Reel Portraits by Erika Iris Simmons

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Erika Iris Simmons’s incredible portraits made from cassette tape and film reels were featured in Amusing Planet in the past. At that time the artist didn’t have a proper website and as such, I was unable to determine the identity of the artist behind the art pieces. Now that we have discovered her, here is a brief bio of the artist and her work entitled “The Ghost in the Machine” in Erika’s one words:


My name is Erika Iris Simmons and I like to take things- random things- like what you would find at a garage sale or in a thrift store- and make them into composite art. Most of my pieces become portraits of people associated with the item I’ve chosen. I don’t really add any paint or pigments… I usually just take things apart and re-arrange them in weird ways, cutting away pieces when necessary. A lot of my art is made with cassette tapes and old film reels in a series I call “Ghost in the Machine.”

“The Ghost in the Machine” series was inspired by some strange ideas. How at one level we are cellular beings and another we are a single “self.” The single cassette tape I thought of as representing the mind. The tape ribbon represents our thoughts, the data within. Taking that data – those bits of memory – and rearranging them to form what we see as a face is my way of finding a “ghost in the machine.” I also liked the fact that when you look at a portrait like Jimi Hendrix out of a cassette tape, you can almost hear the music in your head – so your own “data” is responding to what you see.

Do checkout her previous works.











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1 comment:

  1. Wow... How do people do these things?!?


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