German conductor, harpsichordist and composer Michael Petermann spent eight years creating ”The Stupid Orchestra,” an art installation-slash-35-minute noise symphony out of over 200 small household appliances. Petermann ‘auditioned’ hundreds of vacuums, electric mixers, washers, and other machines to create the perfect balance of sound and visual presentation, choosing only appliances designed between 1940 and 1975. As he explained, ” I refused to take younger ones [because], in general, design of the late ’70s and ’80s changed considerably towards making things look alike”… “People recognize their parents’ or even grandparents’ kitchen when they first see the installation, and become thrilled by their beloved machine’s heightened second life as an artist.” To compose the actual machine music, Petermann designed his own system, which he calls the “MIDI-to-Household-Appliance-Interface.” The program runs off his laptop and controls the on/off switches of all the appliances. Click through to see a preview of the symphony and check out some photographs – the installation will play every hour at MKG Hamburg until April 30th.
[via Co. Design]