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The Überorgan by Tim Hawkinson

on display at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – Mass MoCA

Tim describes it as a giant self-playing reed organ. Located in the museum’s largest gallery, 300 feet long.

Twelve large reservoir balloons are collectors of pressurized air that is computer regulated into the reed – resonator assemblies from whence comes endless varieties of periodic low tones. The reeds are electronically controlled by a player console which acts like a player piano with a 250 ft long loop of mylar painted with dots and dashes that triggers light sensitive switches. Motion detectors, timers and various switches effect the scale, key and tone quality of the several large silver horn appendages.
Possible combinations are nearly endless resulting in sound patterns which will rarely be repeated.

Organic shapes remotely resemble the bagpipe which were originally made from sheep bladders. Constructed from cheap, disposable/recyclable materials, nylon net, carboard, plasic bottles, our woven polyethylene Poly greenhouse covering, and various mechanical components. Over 14,000 square feet of Super Poly was required to make the Überorgan.

Also……….at the Getty Center Los Angeles

“What are those bus-size balloons in the Museum Entrance Hall? They are Überorgan, a massive construction of balloons and horns by Tim Hawkinson that is making its West Coast debut at the Getty Center. “

More photos of the Überorgan: