Before you throw away all your old VHS tapes, check out this amazing artistic alternative! Lithuanian artist Zilvinas Kempinas recycles old VHS tapes and uses them to create incredible art installations around the world. His largest piece is this stunning 80 foot tunnel made entirely of tape! The piece, entitled TUBE, encourages visitors to walk through and around the countless black strips, creating an incredible optical experience every step of the way.
Kempinas has long been fascinated by magnetic tape and it’s transformative properties. Its ability to be strong and delicate at the same time, dark and imposing at one angle and nearly invisible at another, creates a drama and dichotomy out of an everyday material that is not only overlooked but is quickly becoming obsolete.
“I am attracted to things that are capable of transcending their own banality and materiality to become something else,” he said. An earlier piece by the artist also explores tape’s abilities. Exhibited in France and at MoMA in New York, Double O features two large fans blowing on two loops of film, keeping them afloat and making them appear to dance in mid-air between the fans.
TUBE creates an environment that is at the same time open and enclosed. Visitors can easily break through the tape but are instead mesmerized by the patterns of light and movement captured in their surroundings. The material’s translucent and ephemeral nature is even more striking in the context of the 16th-century architecture of the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The tape, while no longer part of a video, creates a new story and memory for each visitor.