“Vinyl Rally” (2009)
If ever you wondered what could be done with your old vinyl other than preserving it in your personal archive, have a look at the Vinyl Rally, where more than 6000 vinyl records are re-used in the construction of a car racing circuit for remote control cars outfitted with styli.
Picking up all sorts of cacophony as they race about, the cars are also equipped with cameras that transmit their trajectory on a flat screen in an arcade-like sit-in gaming console, where gamers drive the car through the circuit in real time. This immersive experience also allows gamers to modify sound parameters via a series of unique audio effects mounted onto the cars’ dashboards, giving each one its own distinct sonic flavour. The sounds picked up by the cars’ styli are emitted from speakers built into the game consoles’ seats, causing them to vibrate in correspondence with the movements on screen. This audiovisual and physical experience can only be truly appreciated when seated at the controls.
Lucas Abela has a strong taste for the obviously contradictory. In the mid-90s he started as a turntablist focused on live performance, but he very quickly dove into extremes such as deaf-defying duet duels with amplified samurai swords or high-powered turntables constructed from sewing machine motors. His thrilling, mic’ed glass instrument, which Abela plays with his mouth, uncaring of any scratches or wounds that the glass can inflict on him as it is broken, brought him wide attention and saw the artist travel around the world until he began to transform his works into interactive installations.