The opening “vernisáž” for my show “Jūtōpia” was last night at the
Prague gallery Školská28 Komuikační Prostor. Around twenty people showed up
to admire the images and drink a very nice Czech red wine. The prints were
hung on 1-meter wide gray cards, sewn through with monofilament in such a way
as to simultaneously hold the four corners of each print in place, with the
weight of the board holding the monofilament tight — my idea of “tensegrity”
put to practical use.
We’re back now from Köln, having done our retrospective
show “G.N.P.” at Gebäude 9, in a former industrial
area on the east side of the Rhine. Pablo, the organizer, was very helpful,
repeatedly ascending a stepladder to adjust the hang of the screen so that
a fabric seam would be placed outside the image area. All for naught,
as the duct-tape adjustment refused to stick in the summer’s
heat. In the end, the visible seam didn’t seem to hurt the
show; applause at the end was long and enthusiastic.
Sadly, a key web resource has announced, after 10 years, that it is coming
to an end as a live site. UbuWeb will
shortly be donated to a university, where it apparently will no longer be updated.
Presumably, this means it will still be available, at least. UbuWeb hosts
the complete audio works of the Tape-beatles, Public Works and the
PhonoStatic Cassettes, among a terabyte of works by other artists.
Panel discussion on copyright and intellectual property issues. No comprehensive
translation was provided (everyone except us spoke in Italian) so we answered
the few questions directed as us as best we could, though unable to directly
respond to any of the points made by any of the other participants.
Bolzano, nestled in the south Tyrolean Alps, is the site of our next show.
With our Florence set, this one forms a perfect matched set of extremes:
where Elettro Più was practically an anarchist squat, the button-down
organizers of the City of
Bolzano were our hosts for this show. Another extreme was also in evidence:
Elettro Più was much better organized. Nonetheless, the show went
off (aside from some audio glitches) and the audience responded
enthusiastically, buying many CDs and T-shirts afterwards.
Arrived in Florence last night and met Serena at the Porta Romana. Stayed
at her place over night. Interviewed this afternoon by Luka at NovaRadio FM
105.5, and after that, we were treated to lunch in a private basement room of
a busy trattoria not far from the Duomo. After that, we drove to Elettro Più,
site of the evening’s performance. The evening had a full agenda, with
several things going on at once, and we did not begin our show until midnight.
A bus driver’s strike may have conspired to keep some people away;
however, it seemed like there were close to a hundred people there and they
responded well to the show, even breaking into spontaneous applause at the
end of “Persuasion,” which, I’ll admit, looked and sounded
Marcus Bergner invited me to screen an early film I made, entitled
‘Buz’ (1985) for his class at FAMU, the Czech state film school.
Not many students showed up, but I enjoyed screening it anyway. One
guy had lots of questions, which is always nice.
The big show was tonight at the Collage Conference, organized by Kembrew
McLeod and Ruedi Kuenzli. That afternoon, we sat for a filmed interview
with Kembrew for a film he's working on called
The performance space was organized really well. We were ecstatic over the
sound system. It gave real presence and clarity to our soundtrack. Sadly,
the film broke twice during the performance. Given that we had a related
problem at CSPS two nights earlier, we swapped out projectors and continued
the show as best we could. We were fortunate to have a supportive audience
and the energy in the room felt great until the very end.
Tape-beatles performed at CSPS in Cedar Rapids. The show went pretty
smoothly, though at one point the film jumped the gate and we had to
stop the show and rethread. An augur of what was to come. We had a
fantastic stay there, in the apartment under the stage and it was
great to see Mel and John again (however briefly).
The web site I designed for Školska28: komunikační prostor
went live today. I’ve been working on it steadily for a couple months now.
Have a look. (English version
John Hopkins paid a visit to Prague, and we met up for coffee and a stroll,
followed up by some good Czech cuisine. Hopkins is an art-networker from way
back, we corresponded during the 80s around PhotoStatic and got in touch again
01-28 I am just now finishing up a temporary
teaching gig at the Bauhaus Uni in Weimar, Germany, in the department of
Experimental Radio. It has been a four-month-long stint as a substitute
for Ralf Homann, on sabbatical in the US. For the final project, the
students are doing a 48-hour broadcast consisting mainly of their class
projects. See also
01-16 I ran a laptop computer, assembling
audio streams from around the world during the annual world-wide
“Art’s Birthday” celebration. Convening in a recording
studio of Radio Vltava in Prague, six Czech artists (and me) made an
hour-long sound improvisation that included the streams from other
cities piped through the internet. The Czech artists provided voice,
electronic and acoustic sounds to the atmospheric mix. See also
In Czech, see
Spring Conference to Host Tape-beatles
Tape-beatles visit home town to tout collage
The Tape-beatles are pleased to announce their participation in a
conference to be held at their old stomping ground Iowa City.
Entitled “Collage as Cultural Practice”,
the conference will take place at the University of Iowa from
March 24-26, 2005. With confirmed speakers including Patricia R.
Zimmermann, Rosemary Coombe, Carrie McLaren, Mark Hosler, Lloyd Dunn,
Philo Farnsworth, Douglas Kahn, Craig Baldwing, Xmena Cuevas,
Steev Hise, Stephen Perkins, and many others;
the get-together promises to be a real barn-burner:
Collage as Cultural Practice seeks to examine interventionist
collage practices in all media, with an emphasis on the social,
political, and legal implications of this method of appropriation.
The conference … will interrogate the political and social
dimensions of collage as a practice that enables oppositional
commentary across the cultural spectrum: from the leftist collages
of the Dadaists and the Situationists to the unauthorized use of
corporate trademarks, interventions by queer activists, and the more
recent flurry of Internet-distributed antiwar video collage pieces
that appropriate from the mainstream media in satirical ways. We
seek to bring together scholars of, and practitioners in, the media
of film and video, music, literature, visual arts and
beyond—putting together a series of panels, performances and
screenings, and an exhibition at the University of Iowa Museum of
Art on Interventionist Collage: From Dada to Negativland.
The Tape-beatles will perform an updated version of “Good
Times” at Shambaugh Auditorium on Saturday night, March 26.
The “Practicing Collage Artists” panel will include
Bradley Adita, Miekal And, Lloyd Dunn, and Kurt Heintz.
Conference registration is free. Watch these sites for details on
scheduling, etc., as it becomes available.
Collage as Cultural Practice site.
Interventionist Collage: From Dada to Negativland site.
The conference organizers are:
Rudolf Kuenzli - rudolf-kuenzli(at)uiowa.edu
Kembrew McLeod - kembrew-mcleod(at)uiowa.edu
Summer brings Tape-beatle Shows to Italy, Germany
As told in a recent IM chat between Heck and Dunn
2005-05-06, 12:49 PM
DUNN: i’m here
DUNN: my icon is japanese, for no good reason
HECK: looks like an app icon
DUNN: a bit,DUNN:
HECK: I’m comfortable
HECK: I have my coffee
DUNN: i am hungry
HECK: Do you want to eat something first?
DUNN: i would need to go shopping
HECK: or we could just pace it, and answer and pose questions over the next hours
HECK: I’m still trying to send Jan a proposal
HECK: the dvd looks good by the way, thanks
DUNN: okay, i’ll ask a question and then go get some food.
DUNN: So, John, tell me what’s in store for the Tape-beatles this summer.
HECK: ok, I can field that one:
Picking up a lead from last years’ Kinodesechos festival in Madrid, The
Tape-beatles have been invited to present their new (retrospective) show,
entitled G.N.P., at a film festival in Bolzano, Italy, the last week of May. As
if that weren’t enough, a week before that they’ll do the show at a
film club in Florence. Show information will be posted as it comes in by none
other than you, the trusty webmaster yourself, Lloyd.
DUNN: I wish the info were here now.
At this moment we are tuning up G.N.P. since its premier at last months’
shows in Iowa. There will be an additional element to the show that I am not at
liberty to discuss at this time. Next, June 24 will find us in Cologne, Germany
appearing at Gebaeude 9. It would be nice
to find additional venues for shows in that area, and that’s what
I’m working on. The last thing on my personal Tape-beatle summer agenda is
to clear time to start editing for the much talked about (between you and I) dvd
DUNN: Good, good.
We often talk about getting on to new work. How important is it to get old work
out of the way (by releasing/publishing), before starting on new work? What
effect does a desktop cluttered with piles of old ideas, half-finished sketches,
crumbs from old daydreams have on getting on with new work?
DUNN: i’m still eating
Often, it is best to have a clear desktop before beginning new work. Difficult
choices must be made. Sometimes this means leaving something unfinished for the
time being, especially if it has left you stymied. But, to be frank, I
don’t have a set philosophy about such things that doesn’t change
every time I sit down to work.
The impetus for making G.N.P., our new retrospective performances that includes
segments from Matter, The Grand Delusion, and Good Times, seems to me to have
arisen out of a desire to make our work speak in new ways, or at least give some
of the older work a new currency. There are, for example, many parts of The
Grand Delusion that seemed to take on new relevance after another gulf war, and
as a live cinema presentation the energy level of work itself seems more
continuous. It is the release of a published work that seems to bring closure to
a project that allows me to move on. I guess I see a distinction between
live-film presentation, which is ongoing, and the more finite, project-based and
contained ‘works’ that spawn the expanded screen spectacle. In that
sense, G.N.P. is a cinematic ideal for The Tape-beatles according to my way of
seeing -- that it utilizes works that were finished ‘in the mind’s
eye’. I’m just making this up now; but really we are limited by what
we imagine, and so to give GNP it’s inheritance or power, if you will, it
follows that it must never be finished.
Well, yeah, G.N.P. partly an attempt to freshen old content, but honestly,
it’s much more than that. The meaning of images changes over time, as your
Grand Delusion example suggests. In addition, by sequencing the constituent
parts in new ways, it becomes like looking at the overall body of work through a
content filter. Certain themes (and sub-themes) become emphasized and the
discourse is broadened. Because we work with film loops flanking the central
reel, we can re-arrange those easily, even adding new ones, replacing old ones,
so that the performed instance of the piece even becomes a new version.
Very good. I’d like to go off the topic here. This from the mailbag:
“I’m wondering whether ‘numbers’ will ever be released
on CD, too? I looooooove the sample on your site.” Numbers is indeed a gem
and would make for an unsurpassed mini-cd. I turn this over to you, Lloyd
I would have to say that it isn’t likely at this point that Numbers will
be put out on CD. It can, however, be downloaded in its entirety as mp3 from
ubuweb. Is that all?
HECK: I think so.
DUNN: Over and out.