new media art, e-music, hacktivism
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Dewanatron, Leon Dewan, Brian Dewan
Dewanatron, cranking electronics.
It's impossible to resist to some old sound boxes charm: in the end there are sentimental reasons. The more the market displays the last shop window's shining device (boxed and with the obscure instructions for a standard use), the more technological art projects embraces the low-tech approach as an aesthetic and politic statement. In this perspective, we can't say that Leon and Brian Dewan strategy is a frontal attack, but rather a more sophisticated divertissement. The couple have assembled huge sound machines in the Dewanatron series. They are analog synths modularly built to compose electronic music in real time. But actually they are sculptures with a visible retro look and a strong sense of irony, and they allow a retrospective glance on this machines' history. Some of them play together, setting up a sort of orchestra, others are built with different autonomous parts, as an orchestra in itself. The interaction with the performer is minimal, because the concept is to enhance the machine automatism. These machines seem to have fun with the public, inviting them to play together. This is evident in 'The Melody Gin', that is coin operated. With a quarter of a U.S. dollar one can produce electronic sound for four minutes, turning knobs and switches.
Francesca Colasante