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Tape-beatles at ‘Sound Unseen’ Festival in Minneapolis
2001-09-19 / We are flying to the U.S. in the next day or so for a spate of Midwest performance sites, beginning with the world premiere of our new work of ‘expanded cinema’ Good Times at the Sound Unseen festival in Minneapolis. Below please find information about this event. Be sure to drop in if you’re in the area. It is shaping up to be one of the largest congregations of artists doing this type of work ever.
PLUNDERPHONIA in Sound Unseen
Sound Unseen, an underground film and music festival in Minneapolis, MN, features the world’s largest collection of underground and independent films about music. Conceived in the summer of 2000 as a means of organizing the exploding underground convergence between musicians and filmmakers, Sound Unseen will follow up on the success of its first year by once again featuring a week of films about music, be they documentary, feature fiction, experimental, or short works complemented by live performances from bands featured in the films, and a companion soundtrack CD with music from the films.
Some Main Events
September 28 to October 4, 2001, Minneapolis, MN
Tape-beatles / Escape Mechanism — Sun, Sept 30, 7:15pm @ Oak St Cinema
John Oswald / Wobbly — Mon, Oct 1, 7pm @ Bryant Lake Bowl
Wet Gate / Steev Hise — Wed, Oct 3, 7pm @ Bryant Lake Bowl
Thurs, Oct 4, Walker Art Center, 5:30pm — ‘I Love Trash: Recycling Culture and Rewriting Copyright’ (Panel Discussion w/ Kembrew McLeod, Tape-beatles, Wet Gate, and Steev Hise)
Advance tickets and full schedule available soon at
For more information contact:
Nate Johnson, Festival Director
Tape-beatles Preview ‘Good Times’
at Prokopka Hotel in Prague
2001-09-18 / Many of our Prague friends are puzzled as to what it is, exactly, that we do with our time. They have the abstract notion that we are ‘artists’ or ‘musicians,’ but they have never had the opportunity to become familiar with our unusual brand of work.
All of that changed last night at Room 203 of the Hotel Prokopka, in the Žižkov district of Prague. We invited a few dozen friends and acquaintances over for a preview screening of our new film Good Times. Still a work in progress, we felt the need to present it before a live audience to really get a feel for how people would respond to the show. Working by ourselves in our makeshift studio (see picture, left) can be a blinkered experience, and public reaction and comment is vital to the process of refining the selections and cuts for their fullest possible effect.
Our friends rose to the occasion. After rolling through the nearly-hour-long show with only minor glitches, we stood at the front of the room, as our multinational audience launched into a discussion on the merits of the piece as they saw it, responding to elements both minuscule and overarching. It was indeed gratifying to encounter an audience willing to engage so deeply in our work.
We thank them for their patience, good humor and alacrity at helping us in this process. Beyond that, we would like to extend a special thanks to Lucie Hecková, who did on-the-fly translation, and Petr Vrzáček, for the loan of equipment, arranging the room, and friendly moral support.
John Heck applies some finishing touches to the “Good Times” film in our makeshift studio in Prague
Scientific Inquiry: Some Uses Reported for Ultrasonics
2001-09-12 / One of the things we at the Glassed-in Labs have learned over the years is that sound waves have power. (Our work has made so many people angry over the years that there is little use in denying this simple fact.)
Little did we suspect, however, that sound waves possess the kind of power demonstrated in this short film clip. In it, British audio specialists use sound waves to blow out a candle. After that exhausting task, we see them taking a smoke break in a manner befitting their trade.
• See the video
Enjoy this dazzling diversion from the Tape-beatles’ Found Footage archive (1 min.)
Progress on ‘Good Times’ Film Unabated; Screenings Soon
2001-09-09 / Fifty-two Minutes and Counting. The Tape-beatles are pleased to report that progress on their new work of ‘expanded cinema’ Good Times continues apace.
While the Tape-beatles endure endless luncheons of salami and cheese on dinner rolls (with Vietnamese ‘instantní nudle’ thrown in for variety), the monotony of their film editing process has so far failed to blunt the knives of their imagination. The afternoons unroll in cycles like this: cut film — thread projector — view film — stop projector at crucial moment — unthread projector — cut film — lather — rinse — repeat, etc. Nonetheless, new running time comes to them in easy fell swoops. The current version ducks in at just over 52 minutes in length, which would make Good Times already the longest work of ‘expanded cinema’ that the Tape-beatles have yet undertaken. And they are still working on it.
The subject matter introduced in the audio compositions is illustrated, sometimes very obliquely, by the found footage selected to accompany it, in typical Tape-beatle fashion. This tenet of our working philosophy is intended to enrich and expand the main themes outwardly, as opposed to searching for meaning in microscopically precise expositions of the subject matter.
One section shows a series of people preparing for a swiftly coming emergency; or is it simply a nameless dread that causes them to tape windows, roll up carpets, remove flammables from the premises, turn out the lights, and run out into the streets in bewilderment, as though lives depended on it?
In another section, groups of people gather to find escape from quotidian pressures in drugs, and motivational talks. The resulting uneasiness leads inevitably to illness and injury of the human spirit. A shipwreck of the soul in a tempest-tossed nightmare shocks us back into reality.
To some extent, it is a crippled exercise to describe the surface manifestations of the ‘expanded cinema’ work Good Times, since there are multiple threads in the work that create comment among each other as they appear, together and apart, on the screen before the audience. The fact is, Good Times must be experienced as a whole to begin the process of comprehending it. We will offer audiences this opportunity soon, so watch the column at the right (“upcoming shows”) for dates as they are arranged and confirmed.
A man reads an announcement of impending doom in this still from the work-in-progress motion picture ‘Good Times’, currently being edited by the Tape-beatles in their Prague studio
When we read the below-linked article by David Cox on the Nettime list, we thought he was writing about us. Now you can read it and think he’s writing about us, too, even though, in fact, Cox discusses the issues named in the title more generally.
• The Lens of Images
Desire, Commodities, Media and Hacking
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