Instruments of Change

Conventional instruments have long traditions—in terms of their materials, assembly, and what it means to ‘excel’ at playing them. And most of the standards of ‘excellence’ in the performing arts are actually the codification of centuries (or at least decades) old class relations, so what happens when artists and designers create new instruments? How do they go about performing with these inventions, and how do we evaluate or appreciate the sounds they generate—without any standard or frame of reference. Also, if we are stepping into the realm of ‘new making’ and at least partially breaking with history, what domains or methodologies might we turn to for generating sounds and composing music, and what kind of interfaces might we develop for playing it?


Wonjung Shin and Dooho Yi

AKA Diana Band, a duo of Seoul-based interdisciplinary media artists


Myriam Bleau

Montréal-based composer and digital artist exploring audiovisual performance


Byungjun Kwon

Musician, artist, and hardware developer based in Amsterdam; ACT Fellow (Interaction Sound Lab)


Sam Conran

London-based sound artist and designer interested in technofuturism and systems theory


Yuri Suzuki

A sound artist, designer, and electronic musician that playfully explores instrument design

Feature image: Marcel Duchamp and John Cage simultaneously play chess and make music in Reunion. In the 1968 piece, moves activate four compositions that are played through an eight-speaker sound system surrounding the audience.