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Kevin Beasley: A View of A Landscape #ArtTuesday

Large Kevin Beasley web quality Press Image

This 100 year old working motor has been repurposed for art! Now showing at the Whitney Museum of American Art:

Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, VA) engages with the legacy of the American South through a new installation that centers on a cotton gin motor from Maplesville, Alabama. In operation from 1940 to 1973, the motor powered the gins that separated cotton seeds from fiber. Here, the New York-based artist uses it to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument, creating space for visual and aural contemplation. Through the use of customized microphones, soundproofing, and audio hardware, the installation divorces the physical motor from the noises it produces, enabling visitors to experience sight and sound as distinct.

You can also check out a story The New York Times did on Beasley:

Firing up Weird Science at the Whitney

Microphones hooked up to the motor and connected to a synthesizer and a mixer will allow him to enhance and manipulate the machine’s eerie whirring and clicking, and to turn it into an electronic symphony of sorts. A few days before the show opened, Mr. Beasley worked inside the vitrine at the Whitney, painstakingly fine-tuning the microphones and at one point splaying himself over the motor to get the positioning right.

The results will be heard only in a discrete listening room: The sound is separated from the performance space, much as Eli Whitney’s invention separated cotton fibers from their seeds, performing the task at a greater speed than the human hand. Benches will encourage people to linger. Underneath them will be amplification equipment known as “butt kickers.” (The vibrations created are intense enough to border on a massage.)

“I used to D.J. at terrible Yale parties,” Mr. Beasley said, recalling his nights in graduate school.

Read more and visit for yourself! Now through March 10,2019


Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!


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