Message 11: Theater Des Todes

Kid A foregrounds the technologies of reproduction at the level of packaging. A limited amount of CDs contain a supplementary text secluded beneath the jewel case’s high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) tray. Rarely would a listener be asked to dismantle the packaging that commodifies and conveys a performer’s presence uniformly for portable consumption. The evident fragility of the jewel case is analogous to the performer’s image-identity, an identity rendered brittle by the commercial packaging that makes it available via mass-manufactured reproductions.

This untitled booklet (Theater Des Todes?) includes Stanley Donwood’s largely narrative-resistant artwork, complete with test specimens juxtaposed with de-contextualized, fragmentary phrases.

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