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08-25 PhotoStatic Archive complete. After beginning the project some four years ago, we are now pleased to announce that the pdf for PhotoStatic Magazine no. 1 has been uploaded, completing the collection. Have a visit at

02-10 Slapdash Platform. A second improvisational setting in as many months, The Tape-beatles once again joined Tonic Train and Martin Blažíček at Školská 28, quickly becoming THE Prague venue for “uncomfortable” works (i.e. things that don’t easily fit elsewhere). This time the line-up expanded to include Patrícia Guerreiro, Pavel Sterec, Ondřej Vavrečka, and Miloš Vojtěchovský, and included not only multi-machine projector and circuit-bending improv, but also a reading and some performance art. More about it here, with pictures.


Köln’s Stadtgarten Abuzz at “G.N.P.”

tape-beatles at stadtgarten, koln

Part of “Reconstructing Song” Series

A Kölnish audience recently had the opportunity to see your trusty Tape-beatles present their retrospective work “G.N.P.” and, to all outward appearances, were impressed by it. A good thing, too: why drive all the way from Prague to be jeered? The local kölsch is certainly an attraction, but you can get good beer in Prague, too. I’m quite pleased to report that jeering was not on the dance card, and the applause at the end was enough for the boys to notch up another success on the belt of their campaign to slowly take over the world through excessive modesty and self-effacingness. A round of kölsch for all!

The Tape-beatles were followed on stage by The Books, after which the two groups had a polite conversation and swapped CDs.

“G.N.P.” Gets First Official Screening
in Prague

tape-beatles at nod, prague

Opening for Underground Legend Serhat Köksal

It certainly must seem to outside observers (if, indeed, there are any) that our performance schedule has become in recent years rather, shall we say, rarefied. This is not from any lack of willingness on the part of the two remaining members of the group -- it’s just that, well, you know -- there are other things in life that must be attended to, and we have never been ones (for the most part) to shirk our responsibilities. No! Never let it be said that we are shirkers! But perhaps that commentary is best left aside for the moment.

There is more important news to relate. For it came to pass, on Saturday last, that the Tape-beatles once again performed their current showpiece “G.N.P.” for any and all comers. That is to say, any and all that came to an “Experimental Space” in Old Town Prague and plied admittance. For those were the terms, and we stood by them.

This “Experimental Space”, called NoD (to be pronounced “no dee” for “no dimensional” works) is one of the premier venues for experimental artworks in the Czech Republic. The evening was sponsored by MOFFOM, the Music on Film Film on Music festival, held every year in Prague.

Accompanying The Tape-beatles on the playbill was veteran experimental electronic media artist (he works in both sound and video) from Istanbul, Serhat Köksal, a favorite of the late John Peel.

The Tape-beatles trotted through their fixed score for “G.N.P.” with minimal screw-ups, this time with the addition of few subtitles in Czech, as a courtesy to the local audience. Afterwards, Köksal blistered the crowd’s senses with a terrific onslaught of beautiful sound and digified video ripped from the playlists of the Turk’s evidently voracious media appetites.

Links: | Roxy/NoD | MOFFOM | 2/5BZ |

Tonic Train in Prague; Invites Tape-beatles to Group Improv

tape-beatles, tonic train, martin blazicek

Joined by Czech filmer Martin Blažíček

It’s been mentioned on these pages before of the existence of a yearly cycle of events called Art’s Birthday, celebrated mainly on the airwaves and the internet. Each year around January 17, people gather in cities around the world and hook up via the æther, girding the globe with collaborative energy. Part of this year’s meet-up in Prague took place at Školska 28*, a gallery and tearoom in the city’s very heart, under the rubric “ Mini Radio Burza.”

Among the numerous guests invited to add luster to the events was the circuit-bending duo Tonic Train (Sarah Washington and Knut Auferman), whose sensibilities (need it be said?) are in alignment with your trusty Tape-beatles. We conspired to add a last-minute addition to the “Mini Radio Burza” agenda, a collaborative, improvized, experimental show to close out the events at Školská. Joining us was Czech experimental filmmaker Martin Blažíček (who, by the way, recently donated to the Tape-beatles a small attaché full of 8mm footage, yet to be examined by our prying minds).

Our event took place Monday evening, January 16, with about two dozen people in attendance. It began innocently enough, with a brief set played with talking toys mostly with a didactic purpose in mind, made to teach children the state capitals and the like. This cacophonous mash-up then segued into a kind of Photoshop “jam” centered around a bit of freeware called SoundOfAnImage, which converts an arbitrary picture, pixel by pixel, into midi instructions that can then be heard. Lloyd Dunn generated graphics in Photoshop on the fly and turned them into a kind of music, supported by a musical bed supplied by Tonic Train.

Next, we screened a piece for the local audience, with John Heck projecting a fragmentary 16mm print of Prague historical scenes, to which visual counterpoint was added by Lloyd on video, and Martin on 16mm. Visual textures and light patterns in motion by Martin were created using a textured glass ashtray acquired by dashing down the street to a nearby store. Such escapades are typical of the Tape-beatles’ work, and the reader can well see that a harmonizing mindset has been found among the Czech artists they’ve worked with!

The final experiment of the evening pulled out all the stops. Characterized in the planning meeting (held the previous week over brunch at the Fraktal café) as the “loop piece,” it had all five artists joining in with their best repetitive material in a spectacle that exceeded everyone’s expectations. Over Tonic Train’s rich, somewhat sad, audio bed, Heck’s loops of endless firemen sliding down a pole and extreme slow-motion drops of water falling and splashing viscously, Dunn applied stuttery looped mpegs from the Prelinger Archive’s holdings, dealing with television, natch; but later moving on to medical footage of gait defects – nude people parading across the screen shot in Romania in the 1920s. Blažíček’s virtuosity at movie projector filtering and “painting” with light and motion added dazzling overlays and effects throughout.

*Lloyd works at Školska 28 in the capacity of technical support and web design and was involved in organizing the “Mini Radio Burza” events.

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