Mixing the Mix Tape

The starting point for this project was a lecture-demonstration I gave, exploring nostalgia, specifically through the related concepts of ‘restorative nostalgia’ which ‘stresses nostos and attempts a transhistorical reconstruction of the lost home’ and ‘reflective nostalgia’ which ‘thrives in algia, the longing itself and delays the homecoming – wistfully, ironically, desperately’ (Boym 2001: xviii).

This led me to consider my memories of a mix tape we used to listen to in our car, as a family, when I was a child, which we named the ‘Passing Through’ compilation, due to the fact that Side A started with the Leonard Cohen song of the same name. I have strong memories of listening to the tape on long car journeys, while the motorway bridges whizzed by. I set out to try to reconstruct the playlist of this compilation, which was made for my dad by his friend, John. To help me do this, I interviewed other members of my family and then included all our memories in an intermedial performance, which was given at the TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) Performance and New Technologies working group interim event at Bucks New University in May 2016.

I subsequently re-formed the materials used for this performance into an online video text. The results are below:

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