The Tape-beatles on UbuWeb
PhonoStatic Cassettes (1984-1989)
PhonoStatic 1 (1984)
PhonoStatic 2: Audio Vérité (1985)
PhonoStatic 3: Glossolalia (1985)
PhonoStatic 4: The Persistence of Hearing (1986)
PhonoStatic 5: Listener's Fatigue (1986)
PhonoStatic 6: World News Cassette (1987)
PhonoStatic 7: Audio Anxiety (1987)
PhonoStatic 8: Concatenations (1988)
PhonoStatic 9: Concurrencies (1988)
PhonoStatic 10: Audio Collage Cassette (1989)
PhotoStatic was a magazine, a periodical series of printed works, that focused on xerography (photocopy) as a creative medium. Founded by editor Lloyd Dunn in 1983, the title continued in some form until as late as 1998. During that time, PhotoStatic served as a forum to collect art works made using xerography and other machine art techniques. Its scope was soon extended to embrace not only graphic works, but also the world of sound art as well.
A companion publication on audio cassette was dubbed PhonoStatic, with the inaugural issue appearing in 1984. In all, ten cassette issues were released at roughly six-month intervals, culminating with the "Audio Collage" cassette in 1989.
The first issue was edited by Paul Neff, and thereafter, Lloyd Dunn took over (both were to become members of the Tape-beatles). A quick look at the track lists will reveal that a handful of artists were quite regularly represented among the dozens who participated. It can also be said that many of these pieces were made by artists who also contributed graphic work to the pages of PhotoStatic. It is fair to see that as representative of the intermedia emphasis in the alternative or 'otherstream' communities of the day, a movement (generally speaking) that rejected many artistic conventions, specializations, and categories.
The works in these collections comprise, frankly, a mishmash of styles, in addition to a widely varying technical quality from track to track (most submissions were made on ordinary tape cassette). In their thematic incoherence, perhaps we can see a cross section of the kind of work that interested sound artists in the home taping community and the cassette underground during this period.