Available now: Slowscan vol. 25: Liam O’Gallagher

liamogallagherLiam O’Gallagher (1917-2007) was a painter, sound artist, writer, art teacher and spiritual seeker who was influenced by people as varied as Aldous Huxley, Hans Hofmann, Marcel Duchamp and Krishnamurti. O’Gallagher was a free-spirited and socially engaged artist, as much interested in crossing the borders between various art disciplines and art and life as in mystical experience and bringing about social change. He played an important part in the creation of foundations and centres for human growth, such as Feathered Pipe Ranch, The Ojai Foundation and the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts. In the mid-1950s the studio that he shared with his life partner Robert Rheem in San Francisco’s Chinatown became a meeting place for writers and poets like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. O’Gallagher experimented with LSD in Mexico and psilocybin in San Francisco, where the experiment was filmed by Michael McLure. O’Gallagher’s collaboration with choreographer Anna Halprin resulted in ‘Ceremony of Us’ (1969), an encounter between African-American dancers from the Watts district of Los Angeles and Halprin’s own – primarily white – San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop. That same year his collection of concrete poetry ‘Planet Noise’ was published by Jan Herman’s Nova Broadcast Press. In 1970 and 1971 O’Gallagher conceived several experimental audio works involving the use of telephones, transistor radios, a found LP, cut-ups and traditional musical instruments, several of which were composed and broadcast live on radio. His ‘People’s Opera aka Aerosol / or the Computer That Couldn’t Hear: An Inter-Media Opera (1970)’ was released on LP by Jan van Toorn’s Slowscan label in 2014. You can order it now!