Liminal Clippings Collective

Heya folks,

Been mulling this idea for a couple weeks or so and finally decided to put things together to get it rolling. Posting here to do a little interest gauging, see if any lines folks want to join in or collaborate with the project, and to hear any additional thoughts or advice anyone may have to add to it! This is somewhat inspired by the traveling cassette tape project, Disquiet Junto, my interest in zine culture and snail mail/pen pals, a fascination with tape loops and tape collage, and a collaborative tape/mixed media project I started locally last month.

The Liminal Clippings Collective is something like an ongoing blind clothing swap or quilt squares swap, but for tape clippings that are supplemented/embellished/coagulated/informed(?) by a zine (Liminal Clippings.) At its simplest, anyone will be able to mail a piece (or pieces) of ¼” audio tape (a “clipping”) to a PO Box I’m setting up along with a stamp for the return journey, and sometime later they will get a different clipping (or clippings) from someone else. The zine will have open submissions for content and will hopefully see quarterly to semi-annual releases (though with enough interest and involvement more frequent releases would be lovely) and at least for the first several iterations issues will likely be sent to members with their return tape clipping.

My personal hope with the project is to participate in an ongoing community through mail, discover new and interesting sounds, collaborate with others in a new way, and allow my own work to be inspired in surprising ways.

Thoughts on Clippings:

  1. Clippings of ¼” recorded audio tape of any reasonable length, probably somewhere between several inches and a couple of feet (though unreasonable is fun!)

  2. Recordings can be of anything be it snippets of music, conversation, audio journals, field recordings, noise, electromagnetic data, silence, and so on.

  3. Since reel to reel machines come in many configurations and states, no one standard will be enforced aside from the ¼” audio tape standard. Hopefully this will also make things a little interesting! With that being said, any information about any clippings submitted may prove helpful to other members and will be included. For example “The longer clip is a four track recording, recorded at 7 ½” per second. The shorter one is better left a mystery.”

  4. At some time the clippings will be shuffled and everyone that submitted a clipping will be sent a different one in return. At least in the beginning this will likely happen in batches with groups of submissions all being compiled and swapped within that one grouping. If there are more clippings than members (which I’d hope is the case often!) they’d be spread out evenly among everyone (up to a point that the envelopes could handle and the post office wouldn’t hate.)

  5. As time goes on the hope would be that enough extra tape would have been submitted to keep a stock of it ready so that we could send out return clippings immediately.

  6. If you’re not the original owner of the content on the tape then don’t send it in, and understand that anything you send may end up in someone else’s projects.

Thoughts on Zine Content:

  1. Some core ideas: TAPE, sound collages, visual collages, field recording, DIY tape/audio, found sounds, recording/mixing/mastering on tape, physical performance, mono no aware, sound installations, sound in spaces. From the metaphysical to the technical.

  2. Written word, be it poetry, essays, or fiction, that pertains to the project’s core ideas that the sender would like to submit for inclusion in a future issue.

  3. Visual art, with the awareness that at least for the foreseeable future issues will be printed in black and white, perhaps on colored paper now and then. If you have an idea for cover art, do it!

  4. General correspondence to the zine

  5. Making sure folks are credited appropriately for zine content submissions.

Ideas for the FUTURE:

  1. Clipping requests: If the collective ever reaches a point where there is a large amount of leftover clippings we could begin allotting a portion of them for CLIPPING REQUESTS. Mail in a request for a number of clippings, and we’ll send them to you for your project!

  2. Project Depository: A place to post/share projects that have used clippings in some way. May take the shape of a specialty volume of the zine every year highlighting different projects that incorporated elements of the collective.

  3. Collective Projects and Installations: A parallel to CLIPPING REQUESTS, excess tape may be allotted for a collective project or installation.

There are rumblings in my mind about whether or not a website would be helpful/useful/desirable, what (if any) kind of cataloging would be helpful or interesting, how to offset costs associated with printing/mailing, incorporating sound into the zine/distribution, what collaborative installations could look like, and lots of other fun down-the-road kinda things that will probably unravel as they go and as more people get involved. I think this will probably need to be US only for now due to how expensive mailing even a small envelope can be internationally, but maybe I’m mistaken. Would love to hear thoughts about that too. For now though, I think that enough of the stage is set. I’ve put together a little mailing list for folks to sign up for if they’re interested in participating. Hoping by the equinox I’ll have the PO Box all squared away and will send out the call via the mailing list for clippings and zine submissions with a set of clear instructions. If you have friends that may be interested please pass the link for the mailing list along to them as well!

Please share any questions, insight, or ideas you have! For now it’s all pretty low stakes so if it doesn’t go anywhere I won’t be too surprised, but it’s definitely something I would be excited to hop in with if it existed already, so, here we go!

(Mods, hope it’s okay I gave this it’s own thread for now instead of dropping it into the zines/newsletters thread as it kind of encompasses several things and at least here at the start is kind of a standalone project, also took a stab at category, not sure if “process” is right, but it feels right? If anything needs to get shuffled around please do so!)

Thanks for reading :purple_heart: