Spending long hours painting in our studios can be a lonely occupation. How can technology help to bridge the gap between one studio and another, and how does the technology shape the kind of ideas that people exchange?
Well, blogs, podcasts, Twitter, and Facebook help keep the conversation going on all sorts of art topics. But before the Internet, there wasn't much besides the phone for staying in touch. That's why in the late '70s and early '80s we invented the Golden Palm Tape Network, which was sort of the ancestor of this blog.
The way it worked is that you would record cassette tapes and send them around to each other by snail mail. You would leave some blank space at the end for other people to add their comments. People would initial the back to show they'd heard it. It would take months for any single tape to make the rounds.
The topics included art readings, live visits to art museums, amateur radio plays, and general discussion and healthy debate. The medium encouraged long, reflective ruminations, private thoughts, and thoughtful analysis.
The nucleus of the G.P Tape Network was a small group of us art buddies who knew each other at Art Center. We lived in the same apartment, a seedy dive called the Golden Palm. The artists involved included Paul Chadwick, Bryn Barnard, Thomas Kinkade, Ron Harris, Richard Hescox, and occasionally Tom Kidd, David Mattingly, James Warhola, and a few others who joined in later. All those people were (and are) brilliant and incisive and funny, and I owe who I am to what I learned from them.
There were hundreds of tapes, most of which were recorded over again with new stuff.
As much as I love to waste time goofing off, I probably won't get around to turning any of my tapes into podcasts, and obviously I could never publicize anyone else's private comments. But there's some fun stuff on there, and it reminds me how much communication technology has helped each of us to share our thoughts about art and to learn and grow.
Golden Palm (GP)
A visit to the Golden Palm