16000 Watts

16000 Watts is an Industrial Music Orchestra composed of 7 prepared vacuum cleaners. Each vacuum is modified non-desctructively using tape, pieces of paper and plastic in an attempt to help the vacuum find its own voice.

The rough image of a vacuum cleaner as well its sound are both ubiquitous; most everyone has seen and heard a vacuum cleaner, and by a good estimate, probably has used one as well.

Vacuum cleaners are tools that embody frivolous design; a purpose built device -that is used no more than 15 minutes at a time in a non-commercial setting- which could easily be standardized and mass produced to spec with easily replaceable parts, is instead produced in a dizzying array of colors, shapes and dust bag mounting systems. The vacuum cleaner is a victim of the consumerist desire of owning tools that represent the user.

In reality, inside their plastic shell most vacuum cleaners are the same product, working with a now almost decade old principle. The only minute difference being the propeller and diffuse shapes to avoid copyright infringement in an infinite race to produce alike vacuum cleaners.

With 16000 Watts the audience is presented with an orchestra of alive vacuum cleaners, turning on and off (or singing for lack of a better term) seemingly at their own volition.

At the vernissage of the exhibition the vacuums "rehearse" an etude conducted by G. Atabek. The piece is recorded as a MIDI file and then cut-up into fragments which are then re-arranged stochastically into multiple 15-minute long intermezzos.



Presented during Open Oscillator 2022 at Tolhuis Tuin, Amsterdam.