Jesper Olsson on Tape Recording and Postwar Media Poetics

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This talk deals with the exploration of audiotape and tape recorders by poets and artists during the cold war period. Through a reading of works by Vito Acconci, David Antin, Henri Chopin, and others – focusing on issues of voice, signals, time, and performance – tape recording is discussed both as an aesthetic device for generating new experiences and as part of a technological dispositif – or the “media as system” (Siegfried Zielinski). As such, the tape recorder can also function as a media archaeological probe for analyzing and reflecting upon the ubiquitous digital media ecology of today.