IMAI Foundation | Wouter de Romph: “The Cassette Underground – Archiving Cultures of Alternative Distribution in North Rhine-Westphalia”

cassette

IMAI Foundation | Wouter de Romph: “The Cassette Underground – Archiving Cultures of Alternative Distribution in North Rhine-Westphalia”

FELLOW: Wouter de Romph

Media Art FellowsResearch

Duration: 15.12.2021 – 30.06.2022

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the music cassette made a significant contribution to the lasting democratization of the music industry and the proliferation of marginal genres and styles on informal markets. “The Cassette Underground” approaches the cassette cultures of North Rhine-Westphalia through archival practices: the punk, new wave, and industrial cassettes of the distributor 235 at the Düsseldorf IMAI, the cassette collections of Turkish guest workers at DOMiD in Cologne, the zines, flyers, and stickers at Afas in Duisburg, and the critical tape-digging program of the Interkultur Ruhr initiative in Essen. With their different collection strategies, indexing methods, and research interests, these institutions do not only facilitate research into the mechanisms of production and distribution, but also allow for a reflection on archiving and presentation strategies for marginal and fragile audiovisual media.

The Inter Media Art Institute is dedicated to exhibiting, archiving, and distributing time-based media art: stiftung-imai.de

Image.: Detail from 235 catalogue, 1983, Archive Stiftung IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute,
© Ulrich Leistner, Axel Wirths, 2022