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A Short Run: A Selection of New Zealand Lathe-Cut Records


Sat 22 Feb 2020, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sun 23 Feb 2020, 10:00am–5:00pm
Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:00am–5:00pm
Tue 25 Feb 2020, 10:00am–5:00pm
Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: The Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Rd, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

At the foothills of the Southern Alps in the late 1980s, Peter King re-engineered a then-outdated technology, developing a new way of “cutting” audio into transparent polycarbonate plastic.

Lo-fi but affordable, Peter King’s lathe cut records sparked an explosion of limited-edition releases from NZ’s innovative underground music scenes. Generally produced in runs of 20–100 copies, these records often featured bespoke hand-made cover art, liner notes, booklets, and various other inserts and modifications; audio, artefacts, aesthetics, and attitudes that are practically unfeasible within the economies of scale required by the commercial music industry.

Researched and curated by Luke Wood, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the University of Canterbury’s Ilam School of Fine Arts, A Short Run brings together a broad selection of these releases, alongside more recent developments and outcomes of lathe-cutting record technology. Drawing from the private collections of artists, musicians, bands, and small independent record labels around the country, this exhibition explores the intersection between music and design in the radical margins of New Zealand culture.

Commissioned in partnership with Objectspace.

Image credits:
- Purple Pilgrims, Purple Pilgrims, PseudoArcana, 2011. Cover art by Purple Pilgrims. Lathe cut by Peter King.
- Pumice & CJA, Withdrawal, Root Don Lonie for Cash, 1998. Disc artwork by Stefan Neville. Lathe cut by Peter King. Image: Sam Hartnett.
- Casagrante Apparatus, Casagrante Apparatus, Crawlspace Records, 1996. Cover art by Kate 5. Design and screen printing by Stefan Neville. Lathe cut by Peter King.

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