Like many families immigrating to California from the Philippines, my parents immigrated separately. In an effort to both stay connected and avoid long distance phone bills in the 1980s, my parents made long recordings of voice messages and ambient sounds on cassettes and mailed them to each other as letters. I was lucky enough to discover more than 30 years later that my parents saved these cassettes.
As I examined them in retrospect, I found that the cassettes (as objects) and the recordings contained on them gave a unique sense of nostalgia and impermanence. Adding to the warm and vibrancy of the voice messages, music and ambient sounds were often included in the recordings and offer a fleeting sense of humanity to the history they're embedded in.
VoiceMail : Recordings to/from Mom and Dad is an installation derived from the existing archive of cassette recordings made by my Mom and Dad. The recorded offerings include a message from my Mom to my Dad prior to my birth, a message from my Dad to my Mom After my birth, and a cassette recording of Solid Gold Pop Hits of the 1980s--songs enjoyed both in the Philippines and the United States during their time of separation and eventual reunification.