I Like It Pink
solo show by Brian Caraway

We Artspace
768 40th Street
Oakland, CA

May 29 – June 25
Opening reception Sunday May 29 2–5PM


In Keeping Things Awesome

On my quest for the perfect mark, I am drawn towards rhythm in pattern and design. I use a couple of voices when expressing this idea. With drawing and painting I incorporate stencils and masks in my attempts at creating the perfect mark. With cassette tapes I am able to present a precise, consistent array without manipulating paint—a mechanical unit for regulating my marks: repeatable, unchanging.

The audio cassette tape is a nostalgic object for me: it was the vehicle by which I, and many others, began to connect with and discover a music of our own, something personally significant beyond the mass offerings of the radio. The cassette allowed us to curate and share music in the form of mixtapes—to record something ephemeral, whether a song on the radio or the mood at the beginning of a friendship or romance, and to preserve it for posterity. Decades later, the cassette as object has a different set of connotations, as the emotional significance my generation invested in each dub and mix slowly dissipates into the air like outgassed chemicals. Fragile, archaic, and nearly obsolete, the cassette medium itself is like an architectural palimpsest: reduced to a skeletal foundation, silently speaking volumes as its former glory hovers overhead, invisible but somehow perceptible.

To amass the army of cassettes necessary to complete this body of work I made regular visits to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse and placed ads on Craigslist asking for tape donations. I met some very interesting people, got a lot of really great music. I got a lot of shitty music too. In collecting these discarded objects, I was struck by the widespread tendency to discard the old for the new, and on the flip side, the possibilities for toxic plastics beyond the landfill. I am convinced that the future holds enormous potential for the repurposing of obsolete or forgotten objects in the context of both art and architecture.


counter force
audio cassette tapes, plexiglass, wood
copyright Brian Caraway