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Dan Tapper

August 09, 2017

Dan Tapper is a visual artist, sound artist, and composer. From revealing electromagnetic sounds produced by the earth’s ionosphere to exploring hidden micro-worlds and creating imaginary nebulas made from code, his work use scientific methods alongside thought experiments to elicit rich sonic and visual worlds. His installation Turbulent Forms is at the Canadian Music Centre until the end of the month as part of New Adventures in Sound Art’s Sound Travels Festival.

1. Bojack Horseman

I am such a massive Bojack Horseman fan that I began a media theory project based around the show, post-celebrity culture, and metaphysics. I didn’t pursue it very far (which is probably a good thing). I like the show for a number of reasons: its art style, its deeply layered visual humour, its commentary on modern America and celebrity. I tend to be the type of person who loves a small set of things a lot and Bojack Horseman definitely fits into this category of nerd love for me.

2. Listening to music on repeat

When I work on an intense project, it can be difficult to switch off and relax. I also find that a lot of cyclical brain patterns come out in periods of elevated stress. The best and most enjoyable way to deal with this is to immerse myself within a few pieces of music that have some sort of effect on me, and then listen to them on repeat. For my most recent project, my list ranges from comedy songs to eighties dance music:
Bo Burnham - Words, Words, Words
Beach House - Majorette
Electric Light Orchestra - Yours Truly, 2095
Youth Lagoon - Year of Hibernation
Sufjan Stevens - anything

3. Cycling

When I moved to Toronto I travelled solely by bike for the better part of a year. I love the ability to traverse the city at my own pace – often quicker than driving or taking the TTC. It is also a sort of active meditation where I zone out and focus on the action of riding rather than my life as a whole. I haven’t cycled for a while because my bike was stolen recently and I have been too busy to find a replacement. I look forward to getting back on a bike soon and whizzing around again.

4. Rotten Bananas

Rotten Bananas is a new creative marketing agency based around absurdist humour, niche interest and the creation of challenging user experiences in a time when user experience is designed to be seamless. It’s a company I began recently with my friend Myles, who is an excellent web developer and digital consultant. So far we have worked on a marketing campaign based around geocaching, created software that converts faces into recognisable blocks of pixels and conceived of a store that only ever sells seven unique items. At present it is just a fun side project, but I actually think there is something important that can be found from challenging users to problem solve to access information. The process of exploration and problem solving is a really important means of reducing stress, working the brain, and releasing chemicals that make us feel good about ourselves. I think this element that makes the user work is absent from a lot of current applications.

5. Mono music and Elijah Wood

As a joke I began a cult for people who only listen to music in mono (the joke being we are a community of musicians specialising in multi-channel diffusion). Our main goal: to make the Apples in Stereo change their name to the Apples in Mono. The first logical step to this is befriending Elijah Wood, who owned the record label that the Apples in Stereo were signed to. For illustrative purposes here is a hypothetical photo of me with Elijah Wood after convincing him to change the band’s name. Elijah, if you are reading this, please ask the Apples in Stereo to consider changing their name.



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