Avant-garde techno trickster Scanner fooled the world last week after launching his new album by performing 16 gigs across Europe and the US – and sending lookalikes to play instead of himself.
Scanner, aka Robin Rimbaud, stayed at home in London instead and did some decorating.
All 16 gigs, including ones at Berlin, Vienna, New York, Barcelona and London, took place on the same night in a stunt planned via e-mail with friends living near the venues.
Rimbaud supplied each impostor with differing, pre-recorded material for their ‘live’ set, based on his new ‘Lauwarm Instrumentals’ album. All the fake Scanners had to do was mix with it.
Many gigs were reviewed favourably in various newspapers by journalists seemingly unaware of the scam – despite the fact that one of the ‘Scanners‘ was clearly a woman.
Scanner, who became known for sampling private mobile phone conversations on previous releases, said the idea came to him after he bumped into someone who looked like him at Electronic Lounge, the club he has run at London’s ICA for the past four years.
He continued: “He lives in Miami and said a lot of people had thought he was me. The idea just exploded in my mind, ‘Why don’t I get lots of people who look like me to play some gigs?’
“It’s being avant garde with a sense of humour. It was meant to be amusing and a play on the idea of techno being faceless, that sort of thing. The fact that no-one’s acknowledged it wasn’t me makes it even funnier.”
Scanner‘s next appearance – of sorts – will be at the ICA throughout October where he has an exhibition called ‘Sound Polaroids’. For the work, he has asked people on the Internet to tell him their favourite point of ‘sound significance’ in London – such as their local ice-cream van.
Scanner went out and photographed it, and using a software programme changed the digital image into sound, and another programme transferred the sound into text. All three aspects will be shown together. Scanner promised that the work was all his own.