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Filed under: Art
Tags: berlin, staalzine episode2, november 2013

Editorial to the second edition

The second edition is dedicated to fifty years of tapes. We offer the picture and the story that explain why tape had some importance in someone's life at a given time.

Let me think. Let me think about a time long ago, a time before scripture was invented. Let's say we are in Persia at the court of an emperor. The empire has borders, cities, citizens. A military campaign has brought troops to the Bosporus. Nobody knows that the stretch of water that divides one land mass from another is the border between one continent and an other. Okay, in comes the cassette tape, but not yet, hold on. First there is a messenger that has to travel five thousand miles to ask if everything is prepared for the arrival of the emperor. The message should be short of course. The runner has to remember it all way through.

Let me think again. We go back in time when there is scripture, clay tablets, scrolls. It would be safer, though, if the messenger could actually remember the message. In come different techniques to remember the lines. After all, this newer age messenger already stands in a tradition. Who knows the skills and the profession were passed on from one generation to an other.

Now forget the messenger and remember the techniques. (This is a side note). Should I explain more or point out to you that from these techniques of how to remember and eventually recite a text, it is a very short step to prose, poetry, theatre and singer/songwriters?


Back to the messenger that got invented fifty years ago by Lou Ottens: the cassette tape which was as big as a packet of cigarettes. From its invention in 1963 onwards the cassette tape turned out to be a perfect messenger.

In staalzine number 2 we have collected some pictures of cassettes and the stories that come with it.