The initiator of Staalplaat Soundsystem Geert-Jan Hobijn is the founder of the Staalplaat music label and has been the organizer of many sound art and performance events in the past. The second member Carsten Stabenow is the founder of the german Media Art festival garage and has been curating and organising for many different media- and sound art festivals and events in the past. Carlo Crovato is working as an solo artist also under the pseudonym plastic-electric.
Since its inception in 2000, Staalplaat Soundsystem has created a multitude of mechanical orchestras using all manner of consumer electronics. Previous highlights of Staalplaat Soundsystem machine performances include “Sweet Sissy and the Ballroom Hiss” starring 12 floor polishers, and “Avantilator” a composition for one hundred electric office fans. At the heart of all our work is a low-tech philosophy, the aim is to make installations appear simple, revealing rather than concealing how they are made, so people exclaim –‘I could do that’. In contrast to much media art, it is not the technique that is central to the work, but the ideas behind it.
“Floating Islands” is a large sound/light installation created for the opening of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Berlin. In this piece we explored the fusion of our work with others, collaborating with Erwin Stache to create a floating orchestra composed of fifty vacuum cleaners, plastic bottles and lights. The interactive element of our work is another developing theme. The installation “Sale Away” made for the EMAF was a democratic piece that explored the influence of the public on the work; by simply using their mobile phones people were able to play a complex mechanical orchestra.
Perhaps the most interesting confrontation between the public and our work is “The Ultrasound of Therapy”, an installation intended to give individual, personal sonic experiences. This work not only allows us to work on a very individual level with the public but also offers the possibility to collaborate with other sound artists
“Yokomono” is the Staalplaat Mono Erosive Surround Sound Installation.
The present setup consists of 10 vinyl killers, each customised with its own fm transmitter. The sound will come through a set of radios that receives the signal transmitted by the vinyl killers. You might think Yokomono is just a DJ set with 10 turntables, and in a way that is correct but in many more ways Yokomono is completely different. This project exists as performance and as installation version.
One resent attempt to transform things in to instruments and to cross the boundaries of the term music is our project “Architone” in witch we try to transform a whole building into an playable instrument.
Staalplaat Soundsystem has been showing works at several international festivals, museums, galeries and events like Avanto (Helsinki), Sonar (Barcelona), CEMC (Beijing), DEAF (Rotterdam), Transmediale (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), Kunsthalle (Kiel), MOCA Taipei, Museeum Weserburg (Bremen), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Steirischer Herbst ( Graz), ZKM (Karlsruhe)…
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