Erika Iris Simmons like to take random things like what you would find at a garage sale or in a thrift store, and make them into composite art. Most of his pieces become portraits of people associated with the item he has chosen. He usually just takes things apart and re-arrange them in weird ways, cutting away pieces when necessary. A lot of his art is made with cassette tapes and old film reels in a series called “Ghost in the Machine.”

“The Ghost in the Machine” series was inspired by some strange ideas. How at one level we are cellular beings and another we are a single “self.” The single cassette tape he thought of as representing the mind. The tape ribbon represents our thoughts, the data within. Taking that data – those bits of memory – and rearranging them to form what we see as a face is my way of finding a “ghost in the machine.”

Erika Iris Simmons also liked the fact that when you look at a portrait like Jimi Hendrix out of a cassette tape, you can almost hear the music in your head – so your own “data” is responding to what you see.