“The traveler sees what he sees; the tripper what he has come to see.”
From the time British poet/ musician/ filmmaker Steve Scott arrived at St. Marks in the Bowery with a plastic bag full of poems, he has been playing havoc with the three Ps of poetry, prose, and performance, combining them in new and startling ways. A graduate of Croydon College of Art, he has written and performed widely in the UK, where his multimedia film, Correspondences, was selected for London’s “Expanded Cinema” festival.
Stateside, he's best known for his mid- '80s rock record, Love in the Western World, on the indie Exit label. Appearing without fanfare, this auspicious debut floored fans and sent usually verbose critics searching for superlatives. Steven Soles of the Alpha Band was the producer, with the post-punk 77s fueling Scott's literate mix of humor and insight, exactly on target for the era's new-wave sensibilities. For "This Sad Music", the album's showpiece, Scott juxtaposed a televangelist with a newscast of dying whales, intoning the resulting lyrical collision over the 77s' minimal soundbed.
His next foray found him reciting poetry over tape loops of ambient music on The Butterfly Effect. The album’s twelve minute plus opus, “No Memory of You” came courtesy of The Boundaries, Scott’s ongoing series of travelog/ poetry journals which have continued to spill back and forth between print and performance. Empty Orchestra, the literal meaning of “Karaoke”, was an instrumental CD, with lyrics printed inside so that the listener could be “Steve Scott for a day” by reading along to the music.
Scott returned to museum installations in the late ‘90s to stage Crossing the Boundaries, a traveling exhibit with painter Gaylen Stewart which toured worldwide from the US to China. He currently heads CANA, an international arts group which has held conferences in Asia and Eastern Europe, from Bali to Bulgaria. He writes and lectures often on the arts in the US and UK, and is the author of two books, Crying for a Vision and Other Essays, and Like a House on Fire: Renewal of the Arts in a Postmodern Culture. He holds an M.A. in Global Leadership.
As I write, The Boundaries circulate somewhere in small-run chapbooks. Tapes and CDs of his various projects, shrapnel from legendary indie labels, have scattered to the four winds. Scott’s continuing creativity and penchant to experiment have inspired more than one artist to leave the mainstream and make a hard left for parts unknown. His seemingly inexhaustible gift for renewing burnt out artists has led some to see him as a patron saint for a Lost Generation. But the last word may belong to Peter Banks of UK band, After the Fire: “A uniquely gifted musical poet? One thing you cannot do with Steve Scott is categorise him.”
for a Vision and Other Essays
Introduction: A Horse of a Hundred Colors
Part One: Crying for a Vision:
Are You Responsible for This Monstrosity?
The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes
How Can You Use Something That Leaks?
Nothing More Than Dirt?
Freedom, Power, and Creativity
Living Sacrifice/ Transformed Mind
Where Language Ends?
Towards a Lost Wax Mind
Only a Beginning
Part Two: Scratching the Surface:
The Light By Which We See
Crossing the Boundaries
Fear and Multicultural Trembling
When Worlds Collide: The Novels of Shusaku Endo
Part Three: Work in Progress:
Emotional Tourist: An Interview with Steve Scott
Crying for a Vision Study Guide
Burning Down the House
Shaking the Foundations
What is Truth (in Art)?
Where Do We Go From Here?
Keeping the Body in Mind
No Other Foundation
A Jar of Dead Flies
Beautiful Feet and/ or Dirty Feet
Masks and Roots
The Life of Signs
The Well is Deep, and You Have No Bucket
Dropping Flowers in a Basket
Coda: Am I Really Here or Is It Only Art?
Gospel of John: A Study Project
Lighting a Candle
Foreward Sandra Bowden
Good Ned Bustard
Evil William Edgar
Form and Content Makoto Fujimura
Community David Giardiniare
Glory Tim Keller
Subject and Theme Edward Knippers
Christ Charlie Peacock- Ashworth
Identity Theodore Prescott
Creativity James Romaine
Light Krystyna Sanderson
Truth Steve Scott
Symbolism Gaylen Stewart
Imagination Gregory Wolfe
The Arts: A Biblical Framework Colin Harbinson
Arts and Spiritual Warfare
Art and Revelation
The Test of Humility
Scratching the Surface Steve Scott
Lost Steps/ Drawing Conclusions
Art and Prophetic Confrontation
Like a House on Fire
Always is Never a Long Time Rupert Loydell
Abstract Art and Spirituality
Raids on the Inarticulate
Artistic and Spiritual Priorities Rick and Brenda Beerhost
Artistic and Spiritual Priorities
Notes Suggested Reading