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Barefoot Doctor Bit; Art for Art’s Sake? (KLF)


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Last week London counter-culture artist James Cauty of KLF fame unveiled his latest art project: 50 individually hand-painted police riot shields decorated with old skool acid house smileys.


Skrufff asked Barefoot his views on the power of art and politics, why so many people so apolitical these day and how can they realistically be woken up?



Barefoot Doctor: “KLF did it first by burning a million pounds in cash and that certainly got everyone talking – not sure what about exactly but they were certainly talking.


Before that in the late 60s it was hard to see where the music left off and the politics began. But it wasn’t overt then – it seemed mostly an unspoken agenda the hippies had to undo the complexity of lies comprising mainstream politics and instigate an era of genuine conversation: one that was focused more on broader issues than local ones:on global consciousness rather than parochialism, on taking care of one another rather than being driven by blind objectivism.


Yet come the 80s, the world was driven by a parochial objectivism never seen before, so none of it (the 60s music-politics link) made much immediate difference, although it’s probably having an effect now, a generation or two later.


I say this because we now seem to be at the start of a new musical renaissance, specifically in the electronic sector, indicative of a new way of thinking and seeing, with which presumably will emerge a new political paradigm too, though it’s yet to show itself.


So though I’d not be comfortable with the idea of actively arranging a marriage between music and politics it’ll probably start happening spontaneously now this new generation is waking up.


And James Cauty’s brilliant conceptual art contributions to the mix are exactly the sort of thing that’s needed to stimulate that kind of spontaneous coalescence.


More power to his elbow – I love the man, and I used to absolutely love KLF, and to this day wonder what sort of reckless bravery it took to set fire to a million quid.






Questions by Skrufff.

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