It is time to question whether a bipedal, breathing musician with binocular vision and a 1400cc brain is an adequate biological form. Musicians’ survival parameters are very slim: they can survive only weeks without food, days without alcohol and minutes without nicotine. Technologies are better life-support systems for our image than for our guitars: IMAGES ARE IMMORTAL, GUITARS ARE EPHEMERAL. The guitar finds it increasingly difficult to match the expectations of its images. In the realm of images, the physical guitar’s impotence is apparent. THE GUITAR NOW PERFORMS BEST AS ITS IMAGE. The guitar becomes situated beyond its lacquer. The guitar is neither a very efficient nor very durable structure. It malfunctions often and fatigues quickly; its performance is determined by its age. It is susceptible to muzak and is doomed to a certain and early death. Musicians mostly operate with Absent Guitars: what it means to become-guitar is no longer the state of being immersed in musical memory but rather in being reconfigured IN THE REALM OF THE IMAGE. The musician’s absence is augmented by the fact that the guitar functions habitually and automatically. AWARENESS IS OFTEN THAT WHICH OCCURS WHEN THE GUITAR MALFUNCTIONS. It is only when the guitar becomes aware of its present position that it can map its post-evolutionary strategies. AS SUPPOSED FREE AGENTS, THE CAPABILITIES OF BEING A GUITAR ARE CONSTRAINED BY HAVING A GUITAR. THE GUITAR IS OBSOLETE.

A longer version of this text was appropriatedwritten in 1998 as part of a project called Guitar Unified Theory. A revised version was handed out to punters attending a gig at the Musicians' Club in St Kilda, Melbourne, sometime in the middle of 1999. The present, abridged version was subsequently displayed as a large poster at the exhibition of 2000 Guitar Solos at TCB Art Inc. in 2003.

Ben.Harper, 1998-2003.