Since its inception in 2000, Staalplaat Soundsystem has created a multitude of mechanical sound installations and performances. Previous highlights of Staalplaat Soundsystem performances include »Floating Islands« , a large sound/light installation in the Spree, a floating orchestra composed of fifty vacuum cleaners, plastic bottles and lights. The interactive element of Staalplaat Soundsystems work is shown in the installation »Sale Away« 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.
The first Staalplaat Soundsystem mechanical orchestras using all sorts of consumer electronics, learning the specific skills needed to control such an orchestra and how to compose. These performances include “Sweet Sissy and the Ballroom Hiss” starring 12 floor polishers, and “Avantilator” a composition for one hundred electric office fans in Helsinki. The very peculiar “Composition for Eight Refrigerators” or the installation for “60 vacuum cleaners and 2 cement mixers“, the Composition for 104 Washing Machines (Weis 104) or Earitainment in Stereo for hundrets of old radios, TV-sets and matrix printers.
At the heart of all this 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. We did all these projects in different versions and constellations, allways related to the space and the circumstances. In museums and galeries, at festivals or for new music events.
Now we like to develop those projects further as workshops for children .