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Link: Found Tapes

An evolving exhibition of Found Tapes

In 2002 I started collecting the bits, knots and clods of thrown away cassette tape that ever so often could be seen lying or hanging around in the streets, parks, fields, in gutters, trees, fences… Despite the fact that analog audio tape trash from a very common view —so common, by the way, that a majority of the general public appeared not even to be aware of its ubiquity— over the past decade has turned into a pretty rare one (for reasons that you, readers, probably are well aware of, and that me and many others extensively wrote and talked about in other places, on many an other occasions), I continue to collect all of its remains that I come actoss. So, until this very day, whenever I stumble upon a bit of ‘trashed audiotape’, I stop still to jot down the place and time, on a piece of paper or digitally, on my cellphone. Mostly I will also take a picture of then find. I then pick up it up, put it in a plastic grocery bag, a paper handkerchief or whatever else I happen to have handy, and carry it back home.

I’ve listened to some of the finds, and they are extremely varied, and full of (mostly) unanswered questions. While some detective work has narrowed down the sources of the various audio snippets, I’m intrigued by what we’ll never know: who threw these tapes away, and why.

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