The cassettes released on the Start Here label attempt to work with the form and materiality of the cassette tape as a medium, foregrounding and celebrating its unique qualities. Start Here is all about clearing away, stripping back and emptying out, so that these qualities can be perceived and appreciated more clearly.
The name of the label came about when I was sitting working at my computer one day and I glanced down at a pile of papers on the floor next to me. At the top of the pile was a photocopy of Le Corbusier’s 1947 book When The Cathedrals Were White (check it out ), on which a previous reader had written ‘Start Here’.
At that moment I thought 'This is an instruction'. So I started reading, and after a while I came across this:
“The table has not been cleared after dinner; the remains of a banquet have been allowed to lie in disorder after the departure of the guests: cold sauces, picked bones, wine spots, crumbs, and dirty silver scattered about ... the world to be put in order, to be put in order on piles of debris”.
This seemed like a good point of reference for the project, since my own work shares something of Le Corbusier's desire to clear away and to strip back, expressed in his metaphor of the debris-strewn table. For Le Corbusier the goal of clearing the table may well have been to put the world in order, but in my own work the aim is to strip back and clear out in order to perceive particular things with greater clarity - and for me, one of the things I want to be able to perceive more clearly is the formal and material specificity of the cassette itself.
Perhaps Le Corbusier's reference to debris is also relevant when thinking about the cassette tape within a contemporary context . The fact that most of the tapes that have ever been produced are either now already in or are destined for landfill sites signals Start Here's media archaeological dynamic. The label works exclusively with what many consider to be an obsolete format, with the aim of foregrounding and celebrating its unique qualities.