Table of the Elements


“The supremacy of Table of the Elements for the past decade as an unwavering outpost of ultra-experimental strains can be attributed to its concomitant adherence to valiance. Most of the Table of the Elements catalogue has no broad commercial appeal, and many of its projects … are risky ventures, even with respect to the experimental marketplace. Yet, this philosophy of risk works because everyone associated with the label feels like they’re doing important work releasing important records, and they’re willing to go for broke to make it happen.”


« The music made and cultivated by such artists as Tony Conrad, Captain Beefheart, John Fahey, Cecil Taylor, Rhys Chatham, Charlie Feathers, Dock Boggs, Jim O’Rourke, Faust, Derek Bailey, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Keiji Haino, Arnold Dreyblatt, Charley Patton, Harry Smith, and scores more, is at once among the most radical and deeply rooted of the 20th century, transcending time and place through the agency of the vibrating string, the resonance of the drone, the terrifying beauty of electric amplification, the hypnotic power of repetition, and the revelatory genius of cranky individualism.

« How does someone begin to represent that in a visual manner? The trick involves some old-fashioned alchemy. Everyday commodity has to be constructed as both miniature museum and theater. No longer a mere object, it now becomes a site in which one can endlessly indulge a sense of wonder, love and, yes, obsession. It’s not often that someone can cast an influence on a broader design aesthetic — think Blue Note in the 1960s, with its hip Reid Miles album covers — but as this sizable body of work took shape, that’s exactly what happened. »

Steve Dollar

“The hallmarks of this New Archivism [are] beautiful and innovative packaging, elaborate and idiosyncratic liner notes, rare and obscure recordings … Working with graphic designers such as the Grammy-winning Susan Archie, Hunt produced a collection that combines varied textures, lavish finishes, and period details with art from the era of the original source recordings. Hunt and Archie’s treatment of Robert Longo’s late 1970s photographs for Rhys Chatham’s releases could, for instance, measure up to what’s on view at most contemporary art centers. In addition to it archival endeavor, TotE also releases the new work of its avant-garde heroes and their devotees. TotE’s active support of the work of sonic pioneers ensures that theirs are living traditions – not ossified museum objects.”

Art Papers


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