About five years ago, I started chatting with one Jon Nelson, who worked at the Walker’s front desk when not DJing for the University of Minnesota’s Radio K. He turned me onto a project that he, under the art alter-ego Escape Mechanism, was participating in: a group of audio collage artists from across North America had created a mix CD of their Negativland-style art, packaged and shrink-wrapped it, and “reverse shoplifted” (or “droplifted“) it into the bins at Sam Goody, Tower Records, and other big record stores that, out of fear of prosecution for copyright infringement, wouldn’t carry their sample-heavy work. (I owe Jon a lot; I ended up writing on the project for a Canadian magazine, and landed a three-year editorship because of it.)
Today, Nelson is the mastermind behind the syndicated radio show and podcast Some Assembly Required, a prolific visual- and sound-artist, and the subject of a new videoblog piece by Blogumentary‘s Chuck Olsen.
Created in partnership with mnartists.org, it’s the first in a series of video profiles Olsen will create focusing on area artists. The man behind the daily videoblog Minnesota Stories, Chuck’s last Off Center appearance was an interview he did with visiting author Bruce Sterling.