Alexei SHULGIN

(RU)

Artist, curator and musician living between Moscow and London. He established the Immediate Photography group in 1988 and started his career in this area of study. In 1990 he shifted his interest to the Internet and founded, in 1995, Moscow WWWArt Centre, collaborating with many artists from London and Slovenia. In 1997 he invented Form Art and started the Easylife website. In 1998 he founded the 386 DX cyberpunk band, which has given over 100 performances worldwide. He curated several editions of the Readme festival, aimed at supporting and producing software art projects. In 1999, Shulgin became webmaster at FUFME, Inc. Since 2005, he is co-organizer of Electroboutique, an art production company and, since 2007, he lectures at the Moscow Rodchenko School for Photography and Multimedia.

386 DX, 1998
70
Intel 386 DX, 4 MB RAM, 40 MB hard disk, creative soundblaster 16bit, Windows 3.1, text-to-speech and MIDI software

Although on the surface the music of 386 DX is undeniably humorous, the project uncovers a series of deeper questions about the complexities of authorship in the digital age. 386 DX was invented and developed by Alexei Shulgin in 1998. The “band” has “performed” over 40 concerts in various locations throughout Europe and the United States, and also “plays” in public spaces as a street musician. Who, exactly, is 386 DX? 386 DX is a computer, built by a hardware manufacturer, who plays songs written by famous groups, using software created by a third party company. So to what extent can Shulgin claim ownership of 386 DX? Does this project make him a musician or merely a technician? Is there a difference? Based on the evidence, it seems that Shulgin prefers to keep things ambiguous. He lists himself in the liner notes as “Operator” and includes software on the CD which allows the user to create more 386 DX songs on his/her own.
Anarchy in the UK and Smells Like Teen Spirit come from The Best of 386 DX, a collection of timeless covers of everyone from Bob Marley and the Wailers to The Who to The Kinks to John Lennon. The songs are just so plain absurd that they are sure to bring a smile to even the surliest of faces.