The Instrument Builders Project
If the Arts were funded nearly as well as Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate, we wouldn’t be getting ourselves into Diplomatic shizzle like we did in 2013, when Edward Snowden leaked that Australia had been behaving very badly indeed.
Sadly, Australia (not yours and mine, some other secret sneaky arsehole’s version) was spying on our neighbour former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife Kristiani Herwati and other senior officials.
Its good form to get along with your neighbours. Getting sprung with your ear up to the fence, listening to phone calls just ain’t neighbourly. And if you get caught spying, you should apologize straight up: Maxwell Smart always said: ‘sorry about that chief’ after clonking his boss on the head with the Cone of Silence.
Thank goodness for Artists. They’re not all political and no matter how badly their countries are getting on, they can still make sweet music together. On some really weird hand-made instruments.
The Instrument Builders Project, curated by Kristi Monfries and Joel Stern, is a collaboration in sound by Indonesian and Australian artists. It is a knob twiddlers paradise! Like if Doctor Frankenstein decided to join a band and jam, rather than putting all his time into trying to reanimate corpses. The latest presentation of the Instrument Builders Project (iterations have been previously exhibited at Yogyakarta’s iCAN) began Saturday afternoon at the NGV studio.
Artists played their unique creations, then talked us through how they came to be conceived. Wukir Suryadi began with his Ekologi Gong, the gong is traditionally used to begin and end significant ceremonies. We moved throughout the exhibition, from one work to the next, the instruments being demonstrated by their makers. Dylan Martorell admitted that he can’t drum to save himself, so worked with a couple of drum robotics dudes to make an installation that can beat out a sweet rhythm without him. The work can also be packed into a suitcase and taken on the road from residency to residency, which is a good gig if you can get it. Unfortunately, his installation included a couple of succulents, a few of which had weeds sprouting out round the bases. I for one, don’t think it’s a great idea to introduce weeds into the NGV studio mix. They can take hold in the cracks and make a meal of your mortar, which holds the whole place together. The mortar, not the weed. This project cements the reputation of Yogyakarta as a must visit creative hubbidy hub destination.
Hi Edwina and Antariksa. We miss you and will visit soon, Maxi sends her love x