Yesterday Don Joyce of Negativland and KPFA's pioneering "Over The Edge" died at age 71. Today his longtime creative collaborator Mark Hosler posted the following touching and factually comprehensive tribute/obituary to the cut-and-paste /sound collage/culture jamming pioneer of the highly prolific Bay Area group:
"Words cannot do justice to the loss of Donald S. Joyce, Crosley Bendix, C. Eliot Friday, Omer Edge, Izzy Isn’t, Bud Choke, Leland Googleburger, Wang Tool and Dr. Oslo Norway, who all died yesterday in Oakland, CA of heart failure at age 71. Perhaps a loud, mournful squawk from Don's “Booper” feedback oscillator would better sum up the feelings of Negativland, his comrades and partners in art for 34 years, who are devastated. It was Don who coined the term “culture jamming”, and who devoted his life to the art of sound collage and his weekly live radio program, "Over the Edge," on KPFA FM in Berkeley, where it has continuously lived on the dial on Thursday nights at midnight since 1981, without interruption.
Don was a DJ at KPFA when a mutual friend, Ian Allen (who died this past January), introduced him to a group of Contra Costa County noise artists called Negativland, who entered the station one night armed with stacks of recordings and electronic gear, and immediately transformed Don’s “normal music show” into a free-form collage sound odyssey. It totally blew open his idea of what a radio program could be and what a DJ could “do.” And in Don Joyce (whose initials were conveniently also “DJ”), Negativland had found its “lead vocalist” without even realizing they were looking for one. It was Don who took the idea of reshaping previously recorded words – in a pre-sampling age – and ran with it to an extent and depth never before heard, and never equalled. “Recontextualization” became his weapon, with the 1/4” tape machine and razor blade his ammunition, and the radio “cart player" – an entirely forgotten piece of broadcast history using endless-loop tape cartridges, which he used until he death – his delivery system.