School of Design

Jenii Scott

My project began as an investigation into the properties of and processes inherent to the VHS videotape as a dated media. Utilising Julian Henriques' idea of analogue reproduction equalling an 'embedded and embodied trace', the line of tape becomes the physical evidence and presence of the passage of time, movement and the reproduction of information. Such properties are investigated and made visible through the physical manipulation of the material using craft-based production methods of an incrementally sequential and repetitive nature, as found in the works of Fiona Hall and Oliver Herring.

This exploration of tape reveals the physical vulnerabilities of the 'retro' media that is the analogue system: the unstable relationship between an original signal and its reproduction, and the eventual disintegration of the videotape with conventional use. The pinned text explicitly references our bodily relations to the videocassette, moving from the wall into space as different viewing points cause the traced letters to disappear into reels of tape. The knitted jumper evokes the graduality of a system collapsing as the original actions of the pattern instructions deteriorate to reveal the source of the garment's surface, and thus the duration and labour of its production.

Both the methods of production and the videocassettes invoke feminist theory regarding distinctions between the domestic and the public, of leisure and labour, as seen in Rozsika Parker's The Subversive Stitch. The repetition of actions and multiplicity of media suggest a mindlessness in the ever-flowing continuity of consumption and exertion, evoking nostalgia for a technology superseded through time while commenting on efficiency, redundancy and a sense of subversive domesticity.