All things have a natural resonant frequency. This intriguing idea suggests a baseline connection between just about everything, but I’ll keep to the physical for now. My old car would vibrate intensely when reaching certain speeds. Our bodies have resonant frequencies. As does the stapler on my desk, as do skyscrapers, bridges, tectonic plates…
Instrumentation is an electro-mechanical sound installation inspired by resonance. The gallery installation preserves a sense of the makeshift, having evolved from studio experiments, using a limited palette of tools and readily available materials. Instrumentation is more like a framework or schematic, rather than a pre-determined finished work. Structured, but not scripted, the work contains a high level of improvisation and varies significantly from implementation to implementation.
Instrumentation has involved unlikely loudspeakers cobbled from buckets, drums, salvaged windows and hand-wound electromagnetic coils. These found-object resonators amplify other parts of the installation. For example, a plywood work-table serving as an acoustic transducer for electromagnetically activated piano wires, and as a stage for an assembly of machine ‘performers.’ Each lethargically performs a repetitive task, contributing to an endlessly fluctuating sound track of shimmering harmonics, sudden crescendos and arrhythmic beats.
By letting machines run the show, I hope to open up a temporary space for contemplation of the forces at work in the environment around us. Exploring the basic physical ‘magic’ of resonance, present within our everyday machines, structures and systems, reveals that we are subject to material laws that are fundamentally mysterious and outside of our absolute command. This elusive ‘magic’ is a worthwhile reminder that we are not in total control in a digital-technocratic world where total control seems to be a goal.