Strawberry Fields Recording (2006)
4:3 video for iPod | colour | sound | duration 4' 27"
The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground—congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality. This causes acute anxiety among artists, in so far as they challenge, compete, and fight for the spoiled ideals of lost situations. — Robert SMITHSON (1972)
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This video piece was originally produced as a free download for the fifth generation Apple iPod—the first model capable of playing video content (QVGA 320x240) which was launched in October 2005. It was, however, still incapable of recording sound. The sound-man is seen with only a modest piece of equipment—the iRiver T10 MP3 player which had an inbuilt (lo-fi) voice recording microphone. Strawberry Fields is Yoko Ono's memorial to John Lennon as "a reinvigoration of a naturalistic setting". The rendition of A Magical Mystery Tour overshadows all other sound sources—natural or otherwise—thus rendering any attempt to produce field recordings within proximity to the site a futile activity. The project was buoyed by a reflection on the legacy of the Beatles' own Apple organisation—launched in late 1967 as a record label, a management company as well as a Boutique. The Apple Boutique closed in 1968 after a liquidation sale in which the remaining stock was given away. In 2006, Apple Corps ultimately lost their eighteen-year legal battle (1978-2006) with Apple Computers prior order to refrain from entering the music business.
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INTERVIEWER: What is Apple John?
LENNON: It's a company we're setting up involving records, films, electronics and manufacturing.
McCARTNEY: It's just trying to mix business with enjoyment. All the profits wont go into our pockets; it'll go to help people, but not like a charity.
LENNON: Like if somebody wants to make a film and they get shown into the wastepaper bin. Nothing ever happens and they go around and they make an underground one and lots of people never see it. We hope to make a thing that's free where people can come and do and record and not have to ask, 'Can we have another mike in the studio, because we haven't had a hit yet? — Excerpt from a Press Conference with The Beatles (1968)