Here is an archive of articles from my previous writings on music, art and technology. I have written for, Index Magazine, Parkett, The Source, The Wire, Paper Magazine, The Village Voice, Artforum, and Aperture in addition to being co-Publisher of A Gathering of the Tribes.

I was also the first Editor-At-Large of “Artbyte: The Magazine of Digital Arts,” and of Nest Magazine.

Last but not least, I’m also a “faculty member” of the European Graduate School, an experimental environment for discussion of issues involving contemporary culture outside of a normal academic environment – it’s kind of like a “Black Mountain College” of the early 21st Century.

The New Memory Palace

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By Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”

– Alan Turing’s biopic, The Imitation Game, 2014

A lot of things have changed in the last 20 years. A lot of things haven’t. We’ve moved from the tyranny of physical media to the seemingly unlimited possibilities of total digital immersion. We’ve moved from a top down, mega corporate dominated media, to a hyper-fragmented multiverse where any kind of information is accessible within reason (and sometimes without!). The fundamental issue that “memory” and how it responds to the digital etherealization of all aspects of the information economy we inhabit conditions everything we do in this 21st-century culture of post-, post-, post-everything contemporary America. Whether it’s the legions of people who walk the streets with Bluetooth enabled earbuds that allow them to ignore the physical reality of the world around them, or the Pokémon Go hordes playing the world’s largest video game as it’s overlaid on stuff that happens “IRL” (In Real Life) that layer digital role playing over the world: diagnosis is pending. But the fundamental fact is clear: digital archives are more important than ever and how we engage and access the archival material of the past, shapes and molds the way we experience the present and future. Playing with the Archive is a kind of digital analytics of the subconscious impulse to collage. It’s also really fun.


Millepiano Magazine featuring DJ Spooky

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by Paul D. Miller

Alessio Kolioulis: Nato come DJ, sei oggi professore di musica, artista e scrit- tore. Quali sono i pensatori e le idee che ti hanno maggiormente influenzato nel corso del tempo?

Paul D. Miller: Per me non c’è differenza tra l’idea e una sua manifestazione. Alcuni dei miei pensatori preferiti sono persone che hanno applicato le loro idee ad alcuni campi specifici, come Pitagora, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, Duke Ellington, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Bertoldt Brecht, Charles Babbage, Samuel De- lany, Nam Jun Paik, John Cage, Angela Davis, Iannis Xenakis, Cornell West, Char- les e Ray Eames, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Charles Darwin, ma questa è una lista dav- vero parziale. Tuttavia, ciò che li accomuna è un’inclinazione elementare a spin- gersi fin tanto che le idee non si manifestano. Quando lavoro, mi batto nel cerca- re artisti e creativi che siano sempre alla ricerca, e che non accettino mai di confor- marsi a ciò che va di moda. Sono molto attirato da quelle persone che non si la- sciano facilmente contenere. A proposito, non sono nato – così mi hai chiesto – “come DJ”! Ho iniziato principalmente facendo arte e scrivendo.

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DJ Spooky is the cover star of ART VOICES

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DJ Spooky: All of the Above | October/November 2012 Issue | Article by Shane McAdams.

Spooky is the rare artist that toggles between nerdy, technical indulgence, and sentient inventorying of the human condition. I’ve heard Spooky comment on several occasions, in regard to this eclecticism and reach, that it’s “all just one big record.” Which is funny, because it’s an omnivorous approach to art-making that sends me back to the Renaissance and Leonard’s flying machines, as much as it anticipates the next century, where the digital technology Spooky embraces will reign. So, one wonders: is Spooky a throwback, a contemporary, or an oracle?

// READ INTERVIEW web | pdf

Plexus Nexus: Samuel R. Delany’s Pataphysics

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By Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
NY 2013

”Lift up your hearts, you good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!”
— Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra

This exhibition isn’t about Afrofuturism. If it was, my artwork would be in it. Instead, what it presents is an essay on objects that dip in and out of the conceptual realm that the obliquely referential term “future” is all about – with an askance towards the perpetual possibility of what Afrofuturism could be. So it’s a bit of a contradiction, but that’s kind of the point. When the curators asked me to interview Samuel R. Delany aka Chip, I said “sure!” and called him up. He was in. No problem. And that’s where this dialog and the exhibition overlap. In our era of 140 character tweets and infinite updates on Facebook, Youtube, Vine, Instagram, and Google+, getting a chance to catch up with Chip is to be treasured and absorbed slowly.

Dead Simple: Marshall Mcluhan and the Art of the Record

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Artist Statement:
“During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don’t think they’ve ever remembered.”
~ Andy Warhol

Mcluhan wrote his stunningly prescient monumental work, one of twelve books and hundreds of articles, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in 1964. He followed up with “The Medium is The Massage: An Inventory of Effects” in 1967. The record you hear arrived after that, but it embodied the same ideas. The baseline subject that would preoccupy almost all of McLuhan’s career was the task of understanding the effects of technology as it contextualized popular culture, and how this in turn affected human beings and their relations with one another in communities. For him, everything was connected. Because he was one of the first to sound the idea that electronic media and pop culture were eerily interconnected, McLuhan gained the status of a cult hero and “high priest of pop-culture”.

Sound Portrait: Glenn O’Brien

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Dialog with Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky

Glenn O’Brien has been an elemental force in Downtown NY for decades. From the time when he was Editor of Interview Magazine under Andy Warhol over to the seminal batch of zany after hours DIY TV shows “TV Party” that featured downtown mainstays like Debbie Harry, David Byrne, Jean Michel Basquiat and others, he combined the prototype for Saturday Nite Live with Reality TV in a way that still has people combing YouTube for gems from the show. O’Brien has shown over the years an enduring ability to understand the currents of “Downtown” in all its manifestations.

Origin Magazine caught up with him to talk about some of his current ideas.