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Gamelatron: Sonic Kinetic Sculptures

Highlight on Art & Culture: Gamelatron ~ Sonic Kinetic Sculptures by Aaron Taylor Kuffner. Indonesian Luxury is pleased to announce the exhibition by world-renowned American artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner, with an opening reception on Wednesday, October 17th.

Aaron Taylor Kuffner is a New York-based conceptual artist whose inspiration drawn from Indonesian gamelans haved led him to invent the ‘gamelatron.’ A gamelatron is a sound-producing kinetic sculpture.

It has robotic mallets that play the gamelans automatically. Each artwork is a combination of acoustic resonance and robotic technology, a fusion of sound, sculpture, technology and engineering, as well as the tension and harmony of uniting the ancient and modern.

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Kuffner works with Indonesian craftsmen to hand-forge the gongs, then he would fine-tune them and treat the surfaces. Next, he hand-machines the big mechanisms, produces the electronics and fabricate the sculpture mounts. For the last step, he uses a mobile application to create the compositions played by the gamelatrons.

Each composition is written specifically for that artwork in that space. Through the observation of rhythmic movements and sounds, Meditative, haunting, and almost hypnotic, a gamelatron is an invitation for the observer to spend time and connect with the artwork in the hope that it can be a spiritual nourishment for those who appreciate it.

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The exhibition Gamelatron: Sonic Kinetic Sculptures, curated by ISA Art Advisory brings forth technology as a new element of the contemporary art world, and how it can be used to promote and preserve culture. Kuffner’s robotic sonic sculptures expose the audience to the nature of resonance and how sound as a sense perception could affect one’s soul and experience of the world.

Each Gamelatron is its own orchestra, and draws upon Indonesia’s thousand-year-old tradition of gamelan ensembles. These handcrafted, masterfully-tuned orchestras of vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells, and resonating bronze gongs played by robotic mallets are installed to immerse the observer in living kinetic sculptures. Compositions range from solitary reverberations of massive gongs and singing chimes to full ritual or storytelling orchestrations. The exhibition will present six different types of Gamelatrons, including new works by Kuffner and the largest one called Gamelatron Bunganya Dewa, which only public showing to date was a special exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2017.

This exhibition is organized by Indonesian Luxury and curated by ISA Art Advisory.

About Aaron Taylor Kuffner
Aaron Taylor Kuffner is a New York-based conceptual artist, who often works with sculpture and sound. His work reaches far beyond conventional forms of representation, actively engaging his audience and pushes art to serve society. His pieces are often a result of multi-year projects that require in-depth research, collaboration with field experts and the development of new specialised skill sets.

Kuffner studied at the Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta, majoring in Karawitan and Ethnomusicology (2003-2006), where he started to submerge himself into the art of traditional Indonesian gamelan musical instruments and village life. Kuffner preserves and reinterprets these ancient traditional instruments by retrofitting them with mechanical mallets that are connected to a self-built computer network that transcribes his compositions. His site-specific sonic, kinetic sculptures are hand fabricated using Indonesian forging techniques, and finished with traditional bronze, brass, iron instruments and robotic technology.

Kuffner is a trained painter and metal sculptor, a former street artist, theatre director, international DJ and music producer. Dedicated to expanding the legacy and creative cultural power of gamelan through innovation, Kuffner’s powerful installations and site-specific performances have stood alone both as art works and mechanisms that tell us a story of globalization and modernization. Each of his artworks is aimed at triggering the evolution of consciousness through the experience of beauty and the sublime.

Kuffner’s works have been exhibited for more than 400 times in 19 countries in the last twenty years. The Gamelatron Project he exhibited with Sundaram Tagore Galleries in New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and at International art, music and cultural events.

About ISA Art Advisory
ISA Art Advisory is a Jakarta-based art consultancy offering a full range of services for corporate and individual clients. Our objective is to increase the public awareness and highlight the benefits of bringing art out of museums and galleries into public spaces. ISA Art Advisory provides art consultation services from strategy and planning, to procurement, installation and insurance. With expertise in both international and Southeast Asian art, and a passion for Indonesian modern and contemporary art, we assist our clients in starting or developing their collections and incorporating art in all aspects of their life, whether at home or in the office.

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