[Art/Music] Teeth Agency - Twinners
The mavericks behind Teeth Agency return with a sinister audiovisual storybook of hand-drawn nightmare fuel.
All written and illustrated twenty years ago by Mariano Chavez and now featuring a brand new cryptic narration from Jesse Hackett and original music composed by Jesse Hackett and producer Lord Tusk.
Before reading our interview with Teeth Agency about the origins of this project, we recommend watching the Twinnerz video...
"Twinners, in essence, is a poem to the landscapes of my youth and a vision told through the eyes of the trapped. A vision of a world that is all too common in these small towns. Standing just outside of two reflecting mirrors." ~ Mariano Chavez
We spoke with the Chicago-based multimedia artist Mariano Chavez on the genesis of his bizarre Twinners book project.
"I wrote Twinners in a very dark period in my life. I was in my second year as an undergraduate at SAIC (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and to escape the depression I really threw myself into my artwork. I used to lay down in bed at night and just think about ideas, really obsessing and focusing in a very meditative way."
"Sometimes I would wake in the middle of a half dream and write down notes. This happened all the time and I remember an abundance of ideas that was unending during this period - Mainly cryptic ones that I sometimes couldn't remember what I meant after I wrote them."
"I grew up in South West Texas in a very small town of about 600—50 miles from the Mexican border. It was very poor, hot, and depressed in every which way. In order to escape I would walk to the cemetery where cypress trees were planted. These trees were so exotic to me it was like a vacation. The earth was so red — iron rich soil and it was most prominent when a fresh grave was dug. Everyone knew who died. Everyone had faith in their version of god and escaped through the bottle each night. I would walk down the railroad for miles—just looking for a change in scenery."
"I would usually have a rifle to protect myself from wild boar and snakes which came out in the evening and heated themmselves from the gravel on the rail road tracks. Sometimes I would see an illegal alien walking on foot coming from Mexico wanting water desperately. The landscape is unforgiving, full of short thorny plants everywhere and I have been lost at night in the thick of thorns and cactus. It becomes a surreal nightmare when the sun goes down and everything is a dull olive green, ominous and beautiful."
"I can’t tell you how many days I sat on the train tracks to see the sunset just wishing to be anywhere. I never thought I would leave. The only thing that could save you was Jesus, but you had to die in order to escape."
"It was during this time in order to contain and focus the ideas I created a writing frame work numbering system. I would number a blank page from 1-29 (in this case) and then begin the writing. The writing had to be focused and clear—everything in one sentence—one per number on the page. This method I called ‘the frame work’ I used to make Twinners. I wrote the story in one shot—no edits. I drew very abbreviated drawings next to some of the text, all that was left to do was to finish it."
"Almost 20 years ago I wrote Twinners. After all these years I still think it's one of best pieces I've written. When I first made this piece as a vibrating book sculpture with sound piece, it was intended to make the reader uncomfortable - standing there reading this vibrating book. It was quickly snatched up by The Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection by the incomparable Doro Bohme. You can still make an appointment and vibrate with the book. Check out the Vimeo video below!"
"I was never actually satisfied with the sound element of the original Twinners book, but then 19 years went by and then Teeth Agency was formed. I teamed up with Jesse Hackett and Lord Tusk and got just what I was looking for ! Now available— is the deluxe hard cover version of Twinners with a 7” (33 rpm) — narrated by Jesse Hackett and music by Jesse and Lord Tusk."
"This is limited to 50 hard bound copies. Each record is lathed by producer and Mix Engineer Chris Bell. Each record is hand etched signed and numbered 1-50. Books are signed and numbered as well. Side A is the read along and side B is an instrumental. It has been a labor of love..." ~ Mariano Chavez
~ Twinners book is available for purchase below ~
~ Psychic Garden