TCF is the moniker of Norwegian contemporary artist and musician Lars Holdhus. His work explores themes of code, cryptography and musical composition through the use of visual, sonic, built and written concepts. Holdhus creates a world that draws references from musique concrete, hardstyle, hardcore, poetry, and digital artifacts. His practice shifts between art exhibitions and performing music pieces.
TCF is an ordered list of elements of finite possible plaintexts, finite possible cyphertexts, finite possible keys, and the encryption and decryption algorithms which correspond to each key. TCF’s first release emerged on YYAA tapes in 2013, followed by another on Liberation Technologies in 2014, E4 15 C4 71 97 F7 8E 81 1F EE B7 86 22 88 30 6E C4 13 7F D4 EC 3D ED 8B. The titles of all of TCF’s music are encrypted, with the keys woven into the digital and physical content of the work. His music, “while obviously sharing characteristics with artists like Arca and Tim Hecker…strips away all the club references of the former and much of the romanticism of the latter” (The Fader) to create a unique and contemporary take on sound in which tracks are composed not for the sake of expression, but rather for the sake of function.
As an artist, Holdus has shown work as part of exhibitions such as Look....No Hands at HHDM in Vienna as well as Driving Fast Nowhere at Prague’s Polansky Gallery. In 2017, he contributed to the well-received PAN compilation, Mono No Aware. A passionate tea enthusiast, TCF also began a crowdfunded project called Tiny Encryption Algorithm (TEA), which distributes screenprinted bags of tea and download codes for music. In Holdus’ own words, “I've started this tea shop to spread a positive message and give people a moment to take a break from the dark sinister reality that we are all facing. This is my way of contributing. No reason to dwell on the past.”