Video by Amanda Mears.

LACE hosts Dutch sound artist collective Staalplaat Soundsystem for a 10 day residency 20 Feb. – 1 March 2012. Within the current mood of worshipping the latest technology in media art, Staalplaat Soundsystem provides a breath of fresh air, reminding us of the 100-year tradition of noise-making machines, in which “mad” inventors and various kinds of artists operating in the margins of the art world meet. During their residency Staalplaat members Geert-Jan Hobijn and Carlo Crovato will construct a site specific, interactive sound installation that will also serve as the focal point for a participatory sound performance.

Using “everyday electronic junk” scavenged from thrift stores and donations, Hobijn and Crovato will fashion new “sound machines” that will be controllable by the audience via smartphones. As the residency proceeds the artists will create and add more machines to an ever-growing installation in LACE’s main gallery space. In the final phase of the residency they will re-locate the installation to the storefront space and set it up so that LACE visitors and the general public can conduct the “orchestra” via their mobile phone both inside and outside from the Walk of Fame.


Since its inception in 2000, Staalplaat Soundsystem has started creating a multitude of “machine installations” using all manner of consumer electronics, such as a dozen floor polishers (Sweet Sissy and the Ballroom Hiss), and Avantilator, a composition for one hundred electric office fans. At the heart of this work is a low-tech philosophy: to make installations appear simple, revealing rather than concealing how they are made.

Artists participating in the LACE residency include Staalplaat Soundsystem founder Geert-Jan Hobijn and Carlo Crovato. Staalplaat Soundsystem has been showing works at several international festivals, museums, galleries and events like Avanto (Helsinki), Sonar (Barcelona), 798 South Gate space (Beijing), DEAF (Rotterdam), Transmediale (Berlin), DOM (Moscow), Ars Electronica (Linz), Todaysart (Den Haag), MOCA Taipei, Museeum Weserburg (Bremen), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Steirischer Herbst ( Graz), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Khoj International Artists (New Dehli), and Auditorium (Rome).

For more information on Staalplaat Soundsystem, visit

This project is supported, in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services (New York), in partnership with the Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities (SICA); Music Center, the Netherlands; Netherlands Theatre Institute; and the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts. Additional funds have been provided by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Mondriaan Fund.

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