Ikonoklast Panzerism
February 28, 2008 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Rammellzee*** Ramellzee, Toxic C1, and Basquiat @ the Rhythm Lounge 1983*** David Brunner Mix video live printemps de septemb Rammellzee (or RAMMΣLLZΣΣ, pronounced "Ram: Ell: Zee", born 1960 in Far Rockaway, Queens), is a graffiti writer, performance artist, rap/hip-hop musician and sculptor from New York.

Rammellzee's graffiti and art work are based on his theory of Gothic Futurism, which describes the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet; his treatise, "Iconic Panzerisms", details an anarchic plan by which to revise the role and deployment of language in society. Rammellzee is often identified as an artist apart of the Afrofuturism canon; Afrofuturism is identified discourse concerned with revisioning racial identity through the tropes of science fiction and fantasy narrative or aesthetics.
posted by vronsky (7 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you thank you thank you thank you. RMLZ has been boggling my mind since I first encountered his work on the cover of a Bill Laswell album in high school.
posted by jtron at 11:34 AM on February 28, 2008

Rammellzee's Iconic Treatise on Gothic Futurism...
Mark Dery's Afrofuturism 1.0
Afrofuturism site and links

Afrofuturism is something that has fascinated me for a long time, especially within music and literature (Sun Ra, Hendrix, the person this post is on, Ismael Reed). Thanks for the post, vronsky.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:51 AM on February 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also, just to point it out, Dery (site linked above) wrote Flame Wars in 1994 as well.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:55 AM on February 28, 2008

Damn. Thanks for this. Brings back some memories. Basquiat DJ'ed Sunday nights at Madame Rosas in New York up until his death.

I still remember seeing him sitting back in the DJ booth, surrounded by a stack of LPs, doing his art thing on the wall of the small, enclosed space. He'd been at it a while, and the result was two large - perhaps 6' or so in height - panels of awesome Basquiat goodiness on what previously had been white plasterboard. Of course we'd all read stories and seen pictures about what he got up to in the studio - painting barefoot in thousand dollar suits - but to me this was the real thing. Basquiat driven by sound and drugs and booze and friends, doing what he did best. Creating.

I dropped by maybe a week after his death, and two of the booths walls were gone. I asked but never found out where they went, still don't know if the owner grabbed them or they were snatched by an opportunistic (and art savvy) burglar.
posted by Mutant at 1:15 PM on February 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post, vronsky. Rammellzee is a law unto himself.

Nice to see my old buddy Mark Dery mentioned here. Used to spend time with him back in NYC, and always try to see him whenever I'm back that way. He has the most phenomenal vocabulary of anyone I've ever met: astonishing, the words that man can pull out of the air. And smart as a muh-fukkin' whip.

Here's his blog, Shovelware, which he's neglected as of late, but looking back through his archives there is recommended, especially for those interested in culture-jammy, socio-technological topics and suchlike.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:30 PM on February 28, 2008

another Soul Train dance line flap -- this one featuring the main man himself, Mr. Don Cornelius :)
posted by vronsky at 10:50 PM on February 28, 2008

Oh yeah, vron. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:15 PM on February 28, 2008

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