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“Toki Ori Ori Nasu ver.2: Falling Records” [2013]

WADA Ei (Open Reel Ensemble)

“Toki Ori Ori Nasu ver.2: Falling Records”


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 WADA is an artist who rediscovers the possibilities of outdated technologies that are seemingly exhausted, and produces works of art by reusing such technologies.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.



List of Works