The Art of Science: Beyond Air Guitar

Simon Blackmore, Weather Guitar, 2006
Simon Blackmore, Weather Guitar, 2006

Air guitar a little low-tech for you? Try Simon Blackmore’s Weather Guitar, a robotically-controlled flamenco guitar that responds to variations in weather conditions. Blackmore says that the electronic guts of the Weather Guitar, currently on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Arts Museum in Connecticut, were designed to be as flexible and open as possible, so it could be shown (and heard) in many different settings.

The Aldrich Museum’s Richard Klein explains: “Blackmore’s work is characterized by an inventive, DIY approach that draws on influences such as hobby-style electronics, open-source software, and lo-fi aesthetics. The resulting “performative” sculpture and installations are not, however, just about revealing the inner workings of things that are usually invisible, but rather an attempt to tackle the more philosophically thorny questions that surround our increasingly complicated relationship with technology and the power it holds over us.”

Blackmore himself describes the goal of the piece as “an attempt to draw parallels between the scientific inquiry of measuring and quantifying the natural elements, and the romantic notion of the weather acting as a source of artistic inspiration.”

You can see Weather Guitar  and two other pieces by Blackmore at the Aldrich Museum through March 9 and see a video of it on Blackmore’s website.

Author: michelebanks1

Artist and blogger

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