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24 Things You Can Say About the Tape-beatles

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How does one begin to extoll the wondrous virtues of tape? By tape I refer to possibilities, or; adhesive tape, recording tape, and the Tape-beatles. Because there exists adhesive and recording tape, there exist the Tape-beatles. The Tape-beatles rob Peter to pay Paul using the Tape like a magnet to attract the metallic filings of popular culture, rendering them down into a magnetic core sample which intersects and interacts with all forms of Sound.

The Tape-beatles, also known as the Ape-beatles for their ability to use the tape to pull the paint off walls or leave surface residue on contact, also known as the Truth-beatles for the way they distill into pure veracity the particles of resounding logic and reason, also known as the Scape-beatles, Scrape-beatles, Shape-beatles, Hate-beatles, Rape-beatles, and, the Devil-may-care-beatles.

What are the properties of the tape, and how do the Tape-beatles take advantage of, and make those properties their own?

The Tape-beatles use the Tape to patch up that which has become worn through overuse, which is to say, ideas about what is really creative and useful in Art. The idea that Art is or can be simply another realm of real estate, to be acquired for the sake of acquiring it, and not with any real interest in the thing itself or the experience it is capable of creating with (if you will bear with me) the proper aforethought, is something these noble and knowable creatures abhor, as nature to a vacuum.

The Tape is used to record those impressions of life, real life I mean, and take those impressions away from their source so that the Tape-beatles may manipulate them and distill them of their essence. The Tape-beatles have made a concerted effort to create experience through the use of their products. These bits of life, the delayed transmission of which to the listener is made possible by capturing them on the Tape, become the lego bricks of the Tape-beatles work.

Just as Ockham’s razor cuts to the bone of theoretical structure, so must the Tape work in concert with the act of cision, as symbolized by the scissors. Yes, it would be well-nigh impossible to do useful work with the Tape without having the ability to extract only and exactly those bits which were found useful, tossing all others in the dung heap. It is up to the scissors to separate but it is up to the Tape to join and make connections between spatially disparate elements. The fruitfulness of this pseudoppositional relationship must be well understood. It is by the Tape-beatles.

That this is well understood by the Tape-beatles, of course, goes without saying.

Orignally appeared in PhotoStatic Magazine no. 28, January 1988.

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