Parasol B (Chapel Hill, NC)

April 2019. Bent circuits, noise generators, amplifiers; museum collection toys, books, past projects. 30” x 48” x 72” in.

Parasol B modifies toys in the collection to make “better, weirder noises” by bending circuits or the teeth of music box mechanisms. She states: “Noise is freeing because it removes structural and technique constraints that come with what is expected from a musician.” The Cabinet of Cacophonies evokes the desire to play and invites audiences to experiment with newly revealed noises the museum collection is capable of making.

The interactive sculpture recurates noise-making toys in the collection by embedding them within the former Cabinet of Curiosities by Bridget Conn (2005), allowing the toys to reach their gestalt as a whole musical instrument. With drawers and cabinet doors open, the instrument surrounds the participant within easy reach for activating and combining sounds in previously unimagined ways.

Referring back to the layers in which the toys were found—strata where the smallest toys fell to the bottom of the toy bins, decades upon decades of the relics of play, the layers of the grime and history imbued by past owners—layers of sound effects can be applied to the noises as well as amplification of toy-noise and the cabinet itself, so that as a piece of furniture it can have an audible voice.

The artist predicted it would be emotionally difficult to deconstruct another artist’s work, but was surprised to find that it was just part of the life of objects in the Elsewhere ecosystem. Things must keep transforming, although she hopes the “reimagined Cabinet will also see 14 years before it is reinvented again.”

Project In Response To: The Cabinet of Curiosities, DuetsStaircase ScoreThe Urban Grey BallroomReceiver


Above: Parasol B transforms collection toys into instruments to install inside The Cabinet of Cacophonies.