Lost Tapes, Found Sounds

Tapes and tape recorders are good candidates for a virtual cemetery like Bruce Sterling‘s Dead Media Project.

0fte_g3.jpgArtists and amateurs are already ensuring that these material witnesses of the 20th Century sound culture will survive. One of them is Harold Schellinx with his Found Tapes Exhibition Project.

Some years ago, the Dutch musician, sound artist and researcher started a tape collection by wandering through the streets of cities and suburbia, looking for leftovers, picking up thrown away tapes that otherwise would have been worn up by weathers and time to finally vanish completely.

The photographs of his findings provide images of loss that cannot be kept as such in a picture: Humans are often more attached to the fetishes of material culture, yet tapes are about sound – and so are some of our most important emotional bindings.

0fte_g2.jpgAccordingly, also Schellinx’ work is not about simply buying into another kind of ruin romantics. Even smallest bits and pieces are carefully collected and, if possible, sorted to be restored into what later may be listened to as memories from an almost forgotten past.

On the Found Tapes Exhibition website, one can not only browse the contents of these revived Frankenstein style mix-tapes, but listen to and download their soundings as well. And from time to time, the artist invites the audience to live performances based on the acoustic treasures of his collection.

Last week, following an invitation by Rinus van Alebeek‘s “Kleines Field Recordings Festival” Schellinx has been wandering through the streets of Berlin, while parts of his collection were on show at two gallery spaces: Transitlounge (focusing on FTE) and at takt kunstprojektraum (art project room), where the artist will also be part of the “Acoustic Flux” show running from February 18 onwards.

Last Sunday Schellinx was part of the concert evening in the “Kleines Field Recordings Festival” series, dedicated to “Berlin Soundscapes”. Missed it? radioINCORRECT has caught up the sound stream and will send it this evening, starting from 8 p.m. CET.

[Pictures from the Found Tapes Exhibition website – Many thanks to Harold Schellinx!]