WADA Ei (Open Reel Ensemble)
photo: KIOKU Keizo
Four old-style open-reel tape recorders, each with only one reel, are mounted sideways onto high platforms. The reel of each recorder rotates to play back sounds recorded to the magnetic tape on it, after which the tape unrolls into a slim transparent acrylic case attached to the front of the platform. The tape creates a pattern comparable to a fabric or a painting as it gradually cumulates from the bottom up. Once the case is nearly filled with tape, the tape is wound up at high speed.
The open-reel tape recorder used in this work surely represents a disused technology. It was first replaced by the compact-sized cassette tape, which ultimately made way for hard disk recording as it is done today. Wada is an artist who rediscovers the possibilities of outdated technologies that are seemingly exhausted, and produces works of art by reusing such technologies. For this work, he altered an old technology by combining it with a current one, to remodel it into a new kind of device that functions in a way much different from its original purpose.
Tracing back the history of a variety of devices, and rediscovering their capacities to consider possibilities that could have been, is one distinctive trend in media art.
WADA Ei (Open Reel Ensemble) Profile
Born 1987. Has been active as a musician since his time at university. Creates musical works and performance by combining computer-controlled old appliances such as old-style open-reel tape recorders or tube TV sets with live instruments and on-site tape recordings. Launched the "Open Reel Ensemble" with SATO Kimitoshi, YOSHIDA Haruka, NAMBA Takumi and YOSHIDA Masaru in 2009. The "Braun Tube Jazz Band," in which the artist "plays" a tube TV like a musical instrument, received an Excellence Prize in the Art Division at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival.
Past Exhibition / Event