Tuesday, May 10, 2005


David Tremlett • The Spring Recordings • 1972 • sound cassettes, glass shelf, metal fixtures and tape recorder • 381 x 6096 x 222 mm

Recorded ambient noises in every county in Britain (so that’s England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.) Each cassette is labeled with a green labelmaker label, is fifteen minutes long and features a description by Tremlett. He names the county, the time of day and the weather, etc. The tiny room in which the piece is installed provides a cozy and austere setting to experience The Spring Recordings in. the cassettes are displayed above eye level on a long and narrow glass shelf. They are standing on end like books and are equidistantly spaced. The only irregularity is the gap left by cassette removed from the shelf and playing in the tape deck. Upon first entering the space, one thinks the piece is by Donald Judd; in hearing the sounds, one gets the misperception that the tape boxes are little speakers. The minimalist presentation is marvelous and perfect. The Juddlike shelf is constructed from glass and brackets you could get at a hardware store; so The Spring Recordings, also call to mind Haim Steinbach. The Tate Modern catalogs it as a “relief,” implying the piece is more about the presentation of the cassettes then the actual recordings they contain. Interesting. Indeed, a major component, and one eternally in flux, to recording is the objects the medium manifests itself as: the vinyl LP, the 8-track, the cassette, the DAT, the CD and now any number of computers. The player and the played have merged. In the future will we make Carl Andre style stacks of MP3 players?

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