INSTALLATION | 2010
It began with an old dusty record player in an attic. On a scavenger hunt for objects to hack and revamp we came across a beautiful Philips record player that became the center-piece of our project, Linyl. It was love at first sight. The moment we laid eyes on it, we were captivated by its beauty, aesthetic and construction. There was a sense of admiration that this long abandoned machine still worked with the fluidity and grace of the first day it was used.
We couldn't break it apart; that just was not an option. The mechanics and behaviour are integral to the record player's identity as an object. To alter these was to alter its essence. Instead we were inspired to reinvent it whilst keeping it whole. In doing so, we gave a nod of respect to the craftsmanship that created it and the ritual and rhythm that surrounded it.
The record player is from a time before iPods, mp3's and skipping between music tracks being pumped into tiny headphones. Music was not consumable, disposable. It was not used to create a personal soundtrack to drown out the surroundings. Listening to music was to appreciate an art. Selecting a disc to play, taking it out of it's cover, gently cleaning any dust and placing it on the record player; these were all parts of an elaborate and personal ritual. Music created an environment, setting a mood - whether melancholy or exhuberent.
In line with the history of the object and the ritual, we wanted Linyl to play memories and nostalgia rather than music. We chose old photos as the element that could create the same emotional effect as music. Photos that are attached to a memory, a record of a piece of our lives. In order for photos to be read by the player, we convert them to discs of color by extracting a color palette to generate a pattern. Using these, the old memories can be played with Linyl.
A colour light sensor is retrofitted onto the arm of the record player. It reads the color from the disc, next to the stylus. The information is sent to the lamp, which creates the ambient mood by gently going through the colors of the photo. These changing colors evoke the memory of a past time.
Project developed in collaboration with Shruti Ramiah, Benoit Espinola, Natalia Echevarría.