- Dialectical Immaterialism - John Berndt /

Generic As-Beenism


(substantial packaging w/ color photos, etc..) - $6.00

- (60 minutes)


From: "Factsheet Five" #26 - us@

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & John Berndt, "Ultimatum II" Another multi-media spectacle from some of the oddest people in Baltimore. The package includes a tape, photos, and written documentation of some performance art/music pieces done in Montreal. Berndt's was called "Dialectical Immaterialism"; tent presented "Generic As-Beenism". Both are devoted to deconstructing the very fabric of reality, and leaving the listener/reader in a state of confusion. Challenging and obscure. (T/MG)


From: "Electronic Cottage" - April '89 - us@

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE and John Berndt: K7U: ULTIMATUM II cassette with multi-media packaging. These recordings are from the Ultimatum II festival of new literatures held in Montreal in September 1987. Featured here are two weirdo Baltimore artists who have ties with Neoism and the Church of the SubGenius and are first-class oddballs. This impressive package includes essays by Berndt and tENT, profiles of the artists, lots of background info, charts, artwork and a packet of color photos plus a 60-minute tape. Each presented a piece with readings over electronic music backing. Berndt presented "Dialectical Immaterialism", and tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE , "Generic As-Beenism (Usefullofshitlessness)". Both are explained in detail in the texts, but I'm still not sure I get it. And I'm not so sure I'm supposed to get it. I can't figure out whether the ideas expressed are profound and earth-shaking or abstruse and absurd for the hell of it. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Both Berndt and tENT are concerned with questioning contemporary notions of reality and experience. A stupendous, intelligent, artfully-conceived presentation. HM


From: "H23" #3 - winter '91/'92 - us@

Ultimatum II, with John Berndt and tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

Berndt, a.k.a. Karen Eliot, Monty Cantsin and Charles Boyd, presents "Dialectical Immaterialism", self-described as "a foray into self-referential brain-washing". Tent's piece is called "Generic As-Beenism". Both are documents of complex audio-visual performances that don't really lend themselves to description or criticism. Both incorporated visual elements with various instrumentation and extended spoken passages. Both are highly personal, creative experimental works. Luckily, the package comes with extensive documentation (and a couple attractive photos) to fill some of the gaps in our understanding. I won't attempt to explain the package. I'll just say that I enjoy the tape, and I wish more artists would document their work in this manner. Recommended. -RR


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The reviews are not necessarily copied verbatim from the original. Usually, small apparent typos are corrected & obsolete addresses are removed. In some cases, I may choose to leave misspellings, misinformation, etc intact to demonstrate how sloppy the reviewer is. Of course, there may be times when the original packaging was confusing (deliberately or otherwise) which may effect the reviewer's comprehension. The more recent the tapes are, the less likely this is to be the case. Most of the recent tapes provide fairly extensive liner notes. In some cases, reviewers whose native language isn't English may be writing in English anyway for the sake of 'internationalizing' their reviews. Obviously, this may lead to what strikes native English speakers as 'bad' English. Hopefully, equally obviously, this should not be interpreted as a lack of intelligence in the writing. Editorial notes may be inserted into the reviews in [brackets]. In many instances, I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) replied to reviews that I disagreed with strongly. These replies are included here. In some cases, I may add additional retrospective comments.