart. We believe every detail possible should be interconnected, relating to as many levels of meaning and interpretation as possible. Just as we include some quite obscure, opaque references in my writing, Edley uses the packaging design of a record, DVD, or limited edition object almost like a surrealist canvas, filling it with personal totems, symbols specific to his own cosmology. His spirit creature is the Owl. As he became more meticulous with detail, but also more confident with developing his own ingoing language of references, tiny glyphs began appearing. These function much like a private graphic alphabet embedded within the complexities and swirls bordering a photograph for example, but simultaneously they also expand, becoming his evolving, internalized journal which is growing ever more dense and enriched with each completed design project for Psychic TV that emerges from his stunningly fluid and talent-drenched imagination. Yet he never gets overindulgent. Nothing is ever randomly present, no matter how inconsequential it might seem on its own. Every punctuation, every typeface, every decision as to proportion within a layout is scrupulously analyzed and checked for relevance. Every line, every space, every colour wash, every block of colour, every visual component chosen from the public domain has to pass his incredibly rigorous standards in order to remain in a completed design.
His fastidious methodology does not end with records, posters, booklets, T-Shirts, embroidered patches and CD’s. He works his magic on anything and everything that might add to the unique cascade of original, ever-more-groundbreaking combinations. Like all transcendent revolutionary new artists Edley has always been able to envision the interplay of a product with a related tour series of concerts, costumes, stage plan and stage presentation with no reduction in his insistence upon maximum excellence possible within ANY budget, large or small. Whilst this introduction is primarily focused upon his remarkable body of work within Psychic TV/PTV3 and Angry Love Productions, his incredible aesthetic demands he cross-reference all the techniques and possibilities he brings to our Psychic TV table from having worked with so many different types of clients. A list of clients he has completed designs for in his 25-year career as a professional art director would be immense. Less interested these days in the drudgery of working in this arena full-time, he still will accept freelance jobs if the requirements are stimulating and challenging enough to keep him fully engaged.
Excerpt by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge from the book Discipline: The Art Of Psychic Of Psychic TV 2003 – 2016 by Edley ODowd
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