Several dozen old cassette recorders make noises while mounted to the walls. The sounds coming from the recorders, however, aren’t pre-recorded contents, but what the visitor hears are sounds produced by the recorders’ motors and rotating reels. These mechanical noises are picked up and amplified by piezoelectric microphones installed inside each of the recorders.
Focusing on an old-fashioned technology that the advances in recording technology have rendered obsolete, this work explores the functional potential of the cassette recorder by reconsidering it as an original sound-generating apparatus. While originally neither the device (recorder) nor the recording media (tape) work without one another, here visitors can hear no pre-recorder sounds, but the recorders’ own rhythmical mechanical noises combined with the acoustics of the cassettes’ plastic shells, picked up in real-time by microphones. Listening to the sounds inside the cassettes and the voices of the machines themselves reveals a new meaning of an already consumed technology.
“Binatone” in the title was borrowed from the UK-based electronics/audio brand of the same name.