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 naïvité. 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.