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alexandra spence
buried tape loops: isolation (2020)















these tapes were buried and submerged in unceded land and waters belonging to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. i pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. this always was and always will be Aboriginal land.














8 submerged tape loops (durations vary)




Alexandra Spence is an artist and musician living on Gadigal country in Sydney, Australia. She creates performances, compositions, and installations based on (everyday) sound and listening.
forewords by the artist:


buried tape loops is an ongoing project in which i make 7-second field recordings on tape loops before burying them in the earth at the location in which they were recorded. the tapes are later dug up and placed back in their cassette casing for listening. the result of the time the loops spend embedded in the earth is the physical deterioration of the magnetic tape, and a degradation of the audio recording.

burying the tape seems to give the places at which I record a sense of autonomy over their own soundings. i imagine this as a collaboration of sorts — i make a recording and the physical variables of each place and location alter it — asking and prompting a place to affect its own sounding.









while the magnetic coating of the tape retains sonic remnants of the recorded sounds of the place, the physicality of the tape ribbon retains material remnants of the place: earth, sand, salt, other, which, in turn, impart audibly on the recording in the form of crackles, scratches, tape-warp, and hiss.












these isolation loops have been recorded weekly for the past month, 23 June – 20 July. each loop has recorded sounds from my domestic iso life and has been enmeshed with materials from my local surroundings:
canal water, cat water, backyard soils.


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