Cassette Memories (2004–ongoing) is a site-specific performance by artist and composer Aki Onda, presented on June 11th and 12th in several community gardens in the Lower East Side. For each iteration of the performance, Onda plays field recordings he considers “sound memories,” collected over the last three decades. The performances occur at places saturated with their own memories; on this occasion, Onda will lead the audience on an auditory tour through multiple gardens in the Lower East Side, including Green Oasis Community Garden and La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden. Cassette Memories is an archaeological dig for the history, psyche, and energy of these spaces. The performances are presented in conjunction with Life Between Buildings, a group exhibition at MoMA PS1, which features Onda’s installation Silence Prevails: Lower East Side Community Gardens During the Pandemic.
Aki Onda is an artist and composer currently based in Mito, Japan, after living in New York for two decades. His works are often catalyzed by and structured around memories—personal, collective, historical—such as his widely-known project, Cassette Memories(2004–ongoing), drawn from three decades of field recordings. Crossing genres, he has been active internationally in art, film, music, and performance. His artistic collaborators include Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, Raha Raissnia, Loren Connors, David Toop and Akio Suzuki. Onda has presented his work at The Kitchen, MoMA, MoMA PS1, New Museum, ICA Philadelphia, REDCAT, Time-Based Art Festival, documenta 14, Louvre Museum, Pompidou Center, Palais de Tokyo, Fondation Cartier, Argos, Bozar, ICA London, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Nam June Paik Art Center, and many others.