Introducing TEP ZEPI, an object / experience by Hair and Space Museum
A few months ago, Sharon Arnold of LxWxH Gallery asked if David and I would contribute a piece to the June 2014 installment of the gallery’s Subscription Project, a curated box set of editioned art objects.
Since around 2010, David and I have been collaborating on multimedia installations and performances as Hair and Space Museum. We have performed a 12-hour improvisation to overnight audiences at Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery, contributed a sound and video feedback installation to Bumbershoot 2012, and even performed at a book release party at Family Business Gallery in New York, but as of yet, we have been too busy with our other project Midday Veil to give HSM a proper physical musical release. The LxWxH box set seemed like a great forum for creating a handmade, short run physical release that could also serve as an art object.
TEP ZEPI is an edition of ten lathe cut 7″ records featuring a 5-minute improvised composition on each side. Inspired by the Voyager 1 Golden Record, as well as a recent re-watch of the 1997 film adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact, we decided we wanted to make a special sculptural package for the record that contained instructions for the assembly of an object of unknown origin to accompany the musical experience.
To produce the object, I designed and executed my first ever bookbinding project: a 6-fold, fabric bound, hand silkscreened case for the record that transforms into a freestanding three-dimensional pyramid. The title TEP ZEPI, which translates as “First Time,” refers to an ancient Egyptian creation myth in which key aspects of civilization were handed to the Egyptians by visitors from space.
The Wave Length box set is currently available in an edition of 10 via LxWxH Gallery. A release party is scheduled for this evening, June 27, at Vermillion Gallery and Bar in Seattle from 6 to 9 pm.
Ambitious projects tend to make you thankful for the talents and generosity of your community, and I would like to extend our gratitude to Mike Dixon of LatheCuts.com who cut these gorgeous, amazing-sounding records for us; to Jonathan James Carr, who helped me cut out the boards for the covers; to Shaun Kardinal for giving me a refresher course in the Pen Tool while I was designing the covers; to the Vera Project’s silkscreen studio; and to Gala Bent for bookbinding and material advice.