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PROCEEDS WILL BE COLLECTED AND GIVEN TO ST.MUNGOS, a London based charity that helps people recover from the issues that create homelessness. More than simply a bed, they provide care, ongoing support and a chance for a better life.
The Random Artists crew first came into contact with the man I knew as Rob De Zero (aka Rob Noxious aka Rob Shoes aka Rob The Prophet) at one of the early Temporary Autonomous Art exhibitions we held at various squatted venues in east London at the start of the millennium.
Rob quickly joined our merry band full-time as we lived out our home-free existence for the cause of anarchic creative endeavour. Rob was first and foremost a writer, deliberately casting himself to the farthest edges of our society and distilling his experiences into his work, often garbled and fragmented but always a clear reflection of the vast chaotic city in which he lived and owned.
He carried a deep sadness from the loss of a lover that guided both his writing and his drifting yet his warmth and humour and gentle nature shone from under his grubby bohemian scruff. He was a great clown and a goofy fool with a beautiful laugh and a much-used smile. And his feet stank coz of all the walking.
It was clear that Rob was a wanderer, a gentleman of the street; he would roam London endlessly, returning regularly with artefacts he'd collected, his notebooks filled. Every room he had he covered in symbols and scrawls, filled to capacity with items he'd dredged from skips, creating spaces that had a magickal air of disorder: these womble mountains of discarded treasures were a fantastic source of art and building materials and he was happy to let us rummage and use whatever we found. There would always be a stack of typewriters – these were the only possessions that were out of bounds – and he would spend his days typing up his notes (his ‘field reports’), compiling them into scrapbooks or collages.
I have recordings of him reading out some of his work on a few different occasions. I remember The Lost Papers being recorded at the Stoke Newington Job Centre (Manor Road), probably onto minidisc, and then gradually set over some jungle/drum’n’bass a few months later amidst the chaos of the times. Field Report Zero I have less of a recollection of other than it was recorded on a very shitty microphone, possibly at a TAA building, and almost certainly under duress. I don't remember writing the music at all but I definitely did it as it exists.
From my position of self-imposed exile it is easy to feel sad that I will not see Rob again, I was very fond of him and I greatly admired both his commitment to his art and his prolific output.
Thankfully I can still hear his voice. It was an honour to have spent some quality space-time with you, Rob. You are not a Zero any more.
Phobik - aka Dave Stitch