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Mechanized orchestra created from decommissioned guns by Pedro Reyes.

The artist Pedro Reyes's understanding of guns is such that with them, he can make music!

He acquires guns that were seized from drug cartels by the Mexican army before he modifies and reconfigures them to create musical instruments. The eight new instruments featured here, add to his growing mechanised orchestra.

The project known as “Disarm” is a collaboration with several musicians and Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City.

Shotguns, rifles and pistols are some of the weapons that make up the instruments. Each instrument is controlled by computer and can be preprogrammed to play music. The machines are actually beautiful in their mechanical and visual complexity, but it is sobering to think that many of the guns from which they are composed, would have killed people. In that respect they embody tremendous negativity.

But the real beauty of the work is that when an instrument that once emitted bullets emits music, that negative energy is somehow defused or inverted, becoming positive and inspiring.

The work had its first airing at the Lisson Gallery in London earlier in the year. Some of the instruments will be showing at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh from October 5.

Watch the video and hear some music.

Christopher C. Hill.


Gratitude to This is colossal.

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