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tobias c. van veen interview

By smith

Last fall I posted about espaceSONO, a sound art show at the SAT in Montreal curated by Tobias c. van Veen. Tobias is an old friend who is active as a musician and DJ, curator and critic and in his spare time he plugs away on his Ph.D in communication & philosophy at McGill. I have wanted to interview Tobias about his creative practice for a while, but we have held off having this dialog for several months so we could specifically address his new turbulence-commissioned project, 'til death do us a part. Tobias will be performing this piece and participating in the Programmable Media II symposium in New York City tomorrow at Pace University.

Tobias C. Van Veen / Le Placard / 2008

[tobias in the mix at noplacard feb. 2008 / photo: cato p.]

Your recently launched turbulence piece 'til death do us a part is decidely lo-tech. Not only is underlying reel-to-reel technology slightly archaic but even your references are coated with a fine layer of dust. Listening through the piece, it feels very much like an autopsy for "dead media." Could you talk about the inspiration for the piece?

Only in the 21C would recording technology scarcely dated -- the magnetic tape, still in use, of course -- be called 'archaic'. Yet perhaps 'archaic' & 'inspiration' traffic together at this moment when using reel-to-reels to call forth the voices of the dead. If a reel-to-reel is dead media, it is because when, at the height of its use in the 1960s, it was already being used to conjure the spirits of the dead by Konstantin Raudive...

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