Lamination Ritual is a people-participatory activity and sonic listening experience which stimulates the mind and body in-the-moment, while producing an original, tangible, transformed personal object which will last... almost forever.
A lamination station is set up with all the supplies needed. A form is designed specific to the event. Contact microphones attached to the laminator amplify the sound of lamination through loudspeakers facing the user. The public is invited to engage their imagination to embellish, objectify and officialize the form by adding personal elements and then permanently sealing them with the laminator. Enhanced by "The Sound of Lamination", the process becomes ritualistic and the artist/laminator takes away a documentation/souvenir of this heightened moment. The sound of the lamination create a neurological memory to associate the ritual with the "officialized" document.
Lamination Ritual is the current development initiated by a Make Life Not Art campaign propagated in 1989 by my studio-turned store/gallery/network/hub, called Generator. Originally located in the East Village of New York City, Generator was an open-call for intermedia experimentation, while continuing a personal preoccupation I had with sound/noise/music and listening experiences. The evolution of Generator - from studio to record store to concert hall to exhibition space to archive to traveling show - often followed a logic akin to "stream of consciousness". By refusing to take the steps necessary to become commercially viable or to enter the arena of public funding, Generator was to remain completely flexible and as spontaneous and broke as possible. Even if these limitations assured eventual extinction. Transformations, evolutions, openings and closings became an integral part of Generator as well as the offshoots down unknown and sometimes seemingly unrelated paths. These "seemingly unrelated paths" are as unmistakenly mysterious as is the existence of "haphazard". One of these paths was the use of the laminator in my work/life.
I supported Generator by working in a photo-lab where laminating services were also provided. Each day I took discarded photographs out of the trash, cut them up and laminated them. Originally it was a kind of therapy-against-boredom, but it evolved into an obsession and source of inspiration. I decided Generator should have a self-service lamination station for the public to experiment and play with lamination. People usually associate lamination with the mundane identification cards, menus, driver's license, etc. etc. (most people carry a laminated card with them all the time). But when people have the chance to experiment with making their own laminations the results are inspiring. Somehow the do-it-yourself trends found in more technically advanced mediums bypassed laminating. So Generator became the cutting edge Lamination Headquarters in New York City. (among its other functions.)
At Generator I became increasingly more involved with organized sound and consequently lost interest in music-oriented traditions such as concerts and music instruments. In my own work I began using ordinary objects to create sound experiences, in total darkness or in very stimulating environments such as La La Lalandia 2077 events. I used a film projector (Keystone Model 16 CC), an ice crusher (ICE-O-MATIC) and most recently a laminator. Meanwhile I discovered that laminating at Generator had a big impact on people. Among them were Canadian artists Gordon Monahan and Laura Kikauka who invited me to laminate in a Blauhütte Klangzeit 2000 event at Gargoyle Mechinque in 1990 (New York City). After many years as a noiscian struggling to make the transition into the art/life process, I was delighted to be invited to laminate. Laminated objects from that event are still carried by people who attended it in 1990. This is a testament to the lasting impact of Lamination Rituals. For me it marked the beginning of a series of life process events, often with the laminator close at hand. I have found no end to the variety of objects that can be laminated and no end to the enthusiasm, interest, confusion and fun people have shown when they are confronted with re-thinking lamination. Among items laminated during Lamination Rituals in the past are: monkey hairs, keys, rubber bands, rice noodles, razor blades, bubble gum, pubic hair, sponge fragments, paper clips, leeks, foil. torn fabric, wok cooked chili peppers, hash, spit, sprouts, leaves, bubble-wrap, french fries and vinyl.
Lamination as a Virtual Metaphor
Lamination Ritual celebrates the transformation of the mundane into the realms of OFFICIALDOM, of ordinary into extraordinary. Lamination is completely participatory and accessible to everyone. Lamination is versatile. It can be an object of utility or whimsical extravagance. It can warm the body and open the mind. Lamination preserves, brightens and protects indiscriminately. Lamination counters our increasingly fast paced world by virtually slowing down the entropy process. Lamination provides a way to preserve for years fragile and transient items which would otherwise be lost or discarded in a few days or even seconds. And finally, every lamination has its own unique sound. The Sound of Lamination is the sound of anticipation, of the great process of life. In a confusing world, lamination produces security, satisfaction and a sense that "something is happening".
GEN KEN MONTGOMERY // EGNEKN
Appointed Minister of Lamination / The Kingdoms of elgaland-Vargaland Feburay 13, 1995
I became a comic book charactor.
See me in DIRT
Although in the past I have sometimes used
a scotch tape dispenser as an icon for the Lamination Rituals,
please note that throughout these discussions of lamination rituals
I refer to heat sealed lamination, not be confused with adhesive
or other types of lamination.
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