Sound Machines: Kagel's Zwei Mann Orchester




Mauricio Kagel, Zwei Mann Orchester, installation shot. Photo courtesy of Bowerbird.


Sketches for Mauricio Kagel's Zwei Mann Orchester. Photo courtesy of Bowerbird.


Mauricio Kagel, Zwei Mann Orchester, installation shot. Photo courtesy of Bowerbird.

Bowerbird’s Sound Machines will explore the interplay between sound and object, performance and sculpture, and the changing experience of sound in an age of digital reproduction. The centerpiece of the project will be an artist-activated, large-scale sound sculpture, Zwei Mann Orchester (Two Man Orchestra), conceived by late German-Argentine composer, artist, and filmmaker Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008). Originally created in 1973 and never before seen in the US, Zwei Mann Orchester utilizes orchestral instruments, household items, and found objects connected through a network of levers and strings. Exhibited in the vast sanctuary space of The Rotunda, the “sound making machine” will be assembled by sculptor Scott Kip, instrument builder Neil Feather, and percussionists Andy Thierauf and Ashley Tini, with the consultation of Wilhelm Bruck—a performer and sculptor who collaborated with Kagel on the original European iterations of the work. Thierauf and Tini will activate the sculpture several times during the run of the exhibition, and—unique to the Philadelphia edition—aspects of the sculpture will be automated or interactive. An exhibition of archival material from the first three editions of Zwei Mann Orchester and a film series showcasing Kagel’s experimental films will run concurrently.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.