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Soundohm

Isolation Unit - excerpt 1
Isolation Unit - excerpt 2
Isolation Unit - excerpt 3

Joseph Beuys, Terry Fox

Isolation Unit (7")

Label: The Lab

Format: 7"

In stock

€14.00
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**This is a big one. Here we have the reissue of a true holy grail right in our hands - yeah, we know how the holy grail gets thrown around a lot these days, but, if ever there was one, this is it!** Sound art is most often encountered as an isolated realm - the lone artist, working with singular ideas, within a field that defies easy definition, falling somewhere between the outer edges of experimental music and the world of fine art. Rarely attended to by more than a handful of dedicated fans, performances and documents have always been slim and hard to find, easily slipping into the shadows, making glimpses of the history of this remarkable territory hard fought. This week, we’re absolutely overwhelmed to present one of the greatest and rarest of the rare - the reissue of Isolation Unit, an incredible scarce document of a performance embarked upon by visionary voices, Terry Fox & Joseph Beuys, in 1970, now brought back into the light for the very first time, by the San Francisco based platform, The Lab. It’s impossible to express how incredible and historically important this one is!

Within the field of sound art and performance, Terry Fox & Joseph Beuys are towering names - each sculpting, during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, entirely unique bodies of work that laid the bedrock for how we have understood these creative practices ever since. Recently, we’ve been incredible lucky to have witnessed a series of reissues and archival works of Fox’s output - Linkage, Audio Works, 552 Steps Through 11 Pairs of Strings - bringing the long neglected artist’s incredible contribution into the forefront of our minds. Beuys, the far more famous of two, however, has received considerably less attention, making the re-emergence of Isolation Unit that much more necessary and important.


Originally issued as a self-released 7”, in an extremely limited edition, by Terry Fox, Isolation Unit captures an incredibly rare collaboration between two of the heavyweights of sound art. It documents the final 12 minutes of an hour long performance embarked upon by Beuys and Fox at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany, November 24, 1970, offering a crucial window into a seminal event that was otherwise rendered to the memory of the 30 people in attendance, and the victim of temporal loss.Sound art is most often encountered as an isolated realm - the lone artist, working with singular ideas, within a field that defies easy definition, falling somewhere between the outer edges of experimental music and the world of fine art. Rarely attended to by more than a handful of dedicated fans, performances and documents have always been slim and hard to find, easily slipping into the shadows, making glimpses of the history of this remarkable territory hard fought. This week, we’re absolutely overwhelmed to present one of the greatest and rarest of the rare - the reissue of Isolation Unit, an incredible scarce document of a performance embarked upon by visionary voices, Terry Fox & Joseph Beuys, in 1970, now brought back into the light for the very first time, by the San Francisco based platform, The Lab. It’s impossible to express how incredible and historically important this one is!

Within the field of sound art and performance, Terry Fox & Joseph Beuys are towering names - each sculpting, during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, entirely unique bodies of work that laid the bedrock for how we have understood these creative practices ever since. Recently, we’ve been incredible lucky to have witnessed a series of reissues and archival works of Fox’s output - Linkage, Audio Works, 552 Steps Through 11 Pairs of Strings - bringing the long neglected artist’s incredible contribution into the forefront of our minds. Beuys, the far more famous of two, however, has received considerably less attention, making the re-emergence of Isolation Unit that much more necessary and important.

Originally issued as a self-released 7”, in an extremely limited edition, by Terry Fox, Isolation Unit captures an incredibly rare collaboration between two of the heavyweights of sound art. It documents the final 12 minutes of an hour long performance embarked upon by Beuys and Fox at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany, November 24, 1970, offering a crucial window into a seminal event that was otherwise rendered to the memory of the 30 people in attendance, and the victim of temporal loss.

A fascinating unraveling of what is heard, against the unseen, the record begins with Fox striking an eight-inch pipe with a one-inch iron pipe. The mouth of the pipe is directed toward a window frame containing four panes of glass. The pipe is struck and acoustically dead spots are searched for in the glass by listening to the echo. When those spots are found, the glass is shattered.

As the performance progressed, a candle burned behind the window frame. When all of the panes are broken, the wooden cross is knocked out of the frame and an attempt is made to bend the candle flame with the sound wave emanating from the pipe. Then the small pipe is struck on the floor in search for the dead spots in the glass of a burning light bulb. At this time, Beuys begins eating a Cherimoya fruit, spitting the seeds one at a time into a small silver bowl at his feet. These two sounds continue simultaneously until the fruit is consumed.

Representing an incredible meeting point between two seminal performative practices, there’s nothing quite like Isolation Unit in either Beuys or Fox’s output. An absolutely essential document from the early days of sound art and performance art, reissued by Lab on 7” in a highly limited edition of 500 copies, pulled from the original tapes and presented with a beautifully printed cover and inner text, this one can’t be missed. It’s already blowing the doors of 2020. As essential as they come!

Details
Cat. number: -
Year: 2020
Genre: Sound Art
File under: Performance art