Paul D. Miller is a conceptual artist, writer, and musician working in NYC. A writer for numerous publications, Miller is Co-Publisher of the respected, multi-cultural magazine "A Gathering of the Tribes", and was the first Editor-At-Large of the cutting edge digital media magazine "Artbyte: The Magazine of Digital Culture." His artwork has appeared in a wide variety of contexts including the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture (year 2000); the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and a host of other museums and galleries.
But even with all of this, Miller is most well known under the moniker of his "constructed persona" as DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. Under that guise, Miller has performed extensively throughout the US, Europe and Australasia. He has recorded a huge volume of music and has collaborated with a wide variety of pre-eminent musicians and composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Butch Morris, Kool Keith a.k.a. Doctor Octagon, Killa Priest from Wu-Tang Clan, Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth. Miller has remixed records by artists ranging from Metallica to Steve Reich. His own records include Riddim Warfare (Outpost/Geffen); Songs of a Dead Dreamer, The Viral Sonata, and Synthetic Fury (all on Asphodel); and Necropolis (Knitting Factory Works), His latest releases are "Optometry" (Thirsty Ear Records), a collaborative CD, featuring jazz pianist Matthew Shipp and his band; and "Dubtometry", a remix of the same, with collaborators Lee "Scratch" Perry and Mad Professor.
In 2004, Miller will perform "DJ Spooky's Rebirth of A Nation", commissioned by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, The Vienna Festival and the Festival D'Automne in Paris.
AD: When you developed Errata/Erratum did you see yourself making a new musical instrument?
PM: Yeah, it was all about using the idea of code as a music machine. I wanted people to play with the randomness of it all. That's what makes things fun, eh!?
AD: Is it significant that you're involving people in making their own compositions rather than downloading someone else's music? What are some pros and cons of this approach?
PM: I think that it's all about social sculpture - people have to really think about their relationship to the material at hand. That's Duchamp's gift to the artworld. So many people just are passive consumers - I want people to play with things, to think of it all as a new world waiting to be remixed. There's no pro or con really, it's all about fostering different viewpoints. Mashup y'all!
AD: What would you say to a master musician or composer who finds fault with the kind of limited creativity that you offer amateurs who improvise with Errata/Erratum? Are you rocking the boat of musical tradition?
PM: The notion of a "master" is something that's kind of under critique these days. I think that we need to think about the democratization of the art process. That's the same thing that people like Jeff Koons or Matthew Barney are doing with their artwork. I see my music in the same light. Self as suture - holding the bits and pieces of this media world together.
AD: Can you compare what you're doing with the Web to Duchamp's gesture in producing Anemic Cinema in 1925-6?
PM: Yep, it's all about rotation!