Thrift Store Tape series

2000-present, video

found video, sound

For the last decade I've been working on a "Thrift Store Tape" series. These videos are created from footage found on discarded home videotapes. On these tapes are fragments of the lives of people I've never met and most likely will never encounter. I'm fascinated by the fact that these memories have been lost or sold or traded, and the people that recorded these events have probably forgotten these tapes even exist. The weddings, graduations, birthdays, and everyday lives captured on these tapes have a fractured, dream-like logic, and it is this meandering and seemingly aimless material that I begin with.
These found home video tapes are endlessly fascinating: subtle, confusing, tender, and occasionally frightening...

"In that Roland Barthes way of photo analysis, of looking at the punctum in the photograph, Brent Watanabe's got a fine eye for locating, isolating, and reframing those details, be it the Mom's (or the guardian's?) overly long fingernails while she's tending the baby, the bride (or is it maid of honor?) lifting the skirt up, or the shadow of the dad falling upon the son, as he's pushing him to drive his tricycle harder."
-Bill Arning, curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center

Please contact me for more information/viewing.

Reviews and Press

"Thrift Store Tape #3", Bill Arning, Aspect Magazine, The Chronicle of New Media, Volume 2

“There's no place like... ”, Soyon Im, Seattle Weekly