Come Fly With Me is a live-fed multimedia installation that was initially presented at Transport Art Space in September 2020, when movement and traveling was restricted. The installation sonifies and visualizes air traffic in its region in real-time; turning coordinates and distances into chords and contrails into live animated drawings.
Through an antenna connected to four synthesizers and a four speaker surround sound setup that is aligned with the cardinal directions, Come Fly With Me virtualizes and augments the airspace above.
The busier it is in the sky the more complex the sequences of chords in the space become. If there is less air traffic, like in times of a global pandemic, the sequences become graspable ever-changing melodies.
Vinyl album, 12”, total time: 0:36:13, 33 1 ⁄3 rpm, download code, Sleeve-size booklet, 28 pages fc, innersleeve, plastic outersleeve.
Founded in the South of the Netherlands, now the OTOMAX vinyl album ‘Ways to Prepare Pets for War’ makes its debut. The selection of tracks is obtained from numerous recordings of gigs and rehearsals, whereat the 5-minute rule structures the improvisations: all songs are improvised, played and programmed on the spot. The only guideline is this time limit of 5 minutes but sometimes we forget to check the clock. The improvisations are the intermediate, shared language of all five members as a result of experimenting and a lot of playtime. The diverse backgrounds of the members (art, sound art, DJ-ing and fashion design) are the catalyst for the creative conversation behind the collaborative effort and, as it usually happens when creativity and diversity meet, skills and instruments are being generated, re-imagined, reorganized, deconstructed. Long story short, there’s a series of wonders always diverse and never the same. This debut is a landmark in a series of concerts and exhibitions in art spaces, clubs, festivals in between the foundation in 2016 to January 2020 in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, where the audience joined us in the dynamics of the surprise, the experiment and the energy.
OTOMAX is Nika Schmitt (voice, fx-electronics, tapes, samples), Mike Moonen (turntablism), Fran Hoebergen (hacked Game Boys, fm-synthesizer, tapes, bend toys), Joep Hinssen (drum computers, analogue synthesizers, samples) and Paul Devens (circuit bend drum computers,
bend toys and modded vintage keyboards) DJ Marcelle, during her show ‘Another nice mess’ 29 Sept:
“These days there’s only one band I can trust to look over a Muslimgauze record and that’s Otomax. I received this record for the weekend and ever since it hasn’t been off my turn table … because it’s fantastic.
‘Ways to Prepare Pets for War’ comes with a beautiful colorful booklet full of weirdness … already legendary record coming from the Netherlands and it hails from Maastricht. … One of the things Otomax reminds me of is the weirdness of the early German music from the beginning of the 80s”.
OTOMAX – Half Full / Half Empty
Half Full / Half Empty was presented by the Otomax artist collective as a plan made for the city of Sittard, which is dealing with a lot of vacancy and depopulation that it tries to avoid with new plans and construction projects.
It was presented as a museum within the museum de Domijnen; a transparent, wooden structure which also acted as a stage for objects that were found in thrift stores in and around the city.
Before HFHE was exhibited Otomax stayed in a vacant school to gather toys, electronics, fitness equipment, music instruments and other objects and modify them to be part of an automated ensemble of used products.
two-channel video – 113 min
recorded music performance, recorded soccer match broadcast, score on A1 poster
Score is a translation of a broadcasted international soccer match into a graphic score for a choir and a percussionist. The instructions in the score minimize the chaotic chanting and screaming of 48.173 football supporters into a palette of standardised reactions that could apply to any soccer match. The performance of the choir is combined with the arrhytmical but percussive sound of the kicking and bouncing of the ball, the center and fundament of the game, which is played on a floortom. The resulting two-channel video installation shows the recording of the performance and a recording of the soccer match played in sync.
Special thanks to
Kamerkoor Maastricht and Ludo Claesen
Michael van Rosmalen
watch a preview cut here:
modified toy keyboards, traffic safety barriers, warning lights, raspberry pi with internet connection running a python script, hidden speakers
Traffic Scrape was a work made for the Toonzaal (Bureau Europa, Maastricht); a temporary exhibition space located in the old industrial part of the city that is undergoing a big renovation. Apart from the transformation of all the industrial buildings, also the infrastructure is getting a large scale renewal to be able to cope with the increasing amount of traffic in and around the city.
The work reacts to this situation with five flashing barricade lights mounted on safety barriers, visually extending the row of safety barriers next to the street outside. The flashes of each light trigger a specific note in an electronic keyboard. Another keyboard in the space is playing notes at increasing or decreasing pitches which are aligned with the amount of traffic in the Netherlands. The traffic information is being downloaded and translated live constantly. The sound that is produced can be heard from the street outside.
music / performance
Dutch traffic lights make a ticking sound to help the visually impaired cross the street. The lights tick in a slow tempo when they are red, and if they tick fast the light is green.
At crossings with more than one traffic light you can hear that every light ticks at a slightly different tempo. This causes the rhythms to phase.
SRTL (Steve Reich Traffic Lights) is a performance done by four brass / woodwind musicians playing along with the ticking of four traffic lights. They all repeat one note along with the ticking of one specific light.
Time to Dance is a sound installation which consists of a drum machine that is being triggered by the ticking of four office clocks. Every clock triggers a different drumsound in the drum machine, creating a 60-bpm drum beat to dance to. As long as you want.
pencil on paper (1920mm x 1080mm)
Full HD (1) is a hand-drawn grid with a 1mm² division. The aspect ratio of the grid is based on the resolution of a Full HD screen.
2015 / Collaboration with Sara Bachour
Bosch cordless drill, Bosch cordless drill toy, Gardena hand trowel, Gardena hand trowel toy, Leifheit dust-wiper, Leifheit dustwiper toy.
Education is a display in which three tools for adults are shown next to their child-sized toy replica’s.
acrylic on mdf board (1920mm x 1080mm), blue led-light shining through a hole sized 1mm²
Full HD (2) is a painting based on the resolution of a Full HD screen. The painting has the same resolution if divided into a grid of square milimeters. A blue light with the size of 1mm² is shining through the surface of the painting, emphasizing the smallest unit of this resolution and how it relates to the full frame.
music / performance
A Dutch railroad crossing seen as a musical object; the auditory rhythm of the ringing bells, clashing with the visual rhythm of the flashing warning lights, combined with the crescendo and decrescendo of a passing train. Railroad Crossing is a study of the compository structure of a typical Dutch railroad-crossing. This study ultimately resulted in a peformance in which the happenings of this railroad crossing, during the passing of a train, are being played by musicians. The instrumentarium in this performance is based on the elements of a real railroad crossing — i.e. the passing train, the mechanical bells, the electric bells and the warning lights.
Download the sheet music:
video and photo documentation
Trash Flags are made out of found trash and planted back next to the litter they were made of.