The Tapeworm

The Tapeworm 2010 Mixed media, magnetic tape, Styrofoam, wood, television.

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The Tapeworm is made of Beta, VHS, Reel to Reel and other varieties of magnetic tape, all sewn to fabric and made into a “worm”.  We’ll call him George.  I worked on this with fellow artist, Janet English.

The Tapeworm has a video screen face that loops historical clips, warning about pollution and shit.  Most of the clips were produced 40 to 60 years ago, showing conditions in rivers and oil fields and warning about potential environmental effects.  It pissed me off to research the clips and edit the video; I learned it doesn’t matter how long people warn Americans, we seem to keep on polluting.

Janet and I wanted George to look like he was invading his host (the gallery).   We made several sections so it appeared he had embedded himself into the building, passing through the floors and the wall.  The looping video gains static as it plays, or degrades in quality, just as a tapeworm degrades its host.

The worm’s skin mostly came from videos, destined for the dumpster at a film festival I worked at.  Unacceptable!  I took out the tape and recycled the cases… eventually, George was born.  The Tapeworm invaded the Hedreen Gallery in Seattle from June to August of 2010, and was nominated for the Best of City Arts, Art Walk Awards in June.

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