Born in Alabama in 1968, James Marshall was a highly imaginative and introspective child blessed with a pronounced sense of confusion. Unable to read, he quickly took to television, absorbing endless hours of cartoons and science fiction programming and refusing to play with other children in the neighborhood. By the age of five, he was a TV addict and unhappy with the prospect of attending kindergarten. Afraid of interacting with other children, the name Dalek came to be—borrowed from his favorite British science fiction program, “Dr. Who”—as a shield to hide behind.
It’s hard to say how Dalek got to where he is today. He really doesn’t like to talk about it. So what’s left? What are Space Monkeys? Where are they from? Are they born alive, or are they incubated in egg-like vessels? Why do they smirk at us as if they know something we don’t? Why do they always march to the left? Is there a mother ship calling? Are their hearts situated on the left side of their bodies like ours? We can only guess.
Even when they are suffering from what would be moments of human weakness—like a hole in the head or a recently amputated limb—they continue to smile and stare, assuring their control of the moment. They stare at us with one large orb of an eye, unintimidated and steadfast in their mission. The eye of the Space Monkey can threaten like a cocked and steadied gun—it can insult you without warning, or invite you into a happy, carefree world. In Sonic Order of Happiness, Dalek’s second monograph, we are once again whisked far, far away, to a place where Space Monkeys reign.
About the authors
Dalek (James Marshall) has exhibited his work in galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.; Deitch Projects and ALIFE, New York; BLK/MRKT Gallery and New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles; Parco Gallery and Rocket Gallery, Japan; and colette, Paris, among many others. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Arkitip, Mass Appeal, Juxtapoz, and Tokion. The author of Nickel Plated Angels (R77/Gingko Press, 2003), Dalek lives and works in New York.
Ryan McGinness has exhibited his work throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. McGinness produces everything from paintings, prints, and installations to skateboards and T-shirts. His books include Ryan McGinness: Project Rainbow (Gingko Press, 2003) and The Fine Art of Corporate Sponsorship / The Corporate Sponsorship of Fine Art (Anthem Books/Obey Giant Art, 2003), among others. McGinness lives and works in New York.