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Tape Den

The following text is taken from the exhibition catalogue of Planites.

Tape Den by Inal Bilsel

The work of composer Inal Bilsel opens a window into an imaginary future dystopia, where human alienation and melancholia go hand in hand with new, artificial ways of enjoying emotions and experiences. Over the past few years, Bilsel has been developing a personal artistic universe that borrows elements from science fiction —where the main premise is that the world has been destroyed by nuclear warfare, attempts to colonise Mars have failed, and humans are now trapped on a desolate Earth with not much left to make their lives happy. As a result, a company called SimEx (Simulated Experience) emerged, that can offer people intense emotional and sensory experiences by connecting the human brain to a computer. The SimEx machines work with SimTapes, which look like typical audio cassettes and allow users to choose what kind of experience they want to have, or even relive the same experience over and over again. For Bilsel, the people in this imaginary world use the SimTapes to “artificially escape the depressive realities they are faced with;” this whole concept informs Bilsel’s compositional work in many different media, from live audiovisual performances to video art and stand-alone music albums. For Plánites, Bilsel revisits his SimTape dystopia with “Tape Den”, an audiovisual installation in the form of a fictional museum exhibition that shows different kinds of SimTapes. Writing a new chapter in Bilsel's storyline, the work is a nod to the early-19th-century opium dens found in London, Paris or the American East Coast, where people would gather and lay down to inhale the hallucinatory vapours of Chinese opium. With its quasi-museological layout, “Tape Den” highlights the connection between fact and fiction in Bilsel's work, where temporalities blend and made-up objects are used as evidence for the existence of a future world in present tense.

Kiriakos Spirou

More about Planites: elena parpa (

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