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May 2002

A Screening Report, and an Upload

2002-05-29 / Screening a success. A recent screening of a preliminary video edit of Good Times at the venue Marc Moscato’s House in Eugene, Oregon was a success. Reports Moscato: ‘screening went well. about 20 attendees. my one friend was literally in tears at the end!’ Sometimes we have that effect on people, Marc.

• Thanks, Marc Moscato.

2002-05-29 / Johnson checks in. It’s been a while since we heard anything from Ralph Johnson, the brilliant half of the group Public Works. Various lifely chores, including a planned move to Michigan to study for his doctorate, no doubt have something to do with this. Nonetheless, Ralph recently sent us this web art work, which we looked at, enjoyed, and you can look at now, too.

• Have a look.

Upcoming Events to Whet the Public Whistle

2002-05-22 / Tape-beatle sympathizers (if there are any of you left) will no doubt be pleased to know that, in the very near future, we get to take at least one break from our back-breaking workaday schedule of media art chores, our uninterrupted day-after-day drudgery of clicking keys and wanly cocking an ear to listen for the long-awaited ‘perfect note’ or ‘ideal transition’, or other such withering obscurities.

That break will come during the first week of June, when The Tape-beatles will present their work and working philosophy to students at the Experimental Radio department of the Bauhaus Media Gestaltung in Weimar, Germany. An evening exposé about our working methods and ideosphere on June 4 will be swiftly followed on June 5 by the full-bore onslaught of the ‘expanded cinema’ work Good Times.

Other production chores. Our furious pace of production has yielded some results. A recent invitation from Vittore Baroni to contribute to an upcoming Lieutenant Murnau retrospective CD has met with the small success of an unfinished track mailed off to be added to and manipulated by some other audio art composer further along in the postal stream. The release will likely see light of day sometime in 2003.

Additionally, a single 21-minute audio track edited from a live studio improvisation recorded in Minneapolis last fall while we were at the Sound Unseen film festival, has been mailed off to Staalplaat for imminent release. The recording, which features Escape Mechanism, Steev Hise, and Wobbly, in addition to your Tape-beatles, will appear as an 80mm CD entitled Minneapolis Summit.

Watch this space for more urgent information as is occurs to us.

Badge-maker and obsessive collector Mark Pawson sent along a bagful of buttons (pictured above) sure to elicit contempt from copyright holders everywhere.

• Here’s Mark’s home page.

Old Gray Lady Sullies Mouth with Our Name   [updated]

2002-05-09 / An article appeared in today’s New York Times; nothing too special about that all by itself since they seem to have no end of articles appearing every day. We only call this particular article to your attention at this juncture because, without beating around the bush, it is about the ‘explosively popular’ mash-up movement that, apparently, is sweeping the internet. But the best part is in the next paragraph, which I will begin writing now.

In the article, entitled ‘Spreading by the Web, Pop’s Bootleg Remix’, author Neil Strauss goes on and on about how this is all so hip and new now that kids in their bedrooms are putting together hit singles out of scraps of stuff recorded by pop stars. Beyond that, the author actually implies that this sort of work is interesting, worth listening to, and one of the people he interviews says, and I quote:

The best bootlegs don't sound like bootlegs; they work at a profound level, and actually sound like they are the original record.

... which is really great. Also really great is the antepenultimate paragraph ...

Making new songs out of existing works, of course, is nothing new. ... avant-garde sound artists like Plunderphonic, Negativland and the Tape-Beatles ... challenged copyright law with collages made of everything from found sounds to top 40 hits. ...

Not only does the author labor under the mistaken assumption that ‘Plunderphonic’ is an ‘artist’, but they also printed our name incorrectly. The research could have been better; nonetheless the article stands as further proof that our ideas (in the widest possible sense of ‘our’) are on everyone’s lips.

Read the article

Spreading by the Web, Pop’s Bootleg Remix’ by Neil Strauss [Thanks Rumori].


05-15 / Remarkably well researched piece in Salon about multiscreen presentation formats and how they are appearing in mainstream productions. The best parts of the article deal with the origins of the technique and quote Abel Gance saying, in 1927, to people who did not understand his multiscreen film Napoleon: ‘Do me the favor of believing that maybe your eyes do not yet have the visual education necessary for the reception of the first form of the music of light.’

Read the article

Split Screen’s Big Comeback’ by Julie Talen [Thanks F. John Herbert].

‘Numbers’ Complete, also New Readings

noise 2002-05-01 / Track of the Week. Closing out this side of the EP, and also completing the Numbers song cycle, our current week’s track, the eighth, is called simply 3. With this we once again put the series into hibernation, until such time as we have more tracks to upload.


05-01 / The text of author Bruce Sterling’s Closing Speech at the 12th Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference is witty, smart and right on. Read [] Sterling’s speech.

When WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) organized an essay contest, presumably to glorify and enshrine their party line on IP, a group calling itself WIPOUT formed one as well, framing the other side of the debate. WIPOUT has announced their winners.

Read the essays.

Thanks Nettime, Slashdot.

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