Monday, April 4, 2016

AaronTaylor Kuffner, " Gamelatrons" at The Drawing Center

Gamelatrons are sound processing sculptures installations exhibit at The Drawing Center and created by artist and composer Aaron Taylor Kuffner. This work based on Indonesian instrument, Gamelan, which commonly played on formal occasions and in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies today. The history of Gamelan is more than 500 years but Kuffner perfectly combine this old-style physical instrument with contemporary digital compositions.

Robotic mallets rhythmically hit the traditional brass, bronze and iron instruments and play amazing music. It looks like “ghostly musical automaton”. I thought distance sensors might control it starts moving when someone get closed. Another possibility maybe use kinetic to capture user’s motion: Playing music when people move in front of this installation. However, Kuffner gives Gamelatrons a better and more interesting concept after I read his art statement on the poster card. In fact, the robots are connected to a network that transcribes digital compositions into an array of electrical pulsations. It means no one in the gallery can really control how and when to play this “robot instrument”. The real player is network.

Robot & tradition, digital & physic, they are so conflict but perfectly match in this installation. We even hardly to define the sound we heard is digitally or instrumentally. Kuffner created this robotic installation to let participants thinking deeply about the relationship between the digital and physic, the virtuality and reality.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you analyze the work, and I really like how you use the word "possibility" to create more space for this spiritual artwork. The background information is enough for us to know where to engage the work. I am curious about your feeling. Not just about physical experience, but more about mental feeling. How does the color of the work and the arrangement influence the way you see? And more important, what's the feeling of the sound?