5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2013
In the early hours of the morning of 23 August 1994, in a derelict boathouse on the island of Jura, Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond burned £1 million pounds in cash. The money had been earned in a previous joint music project.
It look slightly less than an hour to destroy the money and the act was recorded in an amateur video.
This book is a befittingly haphazard record of the destructive process and a collection of responses and reactions from audiences around the UK who were invited to view the film.
It's not a book of answers or even the presentation of a philosophy or manifesto. At best it poses questions about what this act was, what did it mean to those who participated, and what does it mean to you the reader now that you are aware of it?
In reading the book it is clear that the burning solicited widely differing reactions, from those that saw it as an act of lunacy and arrogance, to those who saw it as a welcome snub to our one-dimensional pursuit of wealth.
The challenge for the reader is to set aside pre-conceptions and allow themselves to be truly questioned.
As the book puts it:
Was it a crime?
Was it a burnt offering?
Was it madness?
Was it an investment?
Was it Rock `N' Roll?
Was it an obscenity?
Was it art?
Was it a political statement?
Was it bo**ocks?
The book not only challenges our picture of the world but also challenges our ability to challenge our picture of the world.
on 2 November 2014
In 1994, the K Foundation - Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty - travelled to the island of Jura, off Scotland, where they burned one million pounds in bank notes. Their friend Alan 'Gimpo' Goodrick filmed them doing it. Bill and Jimmy then toured with the film, inviting debate about the meaning of the act. Was it art? Was it a political gesture? Was it stupid and reckless? Were they making a great statement? This book presents stills from Gimpo's film along with transcripts of these debates and other bits of commentary. There are no 'easy answers' about burning £1 million, but there's some very interesting discussion about the nature of art, money and value.
Note: although Bill Drummond has distributed this via his Penkiln Burn imprint - and obviously features heavily - this book is not written by him.
5 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2008
Bill Drummond was a man whose career in the late '80s / early '90s centred around making money from novelty records at a time when the pop charts were in the doldrums and ripe for exploitation.
He was, and presumably still is, the last person in the world to destroy his fortune in a cheap stunt. But, he was a very likely person to hoax the popular media into thinking that he had burnt a million quid for the publicity it would, and has continued to, generate.
It is the equivalent today of Simon Cowell declaring he is giving his entire fortune to Oxfam - it simply is not going to happen.
Don't get me wrong, in his time Drummond was brilliant at what he did, but all this talk about the later regret, the psychological effect it had on him, and so on, is all part of his self-publicity and mythologyzing of the event.
I am amazed that the public were suckered so easily. I guess the idea of burning money is an excellent concept to exploit; and we continue to be 'bothered' by it, just as Drummond undoubtedly knew we would be.