Sedulur Gamelan/Gamelan Sisters

Sedulur Gamelan/Gamelan Sisters

Sedulur Gamelan (Gamelan Sisters) consists of two interlocking wooden structures that reconfigure elements of traditional Javanese architecture through the De Stijl philosophical principles of neoplasticism to create an abstraction of an 18th century double grand piano.

These two cases house 56 traditional Gamelan instruments from Yogyakarta that have been automated to function as a self-governing electro-mechanical orchestra, performing musical transcriptions of drawings by American artist Robert Smithson.

The work examines parallels and intersections between ancient Javanese mystical systems, the musical structures that traditionally articulated these, and the derivations and misconstruals of colonial European & post-colonial American visitors.

Visitors can select works to be performed by pressing the gilded triangles on the hexagonal console, which references Smithson’s 1968 sculpture Gyrostasis.