In our lifetime, we acquire a lot of material objects. We use them until they expire their usefulness. So what do we do with them then? A lot of us end up throwing them out. Sometimes we grow a little attached to them and keep them stored away. We stumble across them as we go through boxes and stuff. Some people even find ways of keeping them relevant.
For my project, I chose objects that has a couple of similarities and somehow combined them into a sculpture of sorts. The theme for the sculpture is obsolete media. It comprises of audio tapes, video tapes and compact disk. They share a couple of traits in that they both store forms of media (audio, video and data) and they are all considered obsolete in some way. Audio (or cassette) tapes have been replaced by digital media (mostly in MP3 format) that are used on computers, phones, tablets and portable media players. Video cassettes (VHS) have also been replaced by digital media (MP4, MOV and other types of files) that are played on the same devices as music files. Data is still store on CD’s, but are considered almost worthless compared to USB sticks, flash drives, SD cards and portable hard drives. This is due to not only the amount of data these other devices can hold, but no worries of scratches that may ruin it.
Even though I grew up in the time of cassettes and CD’s, I didn’t have any around that I can use for the project. Stores no longer sell cassettes so I had to buy some at the thrift store (Goodwill). CD’s were easier to come by as a bought a small pack very cheap over at Walmart. I even chose some that had a record design that would symbolize another form of obsolete media (this is somewhat as they seem to be making a comeback, but for only certain groups of people and not appeal to the masses).
Putting the media together was a little challenging. I was going to tie everything together using the tape from the cassettes. That turned out to be a hot mess. I then decided to use super glue to put most of it together and the rest would just kind of hang off. I did this to give options as to how it could be displayed. It could be put on a table with some of the stuff hanging off or it could be hung similar to a wind chime. I don’t think anyone in the 1970’s through the 1990’s would ever think that something that was so new at the time would ever be used for something like this. It doesn’t seem that long ago when these forms of media was new and its amazing how quickly technology has advanced. Who knows how long it will be before the next new thing comes along and someone decides to make a sculpture out of SD cards, flash drives and portable hard drives because they have become substandard with their primary purpose diminished.