Found Tapes Exhibition wendy

[ _last updated: august, 2023_ ]

Welcome to the 'Found Tapes Exhibition' (in Dutch : the 'Voddebandjes Tenhoorstelling').

In 2002 I started collecting the bits, knots and clods of thrown away cassette tape that ever so often could be seen lying or hanging around in the streets, parks, fields, in gutters, trees, fences... Despite the fact that over the past decade analog audio tape trash from a very common view —so common, by the way, that a majority of the general public appeared not even to be aware of its ubiquity— has turned into a pretty rare one (for reasons that you, readers, probably are well aware of, and that me and many others extensively wrote and talked about in other places, on many an other occasions), I continue to collect all of its remains that I come actoss. So, until this very day, whenever I stumble upon a bit of 'trashed audiotape', I stop still to jot down the place and time, on a piece of paper or digitally, on my cellphone. Mostly I will also take a picture of then find. I then pick up it up, put it in a plastic grocery bag, a paper handkerchief or whatever else I happen to have handy, and carry it back home.

Regularly ... (well, that is, the 'regular' actually stopped being very regular after, say, 2011) ... I then mount my finds back onto a cassette, to be able to listen to them. You can find a detailed description of that 'restoration technique' in the SoundBlog entry entitled Prof. Dr. Cassette. dr cassette The Exhibition is organized in series of five (on the average, but there are - multiple - exceptions), each of which is called an 'acquisition', and it is exposed on its own dedicated web page.
From each of the parts of such a series I select one, or more, fragments, which I then assemble (first I did this in ProTools, but currently I'm using the very basic one-track audio editor Sound Studio), again in chronological order, and create a 128kbps 44.1 kHz stereo mp3-file of the 'montage'.

The Exhibition archives the bits of found tape that I have treated in this manner, and lists them in descending chronological order of finding, together with the date and place of finding, as well as scans, photographs and a description of what's on it ... as precise as I can.
[ Satellite pictures and street views of find-spots courtesy Google Maps. All other pictures and photographs are part of the project; please do not use them without permission and reference to their origin. ]

I have kept and will keep this Found Tapes site in the original format and style as I imagined it in its very beginning, in 2002, meaning that each and every page is hand coded in HTML, a way of 'webbing' that meanwhile has become as vintage and obsolete as the cassette tapes that it is describing.

Between 2010 and 2018, the 2002-2010 part of the collection could also be visited via a Google Maps interface, including the possibility to listen to a fragment of the audio recovered from each find. The creation of that interface at the time was made possible by a generous project grant from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. Changes in the conditions for the use of Google Maps and the ongoing changes in the scripts needed to make all of this work as of summer 2018 have obliged me to remove that interesting way of visiting the collection. What currently remains (apart from the database that was used, of course), is a collection of Found Tapes Map screenshot...

You can read more about specific finds and procedures in a great many entries on this topic in the SoundBlog. Direct links to entries related to specific exhibits are given on the corresponding pages.

Though none as longrunning as this online Exhibition, over the years I did come across a number of related projects and works; you can find some information and links, whenever these are available and (still) accessible, in the 'found tapes links' section, and more detailed descriptions in several SoundBlog entries.

Thank you for visiting...

Harold Schellinx, 2002-2023

tape head

Read more and others about the Found Tapes Exhibition (july 2018 - this is a selection; currently most of the sources that originally were linked in this list are no longer accessible ) :

  1. Foundtaping: les trésors des cassettes jetées à la poubelle. Barraque à Freaks / Rue 89 (may 2008)
  2. Le réfuge des cassettes abandonnées. Ecrans / Libération (february 2007)
  3. Lost Tapes, Found Sounds. We Make Money Not Art (february 2007)
  4. Found Tapes. Home Made Labor (february 2007)
  5. The New Readymades. (april 2005)

found tape index

My collection of found tape trash spans over two decades, 2002-2023. Only the first of these, however, has been fully indexed and documented (see below). The 2013+ tape trash is waiting for the right occasion (grant, residency, expo) to undergo similar treatment. Times passes, but trash's patient :-) ...


FT120.707 - 710
FT119.706 - 701
FT118.700 - 695
FT117.694 - 690
FT116.689 - 684
FT115.683 - 677
FT114.676 - 669
FT113.668 - 666
FT112.665 - 662
FT111.661 - 655
FT110.654 - 648
FT109.647 - 645
FT108.644 - 636
FT107.635 - 628
FT106.627 - 625
FT105.624 - 620
FT104.619 - 614
FT103.613 - 609
FT102.608 - 604
FT101.603 - 598
FT100.597 - 591
FT99.590 - 586
FT98.585 - 581
FT97.580 - 576
FT96.575 - 568
FT95.567 - 562
FT94.561 - 556
FT93.555 - 551
FT92.550 - 545
FT91.544 - 539
FT90.538 - 532
FT89.531 - 526
FT88.525 - 521
FT87.520 - 496
FT86.495 - 491
FT85.490 - 485
FT84.484 - 480
FT83.479 - 460
FT82.459 - 454
FT81.453 - 449
FT80.448 - 442
FT79.441 - 435
FT78.434 - 428
FT77.427 - 424
FT76.423 - 418
FT75.417 - 413
FT74.412 - 406
FT73.405 - 400
FT72.399 - 394
FT71.393 - 388
FT70.387 - 384
FT69.383 - 379
FT68.378 - 375
FT67.374 - 368
FT66.367 - 363
FT65.362 - 358
FT64.357 - 353
FT63.352 - 348
FT62.347 - 342
FT61.341 - 337

FT60.336 - 332
FT59.331 - 328
FT58.327 - 324
FT57.323 - 319
FT56.318 - 312
FT55.311 - 308
FT54.307 - 303
FT53.302 - 296
FT52.295 - 290
FT51.289 - 285
FT50.284 - 280
FT49.279 - 276
FT48.275 - 270
FT47.269 - 266
FT46.265 - 261
FT45.260 - 257
FT44.256 - 252
FT43.251 - 246
FT42.245 - 241
FT41.240 - 234
FT40.233 - 229
FT39.228 - 224
FT38.223 - 218
FT37.217 - 204
FT36.203 - 202
FT35.201 - 191
FT34.190 - 184
FT33.183 - 179
FT32.178 - 173
FT31.172 - 155
FT30.154 - 147
FT29.146 - 143
FT28.142 - 138
FT27.137 - 133
FT26.132 - 128
FT25.127 - 123
FT24.122 - 118
FT23.117 - 113
FT22.112 - 108
FT21.107 - 103
FT20.102 - 098
FT19.097 - 093
FT18.092 - 088
FT17.087 - 083
FT16.082 - 078
FT15.077 - 073
FT14.072 - 068
FT13.067 - 063
FT12.062 - 058
FT11.057 - 053
FT10.052 - 048
FT09.047 - 043
FT08.042 - 038
FT07.037 - 033
FT06.032 - 028
FT05.027 - 023
FT04.022 - 018
FT03.017 - 011
FT02.010 - 006
FT01.005 - 001

Find #318

_A Siren Song of Decaying Media_

"Harold Schellinx' Found Tapes project is emblematic for the best pieces of art in the SHIFT galleries, mining beneath the surface of simple visual appeal to conjure richly suggestive narratives." - The Wire (february 2011)

Get full description of the project in .pdf

found tapes on the Sound Blog

Over the years I have written an awful lot of words on analog tape and other media in my SoundBlog. Here is the full list of the SB-entries that are related to that topic.

found tape links

- In 2013 we celebrated the cassette tapes' fiftieth birthday, along with its inventor, Dutch engineer Lou Ottens. Lang leve Lou Ottens! is a tumblr full of visuals, made that year, and still added to occasionally.
- I was originally inspired to start picking up trashed strings of cassette tape in the streets by Zoë Irvine's Magnetic Migration Music. The corresponding website is no longer online.
- Exquisite and tasty I found Åsa Ståhl's Tape Salad ('Bandsallad') - but also here the original online source is no longer accessible ...
- Ever since 1998, Gunter Krüger has been collecting cast-away magnetic tapes, both audio and video. In 2002 he produced the video film Magnetic {eye} - Jerusalem, based upon audio- and videotapes found in the streets of Jerusalem from early march till end of june 2000, and the spots where they were found. One could follow Gunter's ongoing work on the magnetic {eye} website. However, also this site nowadays no longer is accessible
- The video Lost Sound (1998-2001) by John Smith, in collaboration with sound artist Graeme Miller, shows "discarded audiotapes around London [...] The sound track combines the voices and songs on the found audiotapes with ambient sounds recorded on location".
- Graeme Miller gathered 36 pieces of magnetic tape from the Boulevard Périphérique around Paris, in 2007, for his work Periphery.
- For a couple of years (at least) in the 21st century's first decennium, in Chicago, USA, David More and friends did an audiotape recovery project. I had some incidental email exchanges with David at the time. The 'myspace page' dedicated to the project, however, does no longer exist.
- Project C90 - an ultimate audiotape guide.
- One hundred blank audio cassette covers, collected by Polar Alert.