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Mark Moreland

Selected Tape Works (Tape)

Label: Tribe Tapes

Format: Tape

Genre: Experimental

In process of stocking


Compilation of two scarcely-heard tapes self-published during the late 1980s / 90s by late Pennsylvania-based mail artist Mark Moreland. Hermetic cut-ups of private audio letters, radio frequency band shifting, and crude environmental sound assemblages. Gen Ken: "How to write about Mark is tough. I agree he didn't think of himself as an artist and rarely made anything like traditional art in his later years. He had some paintings he made for himself in his room and I am fortunate that he gave me one. It's a painting of The Trip Master Monkey - an image that appeared in his notebooks as doodles and several painted versions were on the walls of his room. The one I have is signed "with love Mark" in pencil. But no date. 

He grew up in Churchville Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and died not far from there in Buckingham Springs Pennsylvania. He briefly lived in LA before moving to New York City in 1977. He left New York around 1983 or 1984. Although he spent most of the rest of his life in and around Philadelphia he did have a period of living homeless in San Francisco. He was working on a book for me and called me occasionally and told me he was working on a book for me. He told me he had an anxiety attack and threw the book into a trash can on the street one day so I never saw that book. I do have a folder and stapled collection of color xeroxes of pages designed by him with polaroids he shot. While in New York he had a polaroid camera and took great photos. For a short while he designed jewelry and I have a couple of pieces he made. He worked for a jeweler and he worked doing type layout for an artist in NYC. His last job was laying out type and art for the Yellow Pages phone directory in the last days of print production before computers.

In Pennsylvania he made lots of drawings and paintings and gave them to friends. I had large pen and ink drawings of Lou Reed, Ian Hunter hanging on the wall of my bedroom in my parents house. Before he dropped out of high school he was active in the art studio and I think he took a few classes at Tyler Art school in Pennsylvania before moving to New York. So he was knowledgeable about art thus couldn't be called an Outsider Artist, but didn’t show any interest in a career or exhibiting or selling his art even when he was young. He made art personally to give to friends when he was young.

I want to clarify that Mark never had "creative pursuits" the way most people will think of artistic creative pursuits. He made art for friends and himself when he was young, but later in life made art almost always for himself, and didn't call it art or think about "making art" He needed no encouragement when he lived in New York City 1977-1984. But in the 90s he stopped "making art" for others to see. He wrote and drew in his journals and occasionally made postcards to send to his few friends. I began encouraging him to make art in the early 90s as he was moving away from making art largely due to his struggles after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I also want to make clear the influence Mark had on me. He encouraged me to make visual art when I was only fixated on sound and music. In retrospect his ideas had more influence on me than I was aware of when I was young. I hoped he would take time to make art, to paint draw or record music. I gave him a guitar, tape recorder, art supplies etc. . Actually he sat on those blank canvases for years and I not only didn't expect him to use them, I didn't have hope that he would. He made it clear on my visits that he wasn't interested. He said this with kindness and even a laugh, but it was clear he didn't care. When I told him I was curating an exhibition of visual work for the first time in 2006 (PLP Gallery), he surprised me by calling me on the phone to tell me he had sent a package with the canvases in the mail. I was thrilled anticipating what his paintings would be after so many years of not painting. I was doubly surprised when I opened that box to see that he had simply emptied the tubes of paint I sent him onto the blank canvas - one tube/color per canvas."

Cat. number: TRIBE 065
Year: 2024

Black C62 cassette packaged in 4" x 6" zip bag with double-sided cover and three additional inserts