The October Tapes: Before Letting Go, Declarations, Free Fall

Tom Sherman

2004, 18:14 minutes, Colour , English


Tom Sherman’s October Tapes (2004) were born in a period of religious extremisms, when violence and death were wholesale, and doctrines of deceit were being heaped on the masses of all continents. Sherman simply couldn’t take it anymore. He sought shelter in the most beautiful things he could find (nature is so superficial when it has to be). In the end his relief was only temporary. He was pissed and he declared as much. There is real hostility in these declarations. The bottom line is we have only one kick at the can (after we die there is no heaven or hell or anywhere else). Sherman doesn’t believe in gods or spirits or ghosts. Sherman does admit to finding joy in the sensuous physicality of small-town wrestling matches and carnival midways, and in the uncompromised, high-pitched innocence of high school rock bands just before they fold.

October Tapes are quite a ride. These tapes are painfully funny, extremely angry, and intoxicating in their spins through a strangely beautiful landscape revealed by camcorder, the artist’s perceptual instrument of choice. Sherman is known for his direct video style--short on effects and transitional grammar, long on content. His video recordings are proof that the concrete memory of video is an immediate, rough and tumble terrain worthy of our unfiltered, rapt attention. You see for yourself. Sherman’s video is simply nothing like film.

October Tapes consist of three works:
1. Before Letting Go, 6:40 minutes
2. Declarations, 5:05 minutes
3. Free Fall, 11:05 minutes

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