Ideological State Appliances

The year I graduated from college, my father gave me two gifts he said were necessary to get ahead in life: a Canon copier and a Sanyo fax machine. Half a decade before people began trafficking in the term home office, I had no idea what on earth I was supposed to do with these things. So, one day I began cutting pictures out of the New York Times and making political collages on the copy machine.

When I was done, I’d send them to whoever I knew who actually owned a fax. One such collage – a picture of two Russians carrying a huge Sony Trinitron box in the middle of Red Square in 1991 – had the caption “Ideological State Appliances” pasted underneath. I had just read Louis Althusser‘s legendary Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses essay for the first time, and couldn’t resist the pun.

The only people I can remember receiving these faxes were my father (who didn’t think they were funny) and my late brother Michael, who, upon getting the appliances piece, called to ask where I bought my pot. Seeing the back of this sound system the other night at a local venue here in London made me want to create the same collage all over again. Well, not exactly. But it took me back.

If you own one of the remaining physical copies of the Christal Methodists‘ second full-length, New World Odour, the original ’91 montage is reproduced on the inside sleeve.