Cassette Tapes Portraits by Erika Iris Simmons

Erika Iris Simmons (@iri5 on Twitter), uses old cassette tapes (or old film reels) to create the likenesses of famous musicians/actors in a series called “Ghost in the Machine.” She usually just take things apart and re-arrange them, cutting away pieces when necessary.

"It feels great to work with strange, older materials. Things that have a mind of their own. Most everything I use has been thrown away or donated at some point. Past its prime, like some of the finest things in the world," she said.

Melora Creager

Lauryn Hill

Kung Fu Cassette

Beat Boxers

Erika sculpted these two for Jung v. Matt am Neckar (German ad agency) for a radio station promo. She sculpted the cassette into designs by their art director and then sent the tape sculptures to the agency where they were photographed.

John Lennon

Illustration for the Sunday Times Magazine.

The Hendrix Experience

Jerry Garcia Live

Bob Marley

Audrey Reclining

A really big Audrey Hepburn made entirely out of donated, recycled 8mm film.

Bon Jovi

A Bon Jovi tribute with original “Slippery When Wet” cassette. She used a little bit of red paint to show the bandana, the rest is all cassette.

Betty Page

Made from recycled 16mm film

Van Morrison

Paper collage background is composed of articles and interviews related to his career.

Tom Waits

Paul Griffiths

Made for cover of Tick Magazine, UK.

Jimi Hendrix

Janis Joplin

Bob Dylan

Robert Smith from the Cure

Michael Jackson

Lenny Kravitz

Marilyn Monroe

Made from recycled 8mm film reel

Ian Brown of Stone Roses

Ian Astbury

Jerry Garcia

Albert Einstein

Space-time cowboy. Made from recycled 8mm film, with reel and clock parts.


Alfred Hitchcock out of recycled film and reel.

Ian Curtis

Ian Curtis (late singer of Joy Division). The newspaper collage in the background was from a paper dating from the year Joy Division was formed.

The Dude Abides

Made from recycled VHS tape.

Check her gallery:

All images are © Copyright of Erika Iris Simmons.

Bruno Mars/ (Peter Gene Hernandez) has hit the viral video charts with his music video for “I Just Love You Just The Way You Are”, from his album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Directed by Ethan Lader, the video features actress Nathalie Kelley and art inspired by Erika Iris Simmons. A cassette tape from a walkman becomes the material for a range of portraits.

Filming was shot by director Ethan Lader with producer Roger Ubina at Alliance Media Group, director of photography Brian Garbellini and colorist Bob Curreri. Visual effects were produced at Kroma.

The video was inspired by the work of Erika Iris Simmons


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