What Is Folktronia?

Folktronia is an art exhibition being held at LFL Gallery in New York's Chelsea district between October 14th and November 11th, 2000. It's a one-man show by Momus, who will be in the gallery daily telling stories, introducing visitors to his new songs, and recording their karaoke-style attempts to sing them.

Folktronia at LFL Gallery
531 West 26th Street, 4th Floor
New York NY 10001
Momus will be in residence Tuesday to Saturday, 12 noon to 5pm.

Folktronia is a mountain republic somewhere between Appalachia and Mongolia. It's a place where folklore and electronics intermingle. It's an extension of the imaginative world outlined in the twenty songs to be unveiled on January 29th 2001 on the next Momus album, Folktronic.

There are paper trees and real haybales filling the darkened gallery. There are two multimedia teepees, one where you can click through a multimedia console of unreleased Momus songs, another where you can record your own versions onto a hard disk recorder. There's a full-wall video projection of a walk-through of the Folktronian forest by Parisian Florian Perret. (Courtesy Mappemonde, Paris.) The Flash multimedia console of visual interpretations of the new Momus songs is by John Robert Howell (courtesy Art and Leisure).

Folk, Lore, and Video Tape

You can buy a ten minute video tape of Momus telling a story against an animated backdrop of computer pine trees. Each tape is a one-off only you will possess, and will build into a dispersed series of no more than 100 tapes comprising a kind of oral history of the imaginary country of Folktronia. Subjects of these improvised tales so far include an old shoe-maker who makes a pair of shoes which never wear out and a composer who declares his love for the girl in the log cabin next door by dressing in rubber and serenading her at her favourite fetish club.

Folktronia is an extension of the imaginitive world outlined in the forthcoming Momus album 'Folktronic'. If at some future point an anthropologist or folklore collector decides to assemble a coherent mythology of Folktronia, he or she will have to trace up to 100 Folktronian patrons who each have a tape with a unique part of the puzzle on it.

Tapes cost $200. You can buy them direct from LFL, from the Other Music website or record store on East 4th Street, New York, or on E Bay (sometimes quite a bit cheaper than list price!) If you commission a tape you can also request to have yourself written into the mythology if you send a few personal details about yourself in an e mail to LFL Gallery. In some instances Momus has improvised songs about people on request, using the instrumental backings of tracks from the Folktronia album.

Momus is in residence at LFL Gallery Tue-Sat 12-5 every day until November 11th, making these videos and also recording people's mishearings, misunderstandings and improvised improvements to the new songs. Details on the news page. To order a tape send e mail to Zach at LFL:


You can read more about the ideas behind the Folktronic and Folktronia projects in various essays Momus has written this year:

Tape Recorder Man
The Post-Bit Atom
The Fakeways Institute
Krafft-Ebing, Superstar
Electronics In The 18th Century
Plastic People
LFL Gallery website
Photos of the opening