Got a collection of dusty old cassette tapes cluttering a corner of your garage? Then chances are pretty good that you’re of…um…a certain generation, or at the very least you’re a collector of (now) vintage tunage.
Unlike vinyl recordings, which continue to stand the test of time, compact cassettes don’t hold up due to the thin magnetic coated polyester tape.
Fortunately, countless eco-minded artists continue to take advantage of this dinosaur medium by incorporating it into their creations, resulting in outstandingly original works that help all of us to rethink what it is that we consider ‘junk’:
- Atlanta artist Brian Dettmer is the mastermind behind a unique art form that involves melting hard plastic cassette tape exteriors into surreal and intricately detailed sculptures, including skeletons and bird carcasses.
- London artist Nick Gentry uses cassette tapes (along with other outdated media forms like disks and VCR tapes) as a backdrop for his 80s style portraits.
- Von Glitschka from Art Backwash creates streamlined portraits of iconic musical figures using a single continuous piece of cassette tape tacked down onto a pristine white background with strategic doses of glue stick.
- Alyce Santoro’s Sonic Fabric crafts limited edition neckties, fedoras and other assorted fashion pieces using a home-spun 50% polyester, 50% recycled cassette tape fabric (Jason Mraz is a fan).
The latest artist to receive attention for their clever cassette tape creations is Erica Iris Simmons – otherwise known as Iri5 — who has filled her portfolio with an impressive collection of music star imagery featuring an artful tangle of cassette and VCR polyester tape as their crowning glory.
From Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison to Jimi Hendrix, Robert Smith, Ian Curtis, Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Patti Smith, the self-taught artist says she strives to create pieces that showcase non-traditional media that is otherwise cast aside or donated.
Whether you’re a die hard greenie or a mainstreamer, it’s hard to ignore the repurposed relics of our past when they’re transformed into eye-catching art pieces. DIY eco cassette tape art rocks (quite literally)!