NM GREENROOM: STEVEN WARWICK DISCUSSES "MOI"
STEVEN WARWICK, MOI / VIDEO BY DACIO PINHEIRO / PAN, LP & DL 2019
“Do you know who I am? Because I don’t!” teases the Berlin-based British artist Steven Warwick for the second album under his own name. Titling the LP MOI, Warwick (ex-Heatsick) turns the dial another notch making cheeky reference to the culture of "me" that our hyper-personalized media/consumer landscape has brought about.
In the track "Silhouette," which is accompanied by a dark, Dacio Pinheiro-directed music video (premiering here), a deadpan Warwick sing-speaks into the camera, "you said the hills have eyes and that the walls have ears"—relaying the "targeted individual"-style woes that arise when IoT smart devices and algorithmically determined feeds make the "moi" appear to itself as disconcertingly central and inescapably defined.
But like much of Warwick's work and Pinheiro's videos for him (Pinheiro also directed the video for Heatsick's 2011 "Ice Cream on Concrete"), MOI is haunted by 20th century ghosts. "Silhouette," for instance, features sonic elements of UK’s electronic underground but stripped down and transmuted into a lo-fi, dancefloor meditation on paranoia. And in the accompanying Pinheiro-directed video, Warwick enacts a pre-millennial archetype of danger and surveillance—the eyes that peer between the slits of your Venetian blinds. Today the watchers are omnipresent, the “overactive mind” accurate in its paranoia, and the silhouette both that of the surveillant and the surveilled. Do they make Venetian blinds for smartphones?
NM GREENROOM Ep. 1: Steven Warwick discusses MOI (PAN, 2019)
STEVEN WARWICK's MOI is out everywhere November 8th, 2019. (The album is mastered by Jeremy Cox, featuring cover photography by Ilya Lipkin, and layout by Bill Kouligas and Johannes Schnatmann.)