An interactive project by artist name Steve A. Bjornson titled #iHeartRobotMusic which was done in 2012 and showed here today in ISEA2015 in Vancouver.
This installation artwork was installed on the basement level of the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver. With that being said, is a pity that this installation work was place in the B2 level of the building where little or no human traffic was present most of the time. Actually, it was the only artwork to be place there!
Anyway, #iHeartRobotMusic is an interactive artwork where people is encourage to tag a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #iHeartRobotMusic. The images is then translate into another image (as you can see on the right, below). It changes into a image which is able to translate into notes which triggers a motor that plays an instrument. In this case, the instrument is made up of motors that hit metals poles and bowls. With different notes being played at different time, it turns into a sound scape. So basically, an image has a sound, in this case, sound of metal clashing onto each other.
The installation is build with a structure on its own which is used to make the hitting sound as well.
Take a look at the video I took below with my iPhone. You can see the motors being trigger and hitting the bowl.
I find out more about this project and it was previously shown at another gallery. But it uses different materials for example, styrofoam cups, musical toys, box and bottles. In the video below you are able to see and hear what the artist explained about his work. I got to say that it is good that for different location and venue, the artist decided to use different objects as his source of sound. This project is flexible in a sense that any object can be used as a musical instrument because all you need is the motor and any object to make a sound. So I really like that flexibility and improvisation in this project.
As a whole, I enjoy Steve’s #iHeartRobotMusic. It is playful, interactive and yet engaging. However, I feel there is a lack of substance in it. Turning a hashtag picture into abstract sound of metal clashing is abit too simple for me. If you were to ask me on how to improve this, I would say this. I would choose a famous photograph that many people in the world can recognise, or even a painting. Then translate the image into notes through real musical notes like do re mi. Instrument wise, I would expect a symphony, then people would really listen to real music. I mean, Mona Lisa is just a visual, but what if, there is sound/music that reveals more about the painting?!
Anyway, there’s not much about the artist online and i can’t find his portfolio and website. Apparently, the video above I shared is one of the videos where you are able to know more about him and his work. It seems that he really love #iHeartrobotMusic so much!
Signing off from Vancouver, BC, Canada,