Folk Forms No. 1
House and Universe
Reverse E
24 Hour Miss South Carolina
Cloud Salsa
Internet Soul Portraits (I.S.P.)
American Trilogy
Vanishing Point

American Trilogy

American Trilogy combines sampled audio, a digital print, and the following semi-fictional artist's statement:

During the late 1960s the American home recording industry experienced a revolution. Portable video recorders made it possible for anyone to archive and televise images and sound. Eight-track cassettes combined stereo quality sound and portability with the potential to capture and broadcast in remote places. Compact, affordable, and easy to use, these innovations contributed to an expansion of cultural production in the late 20th century, redefining the parameters of authorship, audience, and subject matter. This technology has continued to evolve, leaving behind a collective heap of obsolete media. Amidst the piles of dead technology are hours of untranscribed, decaying recordings that have been abandoned in landfills, resale stores, basements, closets, and attics.

I began collecting eight-track cassettes and players several years ago, always hoping to find a truly unique home recording. On a hot summer day in downtown Detroit, at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, I hit the jackpot: a black plastic eight-track labeled "Don Hinton, Recorded Live, Ramada Inn, Detroit Metro Airport, 3/75." The tape contained forty minutes of a lounge act in the Las Vegas styles of Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. I cringed with pleasure as Don stumbled through such classics as "Burning Love" and "American Trilogy," a heart-stirring Southern medley immortalized by Elvis. Then, to my horror, the tape became hopelessly tangled, too creased and brittle to ever play again. After hours of careful splicing, I managed to reconstruct a few seconds of Don's stage banter and his rendition of "American Trilogy," using Elvis' own version to fill in the missing parts.


I was unable to find any information about Don Hinton when I created American Trilogy, and the work reflects my own distorted perception of his persona based on the sole material evidence available: the found tape. I am pleased to report that the extraordinary Don Hinton now has a MySpace page:

American Trilogy