After publishing the Anticube manifesto in 2006, just before the second construction of Anticube as a solo exhibition, I sat down with Sean O'Toole to chat. The result of this conversation was the following opening speech:


(An excerpt from an unpublished, imaginary interview with Shane de Lange)
by Sean O’Toole.

How many hats do you own, Shane?
Come on – be more specific.
Um, about eleven or twelve, I think.
Any favourites amongst them?
The cheap ones, they seem to have more character.
You know, ever since I first bumped into you at the Bag Factory and you asked me to open your show, I’ve been thinking about hats.
Yes, hats – you were wearing a flat cap of some sort. It made me think about the place of hats in twentieth century art practice.
Okay, if you say so.
No, no, Shane, think about it. At a surrealist rally in the 1920s Tristan Tzara proposed to create a poem on the spot by pulling words out of a hat. A riot ensued and wrecked the theatre. Andre Breton expelled him from the movement and grounded the cut-ups on the Freudian couch.
Now you’re just quoting verbatim from The Third Mind.
Damn, how did you know?
I’m a big fan of William Burroughs.
Ja …
How so?
Post- what, Shane?
Posthumanism, it’s a kind of ‘coming together’ of various ideas critical of the discourses and practices associated with modernism and humanism. It has only recently emerged as a buzzword in academic writing. I particularly like N Katherine Hayles’ writings on the subject. Here’s a favourite quote: “… increasingly the question is not whether we will become posthuman, for
posthumanity is already here. Rather the question is what kind of posthumans will we be.”
Hey wait a minute, Shane, one minute we’re talking hats and the next you’re headed off into highfalutin theory. Can’t we just talk hats again?
Okay, sure, hats it is then Sean.
Thanks. I find it interesting that you mentioned Burroughs, I’ve seen pictures of him wearing everything from boaters and baseball caps to fedoras and felt trilbies. He was a very stylish guy. His taste for hats aside, what is it that draws you to Burroughs?
Science fiction.
Are you sure you don’t mean Scientology? You know Burroughs was into Scientology.
No, no, I definitely mean science fiction, Sean. He was an early advocate of the idea of the posthuman.
Ah, I see you don’t want to let go of that word.
Don’t be so cynical, Sean. Here, listen to this passage by Burroughs: “The Disease spread, melting the face into an amoeboid mass in which the eyes floated, dull crustacean eyes. Slowly a new face formed around the eyes. A series of faces, hieroglyphs, distorted and leading to the final place where the human road ends, where the human form can no longer contain the crustacean horror that grows inside it.”
Hmm, okay Shane ... um, I’m not going to pretend I understood all of that but I can see the relationship between his words and your illustrations. I quickly want to talk about your wall panels – they tend to remind me of the American artist Frank Stella.
I suppose, formally, well, sort of, maybe. Here’s something for you, Sean. Did you know that his 1999 sculpture Bandshell was based on the shape of a beach hat given to him by his kids?
No, I didn’t, Shane.
Well now you do.

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