Lloyd Dunn

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Lloyd John Dunn (born November 10, 1957 in Harlan, Iowa, USA) is a founding member of the mixed-media and experimental sound art group the Tape-beatles and founder, publisher and editor of several small-press magazines, such as PhotoStatic and Retrofuturism. Since the early 1980s, he has been making work for a variety of media, including film, video, audio, print, and the web.

Harlan, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Harlan is a city in Shelby County, Iowa, United States, along the West Nishnabotna River. The population was 5,106 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Shelby County.

Iowa State of the United States of America

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states; Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest and Minnesota to the north.

The Tape-beatles

The Tape-beatles are a multi-media group that formed in Iowa City in December 1986. Its members have included Lloyd Dunn, John Heck, Ralph Johnson, Paul Neff, and Linda Morgan Brown. Beginning with analog tape recorders, and later expanding to include digital technology and film media, the group has used collage techniques to create works that challenge the notion of intellectual property. Their works make extensive use of materials appropriated from various sources through a process they call "Plagiarism®". The Tape-beatles' body of work consists mainly of music and audio art recordings, expanded and performed cinema performances, videos, printed publications, as well as works in other media. They produce and release work under an umbrella organization called Public Works Productions.

At the University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA, he studied Linguistics (BA 1981), before going on to graduate school in Film, Photography and Intermedia (MFA 1987). While in graduate school, Dunn created an extensive body of work using the photocopier as his primary tool. [1]

Dunn’s first major project was PhotoStatic Magazine begun in Iowa City in 1983. Although initiated to showcase photocopy and generative art, it quickly took root in the ‘mail art’ and ‘zine’ sub-cultures that peaked in the late 80s. PhotoStatic began as a largely visual publication, but evolved continually, eventually coming to contain a mixture of graphics and essays, humor, and zine criticism. [2]

Spin-offs from the Photostatic project included a series of audio cassette compilations, a video tape compilation, and a series of artist's books by individual artists, edited and produced by Dunn. [3] Photostatic also appeared under a number of print "alter-egos", which include Retrofuturism, YAWN, The Bulletin of the Copyright Violation Squad, The Expatriot, PSRF, and currently, The Photostatic Magazine Retrograde Archive. [4]

Retrofuturism style

Retrofuturism is a movement in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. If futurism is sometimes called a 'science' bent on anticipating what will come, retrofuturism is the remembering of that anticipation." Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned "retro styles" with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Primarily reflected in artistic creations and modified technologies that realize the imagined artifacts of its parallel reality, retrofuturism can be seen as "an animating perspective on the world". However, it has also manifested in the worlds of fashion, architecture, design, music, literature, film, and video games.

In 1986, Dunn began composing music and audio art with Ralph Johnson and John Heck. From this activity they formed the group The Tape-beatles (official web site). The idea behind the collaboration was to create music using recording technology itself as the sole musical instrument. They took their inspiration from musique concrète, fluxus, and some of the studio experiments of the 60s carried out by the Beatles and certain other more 'experimental' rock groups. The do-it-yourself esthetic of punk and the zine movement was also a decisive influence. [5] Together with other members of the Tape-beatles, Dunn appears in a videotaped interview in the Craig Baldwin film, Sonic Outlaws . [6]

Craig Baldwin American filmmaker

Craig Baldwin is an American experimental filmmaker. He uses found footage from the fringes of popular consciousness as well as images from the mass media to undermine and transform the traditional documentary, infusing it with the energy of high-speed montage and a provocative commentary that targets subjects from intellectual property rights to rampant consumerism.

In 2008, a major retrospective of the Photostatic Magazine Retrograde Archive took place in Dortmund, Germany at Phoenixhalle - HMKV as part of a group exhibition showcasing works that raise issues about intellectual property and copyright, entitled "Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System".

Dunn launched a series of filecasts at the site nula.cc in June 2009. The filecasts consist of audio and video programs that use found material, field recordings, original work, and other material assembled together in collage fashion, and offered as downloadable files on no fixed schedule.

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  1. Plunkett, Daniel. "An Interview with Lloyd Dunn," ND [Austin, Tex.] no. 13, 1991
  2. Billé, Philippe. "Refusing Art," Lund Art Press [Lund, Sweden] vol. 1, no. 4, 1990.
  3. Carr, C. "Life Underground: Tunneling into the ʼZine/Cassette Network," Village Voice [New York, N.Y.], January 9, 1990
  4. Phillpot, Clive. "Critical Fictions: Clive Phillpot on the Changing of the Garde," Artforum [New York, N.Y.], October, 1990
  5. Blackburn, Philip. "Meet the Tape-beatles." Artpaper [Minneapolis, Minn.], vol. 12 no. 1, September 1992.
  6. Anon. Internet Movie Database listing