No matter how convenient music streaming platforms have become, they have undoubtedly managed to oversaturate the medium. With vinyl records, CDs, and cassette tapes all resurfacing in popularity over the past few years, the nostalgia factor for these emblematic forms of playback has only grown more and more prominent. It’s grown so much that designers like Tom Sachs have embellished their admiration for such forms of old-school entertainment wholeheartedly, and Sachs just released a neat new zine to pay homage to cassette tapes specifically.
The New York artist’s TDK Cassette Zine is composed of 29 vibrantly colored pages and comes packaged in an intriguingly designed case, the latter of which measures in at a mere 2.75″ x 4.625″ — about the same size as an actual cassette tape case. In addition to being an incredibly cool, pocket-sized conversation piece, the project also looks to serve as a small-scale platform that highlights tangible artwork, and we all know how much that is needed nowadays with the proliferation of NFTs in the art scene. Additionally, the zine features photography courtesy of Genevieve Hanson.
The zine is meant to complement Sachs’ Cassette Only exhibit that just came to a close. This showcase took place in Aspen and toyed with Sachs’ notion of the DIY-punk ethos that was in full swing during the heyday of cassettes, a form of tech that the artist has described as “sacred objects in a sweet sliver of gap between vinyl records and CD ascendence.”
Considering these were limited to 100, the TDK Cassette Zine sold out basically immediately. Be that as it may, it serves as an exquisite display of envelope-pushing design and technological wistfulness that is still worth admiring from afar through Tom Sachs’ website.