Speaking of yesterday’s chart-toppers, one artist has found a meaningful way to recycle old audio tape. Sound and conceptual artist Alyce Santoro creates “sonic fabric” by recording audiocassette tape with intricate collages of found, created, and collected sounds, then weaving fabric using the cassette tapes and polyester thread. Alyce’s work was inspired in part by the colorful flags hung at auspicious sites by Tibetan Buddhists. The flags are made of colorful squares of cotton fabric imprinted with the images of mantras. They are hung outdoors where the breeze blowing through them can “activate” the sounds, sending them out around the world on the wind. Sonic fabric is actually audible…the fabric retains the audio tape’s magnetic properties through the weaving process, and when a tape head is dragged along its surface, it emits a garbled, underwater-like sound.
Originally created for art installations, you can now buy sonic fabric made into neckties. The large spools of tape used in the weaving process are salvaged from the audiobook industry.