Future Delay, an exhibition curated by New York-based MOBIUS Fellow Amanda Schmitt, consists of newly commissioned works by Madeline Hollander, Pearla Pigao and Hans Rosenström. The exhibition, on view at Helsinki Contemporary June 7 — July 7, 2019, was made possible by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York through its MOBIUS Fellowship Program and Helsinki Contemporary through its HC Guest Curator Program.
Oslo-based artist and musician, Pearla Pigao created three textile works for Future Delay. Upon close inspection, it becomes apparent that these are no traditional textiles: they are woven with a fine combination of both cotton and steel wire (both an insulator and a conductor). The materials’ reactivity to electric currents becomes apparent when the viewer discovers the textiles’ alternative function: by using metal wires as warp and weft in the loom, Pigao has transformed the woven surface into a musical instrument inspired by the theremin.
The viewer thus, becomes a participant in the works of Pearla Pigao, as her textiles act as analogue electronic instruments that respond in real-time to the visitors in the gallery. The sound becomes three-dimensional, something one can seemingly touch, as the participants’ physical movements directly affect the volume and pitch of the instruments’ output.
Pigao’s life-size theremins encourage the visitors not only to view, but to actively engage, and in turn, become co-creators of the sound composition itself. These works relate directly not only to Kurenniemi’s utopic approach to creating electronic and interactive DIMIs (digital musical instruments) but also to Ryan’s application of cybernetics as a tool for dynamic and direct feedback: the gallery visitor becomes both initiator, respondent, and mediator.