Friday, March 14, 2008

when fragments of silence look like paintings...

microscopic view of damaged recording tape

jean fautrier painting

microscopic view of damaged recording tape

jean fautrier painting

the black and white microscope images are of damage to some reel to reel tape from a 1962 scotch brand tape ad. i was originally attracted to the images as a visible reprentation of those moments when a tape is damaged in small areas so that the sound disappears for a second or two - silence or erasure as an addition rather than a subtraction.

when i used to have dozens of coverless cassettes in various states of decay on the floor of my car, audio dropout was part of every tape i listened to.

during the walk from my studio to the house to scan the images, they started to remind me of the forms and texture of one of my favorite painters, jean fautrier (moca currently has two incredible gems of his up right now for anyone in the los angeles area). the interesting thing is that these 'head paintings' are mostly titled head of a hostage, and while i haven't read up on them very much (something i tend to sidestep if i love something on a gut level so as not to destroy it's magic...), there is a kind of interesting connection between the idea of hostages and violence, and a damaged tape that loses its voice, leaving gaping holes of silence in the areas it has been scarred.

perhaps both are a little troubling as well as a little beautiful.

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