When no wave emerged in New York City at the end of the Seventies, its protagonists opposed the commodification of music and art with radical, often multimedia works.

3 Teens Kill 4 at Battery Park (detail, poster, 1981, via brianbutterick.org)

Noise musician, art critic and artist Joseph Nechvatal was there from the beginning. He worked in the archive of fluxus and minimal legend La Monte Young and founded the Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine in 1983 with Carol Parkinson and Claudia Gould. With over 20 releases the project turned out to be a who’s who of the downtown scene.

On the occasion of the exhibition Who You Staring At? at Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2023, which presents the no wave opera XS: The Opera Opus by Joseph Nechvatal and Rhys Chatham, Nechvatal and Paul Paulun discuss aspects of no wave related to music they have chosen together.

Featured image: No Wave Heart, Joseph Nechvatal (1978)

Tellus – New York City’s Art Scene on Tape (1983-90)

When sound became portable with the Walkman in the early Eighties, the subscription-only Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine began to feature New York City’s expansive Downtown art scene on tape. 41-minute mix with Gretchen Bender, Jonathan Borofsky, Live Skull, Marjorie Van Halteren and others.

Loose Joints – Pop Your Funk (Instrumental, 1980)

The Static – The Static in Concert 1979

3 Teens Kill 4 – Stay and Fight (1982)

Youth In Asia – Talking Heads (1979)

Lee Ranaldo – The Bridge (1985)

DNA – Blonde Redhead (1981)

Jill Kroesen – I Am Not Seeing That You’re Here (Reprise, 1982)

Rhys Chatham – Guitar Trio (1977)

Walter Steding – Shout (1980)

Mars – 3E (1978)

Joseph Nechvatal – Crown Of Thorns (1981)

Bush Tetras – Snakes Crawl (1980)

Already in 2021, Paul Paulun did a long interview with Joseph Nechvatal. He talks about the Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine as part of the legacy of Marcel Duchamp and conceptual art, the Downtown bar scene, fluxus, and his art that is inspired by the nature of viruses.

Jospeh Nechvatal, from Tom Warren’s series Photo Portfolio COLAB Artists Portraits, taken at ABC No Rio 1981-84

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