october 22, 2009.
Die Kassette (The Cassette) is in a western part of the German town of Leipzig, in Lindenau. It is a cosy place, open three days a week (on saturday, sunday and on tuesday), where you can go to meet and have a drink with friends, and listen to cassettes, on one of the several cassette players that have been put there to that purpose. The cassettes that you can play and listen to are mixtapes ( * ). The tapes decorate the walls, where each one has been placed on a small piece of wood, supported by two iron nails. You may also bring your own mixtape, leave it and/or swap it for one of the tapes at Die Kassette.
On tuesday evening october 20th I was at Die Kassette to present the Found Tapes Exhibition. It was part of the three days of foundtaping that I did in the wake of the Leipzig edition of das kleine fieldrecordingsfestival from october 16th to 18th, organized with a lot of dedication and love, by Tobias Luther (whom I had met at the second Berlin edition of the festival, in february 2007), and Johannes Kiehl at gal.lery (an event space on the first floor of a Wächterhaus in the Eisenbahnstraße, in Neustadt, an eastern part of Leipzig).
During the evening I wanted to record a Found Tapes Mixtape for
Die Kassette, and in the afternoon I prepared the cover for it
(the one you see in the picture above).
I cut the image from an article in the local section of the october 1st
edition of the Leipziger Volkszeitung ("Leipziger Spezialitäten müssen
besser vermarktet werden"),
that was lying near the old very German
green tiled cupboard sized coal stove that during the time I spent there
did a marvelous job heating the gal.lery's guest room where I was staying in the grand,
but cold and very worn out Wächterhaus in the Eisenbahnstraße.
I also made a baby soother ( ** ) cap for Penelope, who was my faithful companion on the trip that let me from Paris to Amsterdam to Extrapool in Nijmegen (where we performed our audiotoop [more about this later]), on to das kleine in Leipzig-Neustadt (where Penelope again played a major role in our contribution, entitled "Zoo lang een mensch nog zingen kan" [more about this later]) and finally to Die Kassette in Leipzig-Lindenau. Penelope spent the evening next to Die Kassette's male dummy, that I had wanted to look like a terrible tapeman, but who with my hat on top of his tape wig ended up looking an awful lot like Michael Jackson.
During the evening at Die Kassette I invited the visitors to try for themselves how it feels to be a tête-de-cassette or a tête-de-tettine. The results of this experiment are summarized in the picture gallery below:
As the evening drew to an end, and the FC Barcelona, much to Jacob Schneikart's dismay,
in their Champions League play were beaten 1 to 2 by Russian outsider Rubin
Kazan, also the recording of the special Die Kassette 90 minutes
Found Tapes Mixtape found its goal in a terminal 'click'.
I took the brandnew mixtape out of the recorder,
broke out the small record protect tabs on its rear, slipped the tape into the box that I had prepared,
and handed it to Jacob. He decided to immediately give the special Found
Tapes Mixtape a spot on Die Kassette's wall of honor.
As part of the small ceremony that came with this, he took an old dymo tape caption maker, and one by one clicked the letters of the cassette's title into blue embossing tape.
For the result of Jacob's efforts, I would have even walked all the way over to Leipzig ... :-)
[ next Leipzig entry : Minisec ]
notes __ ::
(*) The phenomenon of - especially the private, personal - mixtapes was an important part of youth culture in the 1980s and 1990s. For many of the teenagers and young adults growing up in those years the mixtapes they compiled and exchanged had a strong emotional and affectionate dimension. This accounts for the wave of nostalgia-laden mixtape projects, like, for example, the recent Cassette from my Ex book. [ ^ ]
(**) Baby soothers play an important role in the Found Tapes Exhibition's narrative; they're part of its story. And like two years ago in New York, also in Leipzig the first thing I found was a baby soother. It was a red one, that I picked from the gutter in the Hermann-Liebmann-Straße on my way to das kleine brunch, on sunday morning together with Tobias and Bea. [ ^ ]
tags: found tapes, foundtaping, founded tapapes, Leipzig
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