Failed Suicide

Dan Lander

Failed Suicide has been performed in London…

One evening six people gathered at my apartment, each with microphone and tape recorder in hand. What emerged is a corporeal tale conveyed through the mastication of thought and subjectivity. The sense of loss that accompanies the disembodiment of the recorded voice becomes a metaphor for loss in general. We are left with a vehicle for the reconstruction of meaning and object-hood: the residue that is recorded sound.


The text of Failed Suicide concerns itself with notions of disappearance and meaning (we have to say something we can remember). A statement about a suicide prompts a question about near death experience. A phenomenological question is raised about how we know the difference between a dog and a cat. The answer to this question is provided by both a kitten and a human. Towards the end, a conversation develops on a difficulty in speaking. One of the speakers concludes with the following statement: “you have to decide if it’s in the morning or at night; or if you slept good; or ate good, or bad, or too much… or not enough.”

Failed Suicide was produced at the artist’s home recording studio and was constructed via razor blade and analog 1/4" magnetic tape. It was premiered on March 14, 1991 during Radio Possibilities at the Forest City Gallery and simultaneously broadcast on CHRW FM Radio Western in London (Ontario). Thanks to Benoît Fauteux, Geneviève Heistek, Julia Loktev, Christof Migone, Diane Obomsawîn, Paik and Rosa.


  • March 14, 1991, Concert, Forest City Gallery, London (Ontario, Canada)


stereo fixed medium



Date Work Program
August 30, 2004 Dan Lander, Failed Suicide (1991) Tony Coulter / WFMU 91.1 FM (USA)

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