White Columns is pleased to present an exhibition curated by the legendary DJs and musicians Thomas Bullock and Eric Duncan (aka RUB N TUG.) Featuring new and recent work by Eric and Thomas’ friends, peers and (extended) family members, DO YOUR THING is rooted in the social and cultural networks that took shape in downtown New York at the turn of the 21st Century.
Informed by the late-night conversations and creative partnerships that gained momentum at the RUB N TUG parties that took place in artists’ lofts and at Gavin Brown’s now-shuttered West 15th Street bar Passerby (where RUB N TUG hosted the weekly ‘Campfire’ party) DO YOUR THING is a testament to Thomas and Eric’s persistent ability to collapse the distinctions between art, life and music.
Writing about Rub N Tug’s early days in i-D Magazine in 2004 Paul Flynn wrote:
Rub it, tug it, watch it grow. New York nightlife, as we all know, is in the doldrums. Giuliani shut the whole shop down. Light up a Lucky Strike and you'll find yourself at the wrong end of a 911 call. Fortuitously, nobody told Thomas Bullock and Eric Duncan. Their Rub N Tug moonlighting aliases are doing some heavy shift work in re-locating the vibe that shaped the city in the first place. Their parties are already the toast of the town. “They feel like a hot bath in a dark room. Volcanic.” … "Club life has died here, but in return heads have found their place in dive bars and lofts. In these joints it's even more lawless than before which is, of course, pleasant. It suits us and in turn we've developed a sound that suits it." The sound in question is a call to dance floor arms. The boys aren't afraid of a cross-fader or indeed crossing genre. Old Italo house rarities shuffle shoulders against lean post-funk workouts. Electro Led Zep oddities are thrown down against acid rock. The glitter ball has regained consciousness in their hands.
Since that time Thomas and Eric have worked independently, together and with other musicians and DJs, under a seemingly endless range of pseudonyms and monikers including: Welcome Stranger, Still Going, Dr. Dunks, Map of Africa (with DJ Harvey), Bobbie Marie, Otterman Empire, How & Why, Laughing Light of Plenty (with Eddie Ruscha Jr.), Hankins Mountaineers, Food Of The Gods, and also as a group called Rub N Tug (with Matt and Spencer Sweeney among others.) They have remixed records for Roxy Music, LCD Soundsystem, !!!, Beastie Boys, Zero 7, Capracara, among many others, and released records and mixes on labels including: DFA, Whatever We Want, aNYthing, C.O.M.B.I., Keep It Cheap, among others.
On the occasion of DO YOUR THING Rub N Tug and White Columns will release a limited vinyl pressing of the ‘Rub N Tug Party Starter’, a 40 minute live mix by Thomas and Eric recorded in New York c. 2002. The record will be released in an edition of 300 copies, each with a hand-painted sleeve by Thomas and Eric.
White Columns would like to thank Thomas and Eric, and everyone else who contributed to ‘Do Your Thing.’
DO YOUR THING!