Public Works Productions

Centralized Info-repository for The Tape-beatles and Public Works

current and upcoming o-blog: an i.p. blog


10-16 Floteson: Sonic Sources, Courses, and Rearrangements taking place at the KHM Gallery, Malmö, Sweden. October 25th - November 8th, 2008 with works by Nikos Arvanitis, Nate Harrison, Ralf Homann, Zoe Irvine, Andreas Kurtsson, Henning Lundkvist, Sony Mao, Tisha Mukarji, Laurence Rassel, The Tape-beatles, Terre Thaemlitz, and Ultra-red. Curated by Jens Maier-Rothe. Opening 24 October at 17h.

06-30 Istanbul screens the Tape-beatles. Friend of the Tape-beatles Serhat Koksal sends news of traveling show now in Istanbul that includes a screening of a small video contribution we made as a gesture of support and goodwill. “Urban Jealousy,” the 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran, takes place from 30 May – 6 July, 2008, and is curated by Serhat koksal and Amirali Ghasemi. And there’s a Flickr photo set.

01-07 Art’s 1,000,045th Birthday. Tune your web browsers to Czech Radio on 17 January at 21:00 hours CET to listen to “Sixties Reloaded”, an experiment in live audio mixing with works contributed by some half-dozen sound artists living in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Lloyd Dunn will contribute a new 12-minute work, commissioned expressly for the event.


11-19Three Journeys Through Radia: Journey nº1”, featuring recent (and otherwise unreleased) work by the Tape-beatles, will air December 16 on Kunstradio, Vienna. Kunstradio broadcasts “every Sunday on Ö1 & RÖI (shortwave) from 11:05 pm to 11:45 pm (CEST); and online.” See: or (Thanks, Etienne and Knut!)

09-18 Festival of Appropriation. Jon Nelson writes that the video that we made for the Minneapolis Summit VideoCD will be screened at a Festival event at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minn.) on November 29; also to be screened that evening will be Coleman Miller's “Uso Justo.” The Festival of Appropriation runs through the month of November.

08-22 We mentioned earlier the existence of new Tape-beatle works, assembled for the Radia network. We have now been informed that the audio is now available to the general public, via web streaming. So, if you’re interested and have a moment, give it a listen. (Thanks, Knut!)

06-18 Another summer visitor, Steev Hise bounded into to Prague on the train from Berlin to take in the sights and give a presentation of his work as a videographer and activist at Galerie Školská 28. He showed some of his related work, and then went on to screen significant parts of his new documentary “On The Edge: The Femicide in Ciudad Juarez”.

05-31 We were pleased to welcome Negativland’s Mark Hosler to Prague, come here after completing Negativland gigs in Vienna and Berlin. Hosler found the time not only for a few days of Prague tourism; but also managed to fit in a presentation about Negativland and his work at the Experimental Space NoD here in Prague.

05-13 This seems to be a month of interviews, because Jon Nelson of Some Assembly Required writes that he has just posted an interview with Ralph Johnson, speaking on behalf of Public Works, to his web site. Here’s a direct link to the mp3.

05-07 Kurt Weller, who blogs at Plaza of the Mind, recently conducted an e-mail interview with Lloyd Dunn, who obligingly strains his carpal tunnels in coming up with convincing rejoinders to the various queries posed. Among other things, Dunn reveals that the Tape-beatles are burning midday oil working on a commission from Czech Radio to be broadcast later in the summer on the Radio Vltava channel. Watch this page for further announcements as the project progresses.

01-14 Chris Reynolds writes: “My name is Chris, and I’m a big fan of you guys. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve just finished posting “The Grand Delusion” on YouTube. The clips came from the .mov files that you guys had posted on a few years ago, so the quality is actually quite good. Here’s my YouTube channel.”

01-08 From Jon Nelson’s blog: “I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to post about The Tape-beatles. The obvious choice would have been to wait until we run the episode featuring my phone interview with Lloyd Dunn and John Heck (the two remaining members of the group, pictured), but since we’ve discontinued our use of the podcast as an archive for older episodes, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’d get around to it, as I’ll only go back to archiving episodes here once I’ve stopped producing new ones. I hope that will be a long time from now, so I’ve decided to go ahead with it now. The first new artist feature of 2007.”


Tape-beatles to début New Work on rAdioCUSTICA

Tape-beatles at the studios of Czech Radio

Updated. Here is a direct link to the new work by the Tape-beatles that débuted on the rAdioCUSTICA program.

Struggling with their past, and their future

Lo, these many months! It was nearly a year ago, you see, when we were approached by Michal Rataj of rAdioCUSTICA, which is a regular program on Czech radio that features experimental and otherwise adventuresome music, to compose some twenty minutes of work especially with that venue in mind. In short, a commission. We accepted.

We began work. We began by learning some new software tools that interested us. Along the way, we collected samples. We were confronted with a dilemma perhaps unique to the Tape-beatles (not so unique, really): does our modus operandi allow us to use the canned samples in a program such as Garageband, or must we always make our own loops? Not wanting to be dogmatic, we erred on the side of greater possibility.

Some time in June, we found ourselves in a sound studio at Czech radio, submitting our final compositions and recording a few snippets of thanks to go along with Rataj’s introduction to our work. The date of the début broadcast was set for January 26.

The first segment came about by the marriage of a carefree assemblage of rhythm elements with a nearly belabored echo-looped treatment of a small fragment of speech (as it happens, the voice of Gertrude Stein). The arrangement was completed and put aside, then fortuitously re-discovered during a ‘library’ operation and married to the vocal instrument. The adrenaline thus produced drove the work to its logical conclusion. The explosion of language which occurs over the drama of suspense filled horns and percussion works like a miniature action film within the context of the mix of home-spun and electronic textural elements that frame it.

As mentioned above, we struggled with the issue of using midi instruments in our compositions, and they do appear in the ‘clock click track’ interlude, seen, we hope, as a throw-back, throw-ahead, or simply thrown-together samizdat which feels free to laugh in the company of the virtuosos. This was the first work completed, and though it remains undemarcated, it was the most successful of John’s early explorations using software that behaved as if it were the simplest tool from the early 90s 16-bit sound processors. Remember: it hasn’t always been so easy to assemble audio. Lloyd, in a state of 11:59 anxiety suggested running the whole thing through the ‘bit-crusher’ filter, though, after counting to ten, cooler heads prevailed.

Lloyd plunged ahead with his fertile explorations in harmonics, a tendency which has cropped up before, but has returned now with hot insistence. Here, new tools were put into service to bring about a sound for the ages from the ages. If this summary of Lloyd’s execution of this work smells of a yellowed, mildewed text, let me say it more or less equals a magical Budapest night when the duo happened upon a string quartet playing in a corridor that lead to and from the toilets. The performers explained that it had the acoustics they were listening for, and the piece they played ripped our hearts out. One of us thought he heard something modernist in the notes, though later the musicians reported it to be their interpretation of a string piece more than a century old.

There you have it. Three, or two-and-a-half, new works by the Tape-beatles. Be sure to listen in on 26 January, Radio Vltava, if you’re in the Czech Republic, or stop by to download the archived broadcast when available.

Czech Radio’s rAdioCUSTICA program

You’ve come
to the right place

If you’re looking for information about The Tape-beatles and Public Works, you’ve come to the right place. Alas, an ambitious effort to re-design the site, begun with every good intention early in 2004, has fizzled amid an array of other lifely obligations. Our resolve to blast your eyes with new visual glory was further sapped by several months of unresolved server issues, leaving the site hopelessly throttled for many users. Happily, it now it seems to be working normally. (Thanks, Steev!)

Nonetheless, please rest assured that there is still reason to visit this site. For example, this is an excellent place to buy our CDs and support our work. It is also the central repository for information (and dis-information) about our projects. In short, if you want to find out more about The Tape-beatles and Public Works, there is not a better place on the web to find it. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

So, bookmark the site, and visit when you need information. Updates will continue to be rare, sporadic, but of dazzling importance.

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