Old, but still functioning computers are simply scrapped, made redundant and without remorse left to corrosion and an existence without a task and no perspective. That this doesn’t need to be so, and that even computers with limited storage capacity can still take on a function in society, is illustrated by Alexei Shulgin’s outdated 386, now serving as a musician.
Performing Classic Rock's Biggest Smash Hits! The Clash! The Doors! The Sex Pistols! Hendrix! and more... gone digital, gone to 8-bit computerized chip-music with a singing computer, with all the charme available to a text-to-speech- programm.
Created by Russian artist Alexei Shulgin, 386 DX was “the world’s first cyberpunk band.” Known for its live performances on city streets and in nightclubs, the performer is a dingy, singing PC that runs Windows 3.1, equipped with a vintage sound card and loaded with MIDI files of drums, guitar, and synth and accompanying lyrics.
The ironic comment delivered by Shulgin and his singing computer is well within the context of the performances by the 386 DX rockband, with which he “toured” Europe in 1998 and performed on nearly 60 occasions. This one-man-one-computer-show was based on a similar idea as his current installation: Shulgin presented himself as a performer carrying a keyboard, and by simply hitting a key elicited the text-to-speech singing, accompanied by very simple music and a few Seventies-style visual effects.Alexei Shulgin simply is the King of Cyberpop.