Terminus Est

personal art project, 2012

A mix-tape art project. The theme was Impending Doom: Songs for Those Facing the Apocalypse. I decided that I would create a 3-CD, 9 chapter opus that covers both personal and worldly apocalypses, along with the inevitable redemption of self & society.

For the packaging, I thought it would be interesting to have the mix be part of a set of artifacts from our time, discovered by a far-flung future archaeologist. All the bits, over the millennia, have been leached of their mundane meaning and have become arcane, puzzling objects.

I found a metal film can that would work for the housing. Because I wanted it to have a rusty patina, I sandblasted the paint off of the can and then sprayed salt water on it and rubbed it all over with my hands, hoping that my hand oils would do something interesting to it. I cut foam to fit the can, and some foamcore to fit the CDs and other bits.

I thought that the liner notes, which were selected lyrics from each of the songs on the CDs, might be fun as a scroll, of sorts. I created a second scroll for symmetry with a bullshit, faux-1950s advertisement for a device called the “Admiral.” Both of these scrolls I sealed with wax.

I've had a jar of ash from the Mount St. Helens eruption on May 18, 1980, so I thought it'd be cool to include some ash, as a literal apocalyptic symbol. I found a little vial, but it had a plastic cap, so I carved a cork stopper from a wine cork.

Now with all the bits together, I needed a cover. I continued the end-o’-the-world theme with a design that incorporated a mushroom cloud and some freaky hand-thing grasping to extinguish the sun. Or maybe it’s absorbing the power of the sun. I was going to project this image as a black positive via an opaque projector and paint the image, but it just seemed more fun and more industrial to make a stencil. I used the positive and negative of the image on the front and back of the film can.

The package was then basically complete, except for some official-looking, weird shipping label that I slapped on the side – I like the idea that the recipient has to break that seal to open the box, unleashing who knows what into this future world.

Tracklisting:

CHAPTER ONE: I Just Want to Start a Flame in Your HearT
The Breakup - 1. Heavy Vegetable – Doesn’t Mean Shit (1993) - 2. T. Rex – Broken Hearted Blues (1973) - 3. The Beatles – She Said She Said (1966) - 4. The Smiths – Ask (1986) - INTERLUDE - 5. Jacob McMurray – Steerpike (2008) - The Breakdown - 6. The Zombies – Care of Cell 44 (1968) - 7. Faust – Jennifer (1973) - 8. Bauhaus – Crowds (1980) - 9. White Fence – Your Last Friend Alive (2011) - 10. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I See a Darkness (1999) - 11. Sonic Youth – Superstar (1994) - INTERLUDE - 12. Ástor Piazzolla – Tanguedia III (1986) - The Breaking - 13. Donovan – Season of the Witch (1966) - 14. Brian Eno – Blank Frank (1974) - 15. Freddie King – Going Down (1971) - 16. The Fall – Leave the Capitol (1981) - 17. Wire – Three Girl Rhumba (1977) - 18. The Ink Spots – I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire (1941)

CHAPTER TWO: This is the Line of Division
The Party - 1. Arthur Brown – Fire (1968) - 2. Big Black – Kerosene (1986) - 3. Gang of Four – I Found that Essence Rare (1979) - 4. The Hives – Declare Guerre Nucleaire (2000) - 5. Love – Seven & Seven Is (1966) - INTERLUDE - 6. Earth – Hung From the Moon (2008) - The Shit - 7. Justice – Genesis (2007) - 8. The Fall-Outs – Zombie (1994) - 9. The Elastik Band – Spazz (1967) - 10. Roy Brown – Butcher Pete, Part One (1949) - 11. Steven Jesse Bernstein – Come Out Tonight (1988) - 12. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Mercy Seat (1988) - INTERLUDE- 13. Suicide – Girl (1977) - The Glimmering - 14. Jeremy Enigk – Carnival (1996) - 15. The U-Men – Dig It a Hole (1987) - 16. Blondie – Atomic (1979) - 17. Max Frost & the Troopers – Shape of Things to Come (1968)

CHAPTER THREE: Lux Sit and Dance
The Dawning - 1. Brave New World – It’s Tomorrow (1967) - 2. Red Cross – Annette’s Got the Hits (1980) - 3. Danny Kaye & The Andrews Sisters – Civilization (1947) - 4. Miles Davis – Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (1972) - 5. Nick Drake – Black Eyed Dog (1974) - INTERLUDE - 6. Brian Eno – In Dark Trees (1977) - The Horizon - 7. The Go! Team – Phantom Broadcast (2007) - 8. Os Mutantes – El Justiciero (1971) - 9. Ennio Morricone – Una Pistola Per Ringo (1965) - 10. Syd Barrett – Octopus (1969) - 11. Gilberto Gil – Coragem pra Suportar (1968) - INTERLUDE- 12. James Blackshaw – White Goddess (2005) - The Redemption - 13. Lali Puna – Don’t Think (2001) - 14. Magnet – Gently Johnny (1973) - 15. Donald Byrd – Cristo Redentor (1963) - 16. Violent Green – Beautiful Child (1996) - 17. Tenniscoats – Lutie Lutie (2008) - 18. Karen O and the Kids – All is Love (2009)