Origin and background
Formed in Los Angeles, California, circa 1999, The Bruxists are a performance art collective, in general, and experimental noise duo, in particular. The group maintain a visual aesthetic whose main feature is the optic orange traffic cone mask, the eyes and mouth of which are carved in the style of a crude Halloween jack-o'-lantern. This tall tapered head piece is an apparent tribute to the Cabaret Voltaire-era "Cubist costume" of Hugo Ball, as well as a parody of dunce masks and Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The Bruxists' sole constant member is Red E. Made, a punning pseudonym clearly drawn from the Readymades of Dadaist Marcel Duchamp. (The band's record label carries a Duchampian moniker: The Teeth's Loan & Trust Company, Consolidated.) The other half of the "powerless duo," A. Pseudo, is a floating member in the form of a volunteer from the band's live performance audience. The original A. Pseudo was a founding Bruxist who performed in the band's earliest days. His current whereabouts remain unknown.
Choosing to play live infrequently and in the Los Angeles area only, The Bruxists have performed at L.A. venues as varied as The CIA (California Institute of Abnormal Arts) and the infamous Rainbow Bar & Grill. Among their more well-received shows was a June 19, 2003 event at The MET Theatre in Hollywood, California. Also sharing this bill was The Cacophony Society. At that time, The Bruxists mimed along to mashups of artists such as The Dead Kennedys and The Banana Splits. Mock instruments consisted of a broom ("Sweep-o-caster") plugged into a "Box Fan Amp," and a vintage Hoover vacuum cleaner that functioned as a "suck-ass microphone." The most recent live Bruxists show took place October 31, 2010, in a puddle beneath a bridge near The Echo nightclub in Echo Park, California. This occasion found The Bruxists giving an impromptu Halloween performance dressed in costume as Los Angeles surf-noise-pop duo, Best Coast.
"What is the noise of one tooth grinding?"
"Bite the squib."
"The Bruxists do not believe in Bruxism. The Bruxists believe in Bruxists. And Cryptobruxists. Join the movement. Remember to floss. And flush."
"Humanity is a failed experiment. Everything is never enough. Life is under constant construction. Bring on the aliens, who've evolved beyond the need for teeth..."
Cracked media, protest, and anti-misogyny in performance art and free-form noise
Inspired by diverse influences ranging from John Cage and The Residents to Ernie Kovacs and Bill Hicks, The Bruxists traffic in sound-based performance art. One performance found the group lampooning the acronym of the Time Warner Inc.-owned CNN as the "Cartoon News Network," while they protested outside the Los Angeles CNN building on Sunset Boulevard. Another date found them handing out copies of Wolf Eyes CDs on the sidewalk outside The Hollywood Bowl before a performance by The Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Engaging in visual art, The Bruxists have been known to insert "gumball art," via tiny, acorn-shaped plastic capsules, into random candy machines in the Los Angeles area. According to one "bubblegum tract," the Bruxists' initial formation was inspired by the obscure, cross-dressing French philosopher/accountant, Geoff Prevert, and his rumored manifesto, "The Theory of Cognitive Hypocrisy." Prevert, as per said Bruxist tract, was a contemporary of Guy Debord who refused Debord's repeated invitations to join The Situationist International (SI) due, in part, to chronic toothache.
Working with cracked media akin to that of Christian Marclay, GX Jupitter-Larsen, Oval, and Disc, Red E. Made creates "postmodern" free-form noise by way of used compact discs which are punctured with an electric drill. The discs are then played on random shuffle mode and treated with electronic effects. A. Pseudo, in his/her role as volunteer audience member and "primitive" drummer, is asked to wear an "honorary" traffic cone mask and beat on a metal oil drum or plastic garbage can with mallets or "dildos-cum-drumsticks."
Objecting to the misogynistic attitudes and themes commonly found in "extreme" experimental noise circles, The Bruxists support feminist performers such as Karen Finley, Ikue Mori, The Guerrilla Girls, and Metalux.
Recorded output and online media
In 2001, The Bruxists released their debut record, Diffuse Your Imagination. "DYI" was a limited-edition compact disc. The CD was made of clear polycarbonate and contained no music or sound encoding. The disc was housed in a clear plastic sleeve and featured only the band's name, album title, and release number written in permanent marker. Diffuse Your Imagination was distributed to various Los Angeles record stores via complimentary copies left in the 'B' CD section, regardless of music genre.
A proposed second Bruxists record, No More Monster Mask Masterpieces, was recorded circa 2007, but has yet to see an official release. The title is an apparent nod to Antonin Artaud's manifesto, "No More Masterpieces." A sole track, "Thomas Dolby's Revenge," may be found on the Bruxists' MySpace page.
Also during 2007, a third Bruxists release was promised at a "belated" date. A literal piece of vinyl, Polyvinyl Chloride Soul was described in the Bruxists' MySpace blog as a "genuine vinyl" concept album. The release was to "consist of a section of found traffic cone roughly cut into the shape of an LP record," with the intention of "wreaking havoc on turntable needles." Red E. Made described the concept as "something of a companion piece to a certain album by a 20th Century experimental band that everyone and their grandparents love so much." Made also admitted that he "likes to talk shit every now and again."
> Diffuse Your Imagination cd (The Teeth's Loan & Trust Company, Consolidated, 2001)
> No More Monster Mask Masterpieces cd (The Teeth's Loan & Trust Company, Consolidated, 2007; unreleased)
> Polyvinyl Chloride Soul vinyl (The Teeth's Loan & Trust Company, Consolidated, 2007; unreleased)