brian dettmer: cassette tape skeletons
aug 21, 2009
brian dettmer: cassette tape skeletons



‘ram skull’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and kinz + tillou fine art

atlanta based artist brian dettmer creates intricate sculptural skeletons using altered cassette tapes.
dettmer began creating the pieces in 2005 as he was thinking about the demise of analog media in
the increasingly digital world. one day as dettmer was walking down the street he spotted a dead
bird and an idea hit him. ‘here was this thing that used to live, its used to fly around and play
a vital role, and now it is dead and all that remains is the solid material.’ dettmer was quick to
extrapolate this idea linking the bird’s life to that of the cassette. he transformed the skeleton of old
cassettes into literal animal skeletons. this lead to a series of 12 human skulls made from tapes,
each with a different theme like heavy metal or hard rock. the most complex piece in this body of
work is a full skeleton made from over 180 cassettes. all the pieces are made using only cassettes
tapes with no glue, tape or other outside materials. while dettmer couldn’t revel his process to
designboom, he did tell us that he heats the plastic up so he can literally form and weld them with
his wet hands and other tools.


http://www.briandettmer.com



‘ram skull’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and kinz + tillou fine art



‘elk’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and toomey tourell fine art



‘skull 11 (80′s metal)’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist


‘dead bird’, 2005 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and packer schopf gallery


‘dead bird’, 2005 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and packer schopf gallery



‘bull skull’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
images courtesy of the artist and mito gallery



‘bull skull’, 2007 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and mito gallery


‘skeleton’, 2006 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and packer schopf gallery


‘skeleton’, 2006 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and packer schopf gallery


‘skeleton’, 2006 (altered cassette tapes)
image courtesy of the artist and packer schopf gallery

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