A couple of weeks ago while I was having a clear out, I found a whole box of video tapes and a few floppy disks. I briefly considered keeping hold of them, until I realised that my laptop had no floppy disk drive and I no longer even owned a VHS player. Both were totally obsolete, and while they would have once been useful or entertaining, now even accessing or storing data on them would be more trouble than it was worth.
Artists like Erika Iris Simmons, Nick Gentry and Paul Villinski have found new uses for our old video tapes, records, and floppy disks though – they have turned these now useless bits of plastic and metal into art.
Erika Iris Simmons uses old film reels and tapes to make incredibly apt pieces of art work, such as the top image of the iconic London Calling cover, made from a London Calling cassette.
Nick Gentry‘s old floppy disks form a canvas and he them works elements of the disk into his pop art style portraits.
Paul Villinski‘s ‘My Back Pages’ is a beautiful sculptural piece that uses a vinyl record to create each butterfly.
Ooo My Design have repurposed discarded tapes into these ‘Cassette’s Not Dead’ lamps. The original colours and translucent properties of the tapes create a coloured projection kind of effect, while the holes allow light to shine through and form illuminated polka dots. I want one.
This giant block full of VHS videotapes is the work of Australian artists Claire Healey and Sean Cordeiro. It’s not hollow – there are 195,774 tapes in the installation. The work is entitled ‘Life Span’ because it is a physical representation of what a human being can see from its birth, to the day it dies.