The Happy Jug
A novel by Nathan Jones
Music by Kepla
Book [210×148 mm; 80pp]/
“I brought the happy jug home the day I found out about a grant,
which would eventually lead me to write this novel. The grant is a
Paul Auster-style narrative device, in that it makes me unanswerable
to material demands, and projects my life into a boundedlessness
vertigo … the happy jug a concrete marker of my vulnerable but
precise re-emergence into the world of matteringlessness: theory.”
At this time, Nina has migraines. She goes for an MRI scan but we
hear nothing, her exhaustion apparently just an example of the general
pressure of living under austerity. This austerity is due to be relieved
when a left-leaning coalition gain control of government. A year later,
I smash the jug. The MRI scan is transformed. Nina now has a brain
tumour which has been growing for more than fifteen years. The result
of the general election is also rewritten.
Presented here as novel and CD audio work, The Happy Jug uses a
combination of verbatim text, fiction, granular synthesis and speculative
philosophy to interrelate these formally distinct events in a weird causal
relationship, reflecting on the palpable emotional and physical suffering
connected to austerity politics — in particular the UK 2015 general
election and its aftermath.
The audio CD, produced by Kepla, features this narrative spoken by the
author, Nathan Jones with his wife Nina. The book acts as a libretto for
the audio, but deviates from it at times, and adds an experimental text
dimension to the glitchy textures of the sound and voice.
Nathan Jones is a writer and artist. His work often reflects on the
relationship between the textual and temporal, the irregular measure
that a text’s progression keeps, and the ruptures of time into eras,
contemporanaeties, histories and speculations that writing inaugurates.
Nathan is co-editor of mind-language-technology publisher Torque,
director of new media and performance agency Mercy, and Lecturer
in Fine Art at Lancaster University. He has curated various projects
such as The Act of Reading (2015), Syndrome (2014–15), and Electronic
Voice Phenomena (2009–13). His solo work includes commissions for
Cape Farewell, Abandon Normal Devices, and Liverpool Biennial/
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art.
Kepla is the musical works of UK-based artist Jon Davies since 2015.
His compositions comprise of sculpting salvaged audio from various
secondary sources to create psychogeographic and speculative
environments, embedding the listener into otherworldly, and all-too-
worldly spaces. His practice aims to conceptualise the capitalocene
and how people and things are organised, mined and exploited.
Over the past three years Kepla has produced a self-released EP;
co-created Absent Personae with media theorist DeForrest Brown,
Jr. and video artist Chris Boyd and composed the soundtrack for
The Happy Jug.
Limited edition of 150 copies
Out of print
Cover and spreads from The Happy Jug