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The Instrument Makers

Michal Cáb, Marek Hlaváč, Veronika Svobodová, Adam Železný, Ladislav Železný
Curator: Michal Cáb
11.3.31.3.
Thu 10.3. - 18:00

If the hammer is the only available tool you treat everything as it is a nail.
(The instrument´s law)

The exhibition “The Instrument Makers” is a look at works by artists who bring unconventional methods to the creation of musical instruments. In addition, their specific methodologies expose latent features present in these instruments, using expressive forms ranging from utopianism to naïvté. New and distinctive instruments form the basis for unusual playing techniques, compositions and listening experiences. Concentrating on the process of making instruments reveals a specific intimacy between the artist and the means of creation.

The theme of instruments and their creators goes far beyond the possibilities of this exhibition. Despite the narrowness of this probe, the exhibition serves to represent certain questions which have, due to their apparent self-evidence, come to be seen as non-problematic. The subject seems more relevant than ever, which perhaps lends so much urgency to such emblematic slogans as Kim Cascone’s “the instrument is the message” and Lev Manevich’s “the software is the message”.

In today’s world, instruments are an ever present part of our surroundings. They are here even when we do not think about them: when we sleep, the thermostat looks after the temperature of our homes, the alarm clock measures the time until we need to get up and HFT bots in the meantime have conducted numerous transactions. An array of tools convince us of both our abilities and remind us of our frailties. We generally simply accept them, not merely as extensions of our senses, but as parts of how we structure the world around us.

Accompanying program: lectures by Milan Guštar, Michael Pospíšil, Jan Trojan (March 13, 6 PM) and a concert of performing artists (March 20, 7.30 PM).

Michal Cáb (* 1980) is a sound and multimedia artist based in Prague, Czech Republic. His artistic practice is centered on the mediums of noise improvisation, programming and the construction of specific audio visual instruments, while he also utilizes and teaches about open-source technologies. Michal finished his Ph.D. at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Studio of Intermedia Work III / Tomáš Vaněk School) which was focused on the use of programming languages as a basic artistic tool and the use of the programming language Pure Data in different artistic contexts. Occasionally he collaborates with other artists who work in the mediums of theater and visual arts. Michal is part of the livecoding band k-o-l-e-k-t-i-v.github.io. 

Marek Hlaváč (* 1985) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the Studio of Intermedia Work III / Tomáš Vaněk School. In his performances, installations and site-specific projects, he mainly explores the possibilities of collectivity and participation in audio, using means ranging from sounds that everyone has at hand, to the sounds on the edge of the audible spectrum.

Veronika Svobodová (* 1986) studied sculpture at the School of Applied Arts in Uherské Hradiště and in 2015 graduated in Stage Design of Alternative and Puppet Theatre under the direction of Tomas ŽiŽka and Robert Smolík at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. During her studies she participated in internships in Ljubljana in 2013, where she worked with director Matija Solca on sensory performance for children "Močeradek gre čez cesto." In 2014 she participated in the original production directed by Klára Hutečková "Oblovka" and in 2015 the festival Artijuli in Norway on the island of Senja collaborated with illustrator Alžběta Zemanova's interactive installation "BU". Together with Anna Krtičková since 2014 Svobodová runs home theater "Pilgrimage". It deals with a creative activity on the periphery of specific sites of private dwellings and gardens or public spaces. She lives and works in Prague.

Adam Železný (* 1986) is a lover of materials, especially natural. This is closely related to the possibility of processing and trade. During his studies at the Secondary School in Bechyně he began to feel a certain affection for ceramic materials and their processing. Therefore, in the study he continued on the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, in the studio pottery and porcelain, where he graduated in 2014 in the studio of Maxim Velčovský. Occasionally also works with explosives.

Ladislav Železný (* 1979) studied at the School of Applied Arts in Bechyně and Fine Arts in Brno where he graduated in 2004 in the studio of M-V-P (multimedia-video-performance). He works for the Czech Radio as a sound and music engineer in the realization of radio dramas, documentaries and special projects. Since 2008 he collaborates on the project rAdioCUSTICA intermediate (radioart.cz). In 2011, he became one of the ten finalists of the project "Europe - a sound panorama" at ZKM. Created sound and music compositions for short films (Monoskop No.3 - 2011, Monkey King - 2010), radio plays (Enigma Emmy Goring - 2010 Pro patria mori - 2014 Love and Money - 2015). During the years 2006-11 musically contributed to projects for non-verbal theater and contemporary dance (Extraction, Vrstvení, Iné ráno, Intenzita neviditelného). Creates sound installations (Hlavou proti zdi - 2012, Tabula rasa - 2013), radiophonic and acousmatic composition (Before During After - 2007, ŠUM - 2012, 220 sound layers in five minutes - 2011, ZERO - 2014). Occasionally performs common audio performance (Skupina C, Skupina B, Naru Tigama, OEM arts).