Photo: Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times
Korean artist Jean Shin created this sculpture "Sound Wave" (2007) out of melted vinyl records to connote "the inevitable waves of technology that render each successive generation of recordable media obsolete."
Her sculpture and others made from recycled materials are part of The Museum of Art and Design's exhibit "Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary."
Roberta Smith of The New York Times has the story: Link | Photo Gallery | Jean Shin's website - via Boing Boing Gadgets
First of all, if the sculpture resembled actual sound waves, the 'pun' wouldn't be a pun at all; it would be a definition. Besides, waves are waves. Ocean waves are the transfer of energy, just the same as sound waves.
Second of all, are you really suggesting that vinyl is just as relevant now as it always was? You can't deny that it has been overshadowed, if not, replaced.
Third of all, the records used in the sculpture were probably headed to a dumpster. The artist wouldn't use records that belonged to peope, of course. Better that they be used in art rather than be discarded. The scupture celebrates, not triviaizes the records.
Also, vinyl is most definitely not obsolete. The "waves" of technology just provide more convenient options as far as portability.
Finally, my main beef with this concept being actualized is that it trivializes the music that is on those records. I guess, heck, if any were music people like, I coulda used'em!
anyways, i'm assuming some bands do it for nostalgia, or genre-"branding" ("7 inches are punk rock"), and others, like Shellac, do / did it because of a strong affinity for analog recording and playing (even though Shellac will throw in an unmarked CD with no case or art into every record they package).