INSTRUMENTATION – May of 2010

A research and production residency by Peter Flemming (CA).

Evolved from a series of studio experiments inspired by the basic physical ‘magic’ of resonance as it reveals itself in our structures, systems and machines. All things have a natural resonant frequency. This intriguing idea suggests a baseline connection between just about everything, but this project will keep to the physical for now. Vehicles vibrate intensely when reaching certain resonant speeds on the highway. Our bodies have resonant frequencies. As does the stapler on your desk, as do skyscrapers, bridges, tectonic plates…
This elusive ‘magic’ is a worthwhile reminder that we are subject to material laws that are fundamentally mysterious and outside of our absolute command. We are not in total control in a digital-technocratic world where total control seems to be a goal.
In this installation, the surface of a large work-table serves as an acoustic transducer for several electromagnetically activated piano wires, and as the main staging area for an ensemble of machine performers. The exhibition set-up preserves the make-shift feel of the in-studio experimentation from which it originates: much of the work is constructed on site, improvised from a limited palette of common tools and readily available materials.

Peter Flemming (CA)

Active for over a dozen years, Peter Flemming is a folk machinery artist, doing electronics handcraft ‘by ear,’ tinkering intensively and intuitively in the studio. Recent work has been an ongoing series of experiments about sound and resonance. Past work has included lazy machines, solar powered artwork and hypnotically repetitive automata. He has exhibited extensively worldwide and been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art (1997) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (MFA, 2001), he currently lives and works in Montreal, where he teaches electronics for artists at Concordia University.

http://peterflemming.ca

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