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Tapemosphere #25

Balz Isler, Block Barley, Bela Pablo Janssen
Curated by: Petr Ferenc
12.5.2.6.
Wed 11.5. - 18:00

The neologism Tapemosphere comes from the words tape – which is to say magnetic tape – and atmosphere. It is the name of the group whose members include Balz Isler, Block Barley, and Bela Pablo Janssen, creators of a series of site-specific installations which include a variety of materials, which always make use of magnetic tape.

Each artist has a different focus and context in his work, so it is possible to percieve this one as a dialog among themselves, and between them and the space. The installation at Školská 28 represents the 25th version, which has gradually developed from a minimalist form via an increasingly radical involvement of the space, such as penetrating into the structure, or responding to the site from the inside and outside.

The central elements of the series Tapemosphere is a suspended composition of cassette tape recorders in which cassettes with pre-recorded loops have been inserted. The devices are suspended in the space using a system of nylon lines which act as catch points by which the tape loops can come out of the cassette shells and later go back in.

Gallery visitors hear an endless, aleatoric, unpredictable composition. The length of the loops is influenced by the arrangement of nylon lines. The sounds, which capture the busy ambience of Prague, permeate the gallery. The air of the space resonates, reincarnated in the physical form of a created situation that nonetheless escapes us, always to return. As part of an intricate system, the mechanism drives sounds which create, shape and shatter the space.

The artists move through the urban space in a „situationist“ style. They explore the city, drifting in its sound resonances, vibrations, and also among its people and atmosphere. The process is important. The gallery situation while installing the show, the meetings, adjustments to local culture, and objects found in the area during casual walks all become part of the piece. It is a precise site-specific happening with visual and sound feedback.

Amid the white walls of the galery there arises a pure, ethereal geometric form, the more „massive“ corners of which create tape cockroaches. Supported by the edges of the found objects hangs the clear nylon and the shiny, floating, liquid edges of the brown magnetic tape. From a certain angle we see only the tape moving through the space in the light poured down by the windows overhead. Among the loose and wrinkled tape, the black snakes of a pair power cables hangs. The entire form quivers, vibrates and flexes like a spider web.

Petr Ferenc, Michal Kindernay


Balz Isler (CH) is an artist and performer. In his multimedia installations and performances, he translates digital data into video, photograhs, sound and texts in real time. From private and public archives and websites he selects this material using subjective and informal criteria. These visual and sound fragments are presented in new contexts by means of editing, repetition and projection. Isler is orignally from Zurich, but currently lives and works in Berlin.

Béla Pablo Janssen (DE) works in photography and painting, thus his playful installations consists various media and assemblages which respond to space and time and the transience of independent artworks. He lives and work in Cologne.

Block Barley (DE) is an artist and musician, publisher of the WE AINT MUSIC label, and a vinyl collector. He lives and works in Hamburg.