Machine Song : Gesture 2


Jim Murphy (NZ/US)


A motor spins; a motor-mounted arm sweeps through an air; a cable lifts and lowers; a steel sphere rolls in subdued chaos along brass rails. Machine Song: Gesture 2 asks the question of whether simple mechanisms may produce meaningful audiovisual expression. By removing the technical distractions that exist between the viewer and the artwork, this piece attempts to cut to the core of what is compelling about kinetic sound sculpture: causal chains are rendered explicit, electronic obfuscations are done away with, and the viewer is confronted with the complete machine gesture from motion to sound. Machine Song: Gesture 2 is a part of an ongoing series in which a variety of gestures (steady-state, anticipatory, reactive…) are realised.

Artist Biography:

Jim Murphy explores audiovisual art through an electromechanical lens. His sound artworks utilise motors, actuators, and electronics to create new sounds. Jim is particularly interested in machine gesture, the means by which mechanisms can affect motions that are meaningful and compelling to audiences, and he is most involved in the development of mechatronic sound artworks that highlight broad and expressive gestures to produce sounds that are clearly coupled with visual anticipatory gesture. He lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand and is a lecturer in Sonic Arts and Music Technology at Te Herenga Waka.

Project Credits:

Thanks to New Zealand School of Music | Te Kōkī