Artist Pedro Reyes is waging a war on weapons, transforming guns into musical instruments and constructing a fully mechanized orchestra. In collaboration with Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City, and in concert with an electronic music producer and other musicians, he built eight fully functional new “instruments”.
Using rifles, pistols, and shotguns seized from drug cartels by the Mexican army, the team built devices that are computer-controlled. Each can be programmed to play music individually or as a larger ensemble.
Jumping off from a prior project where he turned 1,000 guns into shovels, Reyes re-purposes these lethal artifacts into media for making beautiful sound.
He demonstrates that, as with money and power, technology is neither good nor bad. It all depends on how it’s used.
Photographs of the re-purposed objects are circulating the world’s museums in an exhibition titled Disarm, which debuted at London’s Lisson Gallery earlier this year. Several of the Disarm instruments are currently on display at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art.
Learn more about how Reyes “transforms negative instincts into creative instincts” in the documentary clip below. It’s well worth a watch to see (and hear) the instruments in use.
Images from Colossal