The moment of discovering the discarded inventory of pirated VHS tapes stuffed into an abandoned house in Nicosia, Cyprus set off a chain of events and presented a series of questions. Stacked neatly upon the floorboards of the second floor tier, were forgettable titles such as Supergirl, Bullseye! and BMX Bandits mixed with Greek pornography; more reminiscent of a wasteland than an archive and at the same time difficult to ignore.
The first move was relocation. Using pink dishwashing gloves, the entire collection stuffed in blue trash bags was transported to an apotheke or warehouse, where it took on a new shape. Presented as a post-apocalyptic pile of rumble with dust replacing smoke and dim lighting, the altar of tapes evoked curious responses from its public, mostly whispering memories, with one exception. The chemical engineer amongst hipsters and passersby disregarded the contents instead focusing solely on the materials. “You know you can transform these tapes into fuel?” he said. And then, went on to briefly explain the recycling process which would be employed.
One and a half years passed after the exhibit, along the way, iterations emerged. A tapestry was produced and the few titles salvaged spliced together to create new work. The tapes, now neatly placed in boxes and sheltered in a carport, were prepared for their next move. The dumpster was filled by three hands and taken to the recycling facility in nearby Strovolos.
There had been some delay on account of nostalgia, which still creeps into the collective consciousness; nevertheless, the future is far more promising. Disassembly, combustion, energy recovery and finally recycled material either in the form of concrete or plastic pellets. Six months have passed and the destruction of the tapes is imminent.
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