(Note: this was originally published at the Radikaliai web magazine in Lithuania in 2012.)
When I began to write my book Unofficial Release, I chose the title based on its mischievous ambiguity, given the multiple interpretations of the noun "release." In the lexicon of communications media, a release can be any type of product made available for public assessment and consumption. However, "release" has also been used historically as a synonym for the various kinds of liberation. Given that my book was about an extreme form of "do-it-yourself" media practice - i.e. controlling as many aspects of an audio recording's production and distribution as possible - I wanted to imply that the existence of self-released and handmade recordings could, and did, lead to the latter type of release. This could be a release from the need to pander to a pre-established market, a release from financial obligations (e.g. the considerable amounts of money needed to press a vinyl LP or compact disc), a release from the scrutiny of overzealous authorities, and, sadly, the occasional release from having to attain any reasonable standard of creative merit.
Yet what is it that makes a recording an "unofficial" one instead of, say, a "d.i.y." recording? Unlike "release," this is not a word loaded with what you might call positive connotations. Wherever we look, unofficiality seems to refer to some under-handed, criminal, or morally reprehensible way for someone to get what they wouldn't be able to attain by more honest means. The "unofficial economy," for example, is one term that commentators have used to give a mock-politically correct gloss to those industries otherwise known as the "black market": sale of unregistered weapons, illegal drugs, or counterfeit goods (bootlegged audio albums fall into this last category, and do indeed appear as "unofficial releases" when they are sold in online marketplaces like discogs.com.) Elsewhere, residents of the former East Germany or DDR will know well the term Inoffizieler Mitarbeiter, the term used for the network of paid informants whose saturation within the country was a reminder of the omnipresence of the Stasi or state security apparatus (by its downfall in 1989, there were some 174,000 "IM"s for a population of fewer than 16 million inhabitants.)[i] In this sense, an "unofficial" employee was something more insidious than an "official" one, since it was "IM"s tasked with making the most intimate contact with potential dissidents, and with regularly betraying personal bonds of trust.
Such negative connotations do no favors to the individuals who find that their media output has been labelled "unofficial": few people want to be seen as artists that can only succeed on the basis of somehow "cheating," or as having to misrepresent the qualities of their work in order to generate interest in it. Then again, we should ask who is acting in the more underhanded way - parties that rig the rules of the game in order to exclude all but a few acceptable players, or those attempting to rewrite the rules? After surveying the popular media landscape for long enough, and seeing its shrinking number of powerbrokers gradually flatten that landscape into an unappealing monoculture, I've thrown my support behind those who have opted out of this game entirely. So little of the available spectrum of human expression is authorized for commercial release and distribution, that the "unofficial" distribution methods - be they 'mail order only' labels, tape-trading networks, or something else - come to take on a more positive connotation. Consider: unofficial artists are under no obligation to standardize the contents of their recordings to make life easier for various 'middlemen,' nor do they have to standardize the visual / tactile packaging of their work so that it can be more easily moved along a supply chain of warehouses and retail outlets. Unofficial artists' philosophies and political stances do not have to be diluted, though they may still put themselves at the mercy of a self-policing network of peers. Unofficial artists, by choosing to only duplicate and release as many copies of an item as they feel is personally necessary (and by issuing re-usable media in some cases), also eliminate a good deal of material waste.
So, in my work I've appropriated the term "unofficial" to mean recordings that are not professionally duplicated, and therefore deemed too unstable for distribution in retail chains, for promotion on terrestrial and satellite radio networks, and for other lucrative tie-ins (use as the soundtrack for TV advertisements, etc.) Virtually all of the work that goes into an unofficial release, excepting perhaps the creation of the recording medium itself, is done "by hand" and - more often than not - the same hands that record the audio fashion the package design, resulting in works of often startling intimacy that quickly become appraised as limited "art objects" as well as for their value as audio recordings.
Many of the myths and stereotypes surrounding this practice come, as could be expected, from those who have a stake in allowing the "official" communications media to maintain a monopoly on public attention. However, there are still more misconceptions that come from actors within the "unofficial scene" itself. To the best of my abilities, I will try to list and address here some of the more persistent falsehoods attached to unofficial releasing. My hope - both with this brief précis of my book, and with that book itself - is to uncover that which is most essential about the practice of self-releasing audio, showing how it is still a powerful means of forwarding real creativity, in spite of its flaws.
1. Unofficial releasing vs. "indie" releasing
The popular criticism of the ever-consolidating mass media has too often been accompanied by the attribution of a higher ethical standard to any and all alternatives to it. It would be nice if this were always the case, but unethical practices can infect any organization regardless of its size and power in the marketplace. The fallacious "argument from lack of authority," which infects much pro-indie discussion, assumes that less authoritative organizations are more impervious to corruption or dishonesty.
As we know, the decision to go "indie" brings with it a promise that one will have creative control over his or her own product. For the most part, I have no doubts that this promise is kept. The problem with assuming that an ironclad "indie ethics" exists, though, is that the fulfillment of this promise is often used as leverage to make serious breaches of conduct elsewhere. Regarding certain independent record labels that I've associated with in the past, I have stories of contract breach, shady practices (e.g. "skimming off the top") and blackmail that could make the hair stand on end. More recently, I've also had the displeasure to deal with an independent publisher (Creation Books) who I can say, without any fear whatsoever of being libelous, owes massive sums of money to everyone from bookbinders to the estate of Georges Bataille. The majority of the Creation authors' stable has made claims to this effect, with some noting that they were physically threatened when requesting compensation, and others having to deal with an impressive cast of fake personae that were all later revealed to be Creation's sole benefactor.
Simply put, one does not have to be the recorded entertainment wing of a multi-national corporation to act in ways that are exploitative of artists. With the greater ease of acquiring and using digital recording technology, itself precipitating a huge expansion of interest in record releasing, the independents are as swamped with 'demo' recordings of hopeful bands / projects as the majors once were, and are in a prime position to manipulate hungry talent in the same ways that were once considered the sole domain of the cigar-chomping, fast-talking major label boss.
One obvious solution would be for artists to merely freshen the waters of "indie" media by inaugurating a fresh set of record labels, and by then taking on the additional burdens of record pressing, tour organization, marketing and related functions. Certainly more resources now exist to make this a possibility than at any prior point in history. Yet this is hardly equal to a kind of utopian "universal access." To provide just one example, navigate to the "pricing" section of this record pressing plant and open the price guide to one of the more humble formats, the 7" single. For 300 copies of a 7" release that does not include plastic sleeves, printed inserts or shipping to a home address, you will find yourself paying roughly $850 U.S. (in fairness to this arbitrarily selected company, their prices can be considered competitive, i.e. not exceptional.) As you can surmise, longer-playing formats will cost into the thousands of dollars for a still small number of copies, none of which can be guaranteed to sell in this age of the "long tail."[ii] I've been told that this is, in fact, a small price to pay for a "band" to pay, yet therein lies the problem - the "universal access" attributed to the punk rock boom favored bands or groups who could afford to pool their meager resources for a professionally pressed recording, but current pricing schemes still present a challenge to the many types of audio artist that choose to fly solo. This list includes dance music producers, poets, 'one-man bands,' field recorders, storytellers, comedians, collagists or mash-up artists, and much more besides. I contend that much of the most interesting audio material comes from those atomized or isolated souls whose work is partially a quest to find likeminded individuals. There are still quite a few of these people who can shoulder the costs of record and CD pressing, though their numbers steadily decline when we move beyond the U.S. market to other nations - whereas the aforementioned 7" pressing might only make a dent in the gross personal income of a Swiss or U.S. resident, this could vacuum up nearly a fourth of the average Mexican or Thai citizen's yearly income.[iii]
Meanwhile, the same sort of quandaries that are often exclusively associated with "getting a foot in the door" of major labels can also be encountered at the different phases of the independent production and distribution. Record pressing plants or printers can refuse a role in the process if they find certain content morally or politically objectionable, or can just become exasperated by the requests of more experimentally-minded artists. In my case, a passing and self-deflating mention that I play an unpopular form of music was met with hostility by another prospective record pressing plant (who claimed this unpopularity "sent up red flags.") This was a puzzling stance coming from a company that had no stake in how many units my record sold, and who furthermore couldn't have been objecting on the assumption that "unpopularity" meant anti-social content (I found out, with a minimum of research, that this plant had pressed numerous records by racist black metal bands.)
2. Self-released audio's exclusive association with cassette tapes
There are a few audio recording formats that never really had a chance to be used outside of specialist environments, such as DAT [digital audio tape]. In this particular case, we can thank the American recording industry and its fighting arm / pressure group, the RIAA [Recording Industry Association of America] for crafting legislation that accelerated DAT's demise as an affordable home recording tool. The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 forced DAT deck manufacturers to include "spoiler" devices in their equipment that would prevent digital-to-digital recording (i.e. recording from CD to DAT): the inclusion of this prevention scheme significantly jacked up the price of new DAT players and placed them out of the range of casual consumers. Other formats, like Sony's MiniDisc, were tailored more to the aesthetic tastes and domestic spatial arrangements of a local (read: Japanese) market, and I've argued in my book that this localism prevented the type of international exchange that fueled the enthusiasm for the 'cassette culture' networks.
None of this means, though, that 'cassette culture' was the only authentic form of self-releasing. And while the recording industry lobbyists may have succeeded in effectively killing DAT, stopping the rise of the recordable or "burnable" compact disc was a more difficult task: by the time that this format came to be widely available, countless industries were using portable, digital storage media to archive and transmit data, and so taking punitive measures against CD-R manufacturers and consumers would seem very narcissistic in a business climate where these new digital tools were being increasingly embraced.
In many cases, there is a definite continuity between operatives of the underground cassette network and pioneers of the "print on demand" CD-R label. For example - Frans de Waard, active since the 1980s with his group Kapotte Muziek and label Korm Plastics, initiated a new CD-R label ("Bake Records") which was among the first to shuttle the music of the post-industrial underground into the digital age. Frans recalls, in an amusing anecdote, some of the early pitfalls of working with CD replication devices (which were still available as stand-alone devices separate from computer software):
…we could burn our master CDRs so that we by-pass the hippie with his studio who [did] it for us [then]. It’s a machine from the brand Marantz and it says ‘professional’ on the front. When the audio input drops below -40 db for more than 20 seconds, the machine shuts off and the disc has to be thrown away. “You want that? You should have gotten a professional one”, the company that we bought it from claims.[iv]
Naturally, though, it was the connectivity of CD burners to computer hardware that launched the next, still active wave of self-releasing, which was to involve the transfer of digital sound files (MP3, lossless FLAC etc.) over Internet connections, thus bypassing the need for any kind of physical playback medium. Again, the recording industry's lobby groups would attempt to frame this development as being the potential deathblow to their industry, despite many revelations that their revenues were continuing to increase during this supposedly terminal state (one recent report claims, interestingly, that only profits of the "big four" record labels continue to free fall, while the independent sector is doing "extremely well."[v]) Yet the debate over music piracy, and the degree to which it was truly damaging the mass media conglomerates, has unfortunately drawn attention away from a broader issue- the use of digital sound files by artists themselves to facilitate the distribution of original work. This has meant not only a proliferation of new labels and artists that can release work with fewer creative compromises than ever before, but has also proved invaluable for breathing new life into the artifacts of prior underground networks: numerous weblogs, archival sites and shared Web spaces are completely given over to disseminating digital transfers of long-lost cassettes, vinyls and related artifacts (e.g. scans of the old cassette catalogs, 'scene' reports and small magazines that acted as the directories to this culture.)
3. Self-releasing as a "last ditch effort" to win profit and popular acceptance
A simple question: what if a recording artist is motivated by factors other than profit and renown? What if the recordings function not as products but as gifts, as intentionally restricted inter-personal communications, or perhaps as individual links in the mesh of a much larger undertaking? Having such motivations for recording, as I've discovered from communicating with numerous 'cassette networkers' and 'unofficial releasers,' is not at all unprecedented- when long-time 'tape networking' backer Don Campau tells me that he records solely for fun and other unexpected benefits, I have no reason to believe he's being disingenuous. Or when Ken Montgomery takes up "art is throwing money out the window" as a personal slogan, I also have no reason to believe that this is just some sort of disgruntled, "sour grapes" attempt to discourage future status-oriented artists.
Behind all of the criticism of artists unconcerned with profit, there seems to be an argument that anything one is truly passionate about will eventually be fashioned into a career. Because our contact with art tends to be with art that is displayed or placed in a public forum, we tend to support this interpretation that the majority of art is made in order to secure a public legacy and profit for its creators. In the music business, this perception of things is helped along by moronic music videos in which the star performers thrust wads of money towards the fish-eye lens of the camera, as exotic models and look-alike lackeys gyrate slavishly around them. Yet this does not mean that there is no such thing as art done without these rewards in mind- art that exists solely to give the artist a private pleasure of accomplishment, or creation as its own reward. The comparitively low number of barriers to entering the unofficial releasing world make this possible, and reduce worries related to recuperating one's investment. The concept of music as purposeless play is hardly a new one, but self-releasing has given such pre-industrial rituals a new meaning in a post-industrial world.
So, among the many attempts by different ideological factions to frame self-releasing as "meaning" one thing or the other, one realization is sorely lacking: this process can be extremely fun to engage in. Nor does the process have to be anything other than that. Public recognition and profit are nice secondary benefits, as are the attempts to explain these self-releasing efforts as being representative of some lofty ideological goal. Yet I sincerely doubt that anyone would take to personal recording and self-releasing if the process itself weren't rewarding, even thrilling. If it's tedious, monotonous work that one wants, there are all kinds of other means towards financial and social rewards, which require less original thought and personal commitment than making audio art.
It's also interesting to consider artists such as the late Conrad Schnitzler, whose artistic pedigrees meant they would have no need of self-releasing: yet Schnitzler at times became synonymous with this activity, taking his love for home-taped cassettes into the public arena with the collaborative "cassette concerts" he conducted.
4. Unofficial releasing beyond music
Despite the priveleged market share that music recordings hold within the overall field of commercial audio recordings, it cannot be emphasized enough that music is not the only driving force behind self-released recordings. In fact, Rod Summers' influential VEC Audio Exchange, a series of cassette recordings originally meant to compile the audio works being made by artists within the mail art networks, was wound down as soon as its curator felt that musical contributions to the series were outweighing the other possible types of contribution. The "network as artwork" ethic of this culture had, since its heyday in the 1970s, placed few limitations on the type of physical materials that would be circulated - this being everything from single xeroxed sheets of paper to inflated balloons with postage affixed to them - and it seemed logical that this approach would be extended to the realm of audio "materials."
The connection to the "networked art" or "mail art" culture is important to mention here: following precedents set by Ray Johnson and his 'New York Correspondance[vi] School' of mail art, some of the releases appearing in the 'tape networks' were not stand-alone works but rather invitations to their recipients to participate in some form of game or activity without a single pre-determined purpose: this could be, for example, audio versions of the cadavre exquis in which each successive exchange of a cassette resulted in a new mutation or addition to the material already existing on it. There are other variants on this process, such as the Paris Tape Run coordinated by Linus van Alebeek and released on his Staaltape label (he warns in the liner notes that this is not a cadavre exquis, and not necessarily "mail art" either)- for this exercise,
A blank tape is handed over to a first artist…track one gets added…artist 1 gives it to artist 2. Track 2 is added, and so on until the tape is full. Then the messenger is found to take the tape back to Berlin. No post is used in the process.[vii]
It should also not be too surprising that "unofficial" networks act as repositories for art projects that, though using recordable audio media as part of the final product, can be appreciated for more than their audio contents. The history of elaborately packaged cassette tapes, for example, merits a study all of its own, as ambitious labels like Akifumi Nakajima's G.R.O.S.S. and Anthony King's Banned Production [BP] offered products that were meant to achieve a unity of the senses. This could range from the stately design of Nakajima's The Three Temples triple cassette release to the physically challenging construction of Daniel Menche's BP production Dark Velocity (as this tape was placed between two sheets of metal riveted to wood, it requires power tools to extract the tape from its housing.) Many exciting creations have resulted from the aforementioned liberation from the need to standardize the appearance of one's released output- this has meant a proliferation of cassettes or CD-rs that were equivalent to small "art editions," whose existence forced the appreciation of audio products within completely different environments (e.g. exhibition spaces like galleries or "cassette fairs") apart from the usual record retail outlets.
5. "Outsider" music
"Outsider music" is a genre of musical activity that - since the musicians named as such are often too technically inept or socially awkward to professionally record - is commonly tied in with the various methods of unofficial releasing. Of all the musical genre names to be abused or misapplied, though, "outsider music" must rank near or at the top. Designating a peripheral "outsider" territory also implies that there must be some more universally accepted norm for creative practice, yet this normative condition is never clearly defined in terms of either aural phenomena or the personalities animating the sounds. Sometimes it is made by the mentally ill, but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the content is unbearably kitschy and sentimental, sometimes it is violent and apocalyptic. One of the very few pieces of common ground shared by so-called "outsider artists" is their apparent naiveté regarding what they do, specifically regarding the fact that there is any difference at all between their idiosyncratic approaches and the more technically refined approaches of professional or even "indie" artists. However, these artists are hardly united in the way they choose to release and distribute their work, and it's worth noting the number of media-anointed "outsiders" who rely on professionally duplicated CDs and vinyls rather than handmade productions or net-releases. This has been the case for Chicago's late schizophrenic songster Wesley Willis, the Texan recluse Jandek, and plenty of others. These artists are not unified by their choice of recording media, but maybe by a sensibility of involuntary creation that Paul Klee described:
From the root, the sap flows to the artist, flows through him, flows to his eye. ... He does nothing other than gather and pass on what comes to him from the depths. He neither serves nor rules- he transmits. His position is humble. And the beauty at the crown is not his own. He is merely a channel.[viii]
There's no doubt that many people given the "outsider" apellation did work in this way, sometimes not having full knowledge of why they created, or assuming that they were just conduits for other more powerful, ineffable forces: the late John Balance of Coil would seem like a prime example here, with his occasional predilection for musically interfacing with an alien entity known as "ElPH." The only problem is that Balance, and some yet more famous characters claiming to engage in such sidereal communications (from Sun Ra to Karlheinz Stockhausen), were all the recipients of some critical acclaim during their lifetimes: all won a status as technical innovators that, being one of the most hard-won prizes of modern civilization, detracted from the erstwhile focus on their "strange" beliefs. All of them released at least a part of their output on professional labels and recording formats, as well.
Those who freely use the term "outsider music," whether in reference to self-releasers or artists with major label contracts, also - perhaps because of their own backgrounds in the arts, or at least arts criticism - tend to give "normal" artists too elevated a role in comparison to how the larger society views them. From what I can see, the fine arts will still be the first industry to be scaled back in times of war or general scarcity, and I believe public perception of artists has really not advanced much beyond the Romantic period of the 19th century, when "the idea [became] general that the artist is Bohemian by nature-an eccentric and impractical dreamer, perhaps a genius, but certainly not a normal, well-adjusted member of society."[ix] All contemporary artists remain outsiders to some degree, and constantly prone to criticisms that they are "pretentious" and "acting above their station." Though "outsider" status can be associated with one's choice to make handmade records and to self-release them, it will be associated with the entirety of the art world so long as we see artists as possessing unique genius or psychosis.
6. Self-releasing and elitism
I should make it clear at this point - especially in light of my earlier warnings about conferring a sense of elevated morality upon independent labels - that I make no absolute claims about self-releasing artists operating with "pure" good intentions. Many of the more sonically middling acts in the underground have realized that a more intimate method of distribution can draw critical fire away from the inessentiality of their work, and understand that adopting these methods will instead place attention squarely upon their sculpted mystique. This is especially common within the fringe cultures of harsh noise / power electronics, black / doom metal and dark ambient: the deliberate limits placed upon the circulation of their recordings, and the difficulty of obtaining them by any means other than dealing with an underground insider, are a kind of calculated "promotion through anti-promotion." Fringe acts like the French black metal / dark ambient cabal Les Legiones Noires must be aware of the fact that the scene in which they work is saturated with competing acts, many with high levels of instrumental skill and personal charisma that would be difficult to surpass. However, they must also be aware that "extreme" subcultural scenes grant long-term respect and support to their most unassimilable members, seeing the ability to continually outrage as a kind of special skill in itself. By presenting themselves as the "virtuosi" of anti-humanism, nihilism etc., acts like the LLN groups adopt a promotional strategy whereby they are actually hostile to their listenership, gambling upon the hopes that this projection of hostility will secure a hard core of long-term followers who feel only they can grasp the groups' "true intentions."
The use of an intensely lo-fi aesthetic, powered by cheap home-dubbed cassettes and poorly photocopied promo materials, has provided these artists with the perfect vehicle to prove the sincerity of their hatred for all potential listeners, save for those who make an extreme effort to hear their anti-gospel (and in a digital media environment where cassette players are often seen as ancient relics, this effort can be considerable.) Interestingly, the "anti-promotion" strategy of this particular extreme fringe has strong parallels to the recruiting techniques used by messianic religious organizations like Japan's Aum Shinrikyo- as per cult researcher Bradley Whitsel:
Whereas conventional religion, the state, media, and institutions of higher learning “produce” information and ideas that are received and accepted by the society at large, these sources are rejected in the cultic milieu as corrupted and misleading. In such a thoughtworld the norms for orthodox knowledge are displaced by the conviction that “the truth” resides in more remote and secretive places.[x]
I cannot completely disagree with the assessment that the "the truth" may be found in remote places, given the insipid mass media landscape of the U.S. and that of other countries I've called home. Facts and attitudes that are inimical to a regime's interests are unlikely to be given pride of place in the major communications media subject to that regime's whims. However, there are those artists who are forced into clandestinity because of their legitimately insurrectionary attitudes, and those who highly exagerrate their own 'threat level' to the powers that be, adopting the cosmetic trappings of obscurity to make their voluntary stay in the underground appear like it was necessitated by some relentless hounding by the authorities. Within the deluge of self-released cassettes, CD-recordables, net-releases, and even acetates to have appeared since the 1980s, the releases that feature "objectionable materials" must easily number in the thousands. Among those, the presentation of "objectionable materials" is striking not for its capacity to terrify, but for its conservatism and even its nostalgia - one monochromatic cassette release after another features spastic FX-pedal mutations of electronic feedback wrapped in murky graphics, which are typified by dismembered corpses or serial killers' arrest photos. And despite the bumper crop of such self-released material available, it should be telling that these offerings are regularly passed on in favor of conventional releases that treat the same themes: a prime example is the underground filmmaker Ian Kerkhof's Ten Monologues from the Lives of the Serial Killers, which uses a caustic rap track from the Geto Boys to move the action along (this in spite of Kerkhof's obvious awareness of the international "noise" underground.)[xi]
Not all of the intentionally hostile self-releasers rely on marginalized recording formats in order to force audiences to 'come to them': in fact, the new wave of freely downloadable net-releases is as loaded with anti-social misfits as is the new "cassette revivalist" wave. I'll happily accept any accusations of un-scholarly conduct by not even bothering to mention the worst offenders by name. They can be identified easily enough by their works: 7-second digital "albums" composed of bit-degraded noise, which are released under dozens of different pseudonyms and accompanied by crass in-jokes with the longevity of a 4chan bulletin-board posting. Detractors of unofficial releasing can point to this portion of the underground as proof of the shape that it will ultimately take: its promises of "democracy" will just usher in mob rule, in which cheap attempts at titillation and cruel jokes outweigh work of lasting merit. Yet the existence of this junk underground is not so much an effect of modern self-releasing's openness as it is an effect of a digitized social sphere in which one can engage in stupid acts withour fear of consequences. This is a problem whose roots must be traced further back than the merger of "democratic" recording media and the Internet.
[i] John Christian Schmeidel, Stasi: Sword and Shield of the Party, p. 26. Taylor & Francis, New York, 2007. Schmeidel also notes that, compared to this level of coverage, "the number of professional employees and the population proportion of the agent network enforcing order in Nazi Germany were rather modest."
[ii] This statistical term was popularized by Chris Anderson in Wired magazine as a description of the current market for recorded music: Anderson found that, in markets with a high number of consumer choices, consumers tend to buy 20% of all available product (the “head”) in large quantities, while the remaining 80% (the “tail”) is bought in comparatively meager quantities.
[iii] See http://www.worldsalaries.org/total-personal-income.shtml. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
[iv] Email correspondence with the author, August 4 2012.
[v] See http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2012/01/30/why-we-shouldnt-worry-about-the-decline-of-the-music-industry/. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
[vi] The intentionally incorrect spelling of "correspondence" suggests a "dance" that is initiated by this particular form of collaborative art.
[vii] Linus van Alebeek, liner notes to Paris Tape Run 2 cassette. Staaltape, Berlin, 2011.
[viii] Paul Klee quoted in Melvin Rader, "The Artist As Outsider." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 16: 3 (March 1958), pp. 306-318 (p. 306.)
[ix] Rader, p. 307.
[x] Bradley C. Whitsel, "Catastrophic New Age Groups And Public Order." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 23:1, 21-36 (p. 23.)
[xi] Kerkhof (who has since changed his name to Aryan Kaganoff) released a 1998 documentary film on veteran noise artist Merzbow, and also employed a Merzbow soundtrack for a separate short film (1994's Dead Man 2: Return of the Dead Man.)