This article was written on 14 Mar 2011, and is filled under Thoughts.

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Generation loss and the tapeless generation

I am beginning to have concerns about the digital world we live in these days. It is fine for one way autonomous rants and monologues (as I am demonstrating here), but there is a real disconnect from the human side of information sharing and communication. No one records mp3s of themselves talking and sends them to relatives like they used to do with tapes.

The sound works that i am exploring deal with this disconnection by reconnecting with the analog medium of tape. Tape is so much more rich and personal than any digital recording medium. In the digital world 3 generations of a copy means nothing. All the copies are more or less perfect copies of the original. Without a trail of obvious degradation to define them as copies, their context as appropriated objects vanishes, and their origins are lost. With tape you can hear all the generations that preceded the recording you are listening to. Most other analog mediums are the same, and all tell a generational story. photocopies, records, vcr tapes. I find it utterly ironic that the concept of generation loss is lost on this new generation that is growing up digital.



  1. [...] Generation loss and the tapeless generation | transelectronic [...]

  2. rj valeo

    There are a number of ideas at work here.

    1. Copies in the digital are are more or less exact duplicates of the original. How does this impact the feelings associated with the data that has been copied?

    2. There is no longer noise in the data, and the abundance of data has become the new noise floor. With so much information available, and with the ease in which it can spread, the information itself has become the barrier to finding it due to the sheer amount.

    3. No loss of integrity creates a lack of history. With no obvious identifiers to the age or legacy of the data there is no clear way to define it’s age. This has implications when dealing with newly learned truths verses truths that have been known for hundreds of years. On the surface they both appear to be the same age.

    This is just the tip of a very large iceberg, and the beginning of a very long journey. I will be exploring these topics in great depth over the coming years.