[ISEA2013] Artist Statement: Lucas Abela – Temple of Din

Artist  Statement

ISEA2013 presents Lucas Abela’s Temple of Din, an audio arcade where sound generation – not scoring – are the games’ main objective; featuring: Balls for Cathulu (2013), a pentagram shaped pinball game emblazoned with fluorescent graphics by the Rev Kriss Hades depicting the lord of the deep ones. A multiplayer pinball game with five players stationed at each of the stars five points. The outer triangular walls of the star are made from ten guitars with their fret boards facing inward into the playfield, while in the central pentagon ten pop bumpers are connected to a drum machine. These are all connected to various audio effects triggered by targets positioned throughout the game. So when the balls bounce off the strings distorted open tunings are produced while the pop bumpers accompany the din with a chaotic drum solo.Pinball Pianola (2012). A Frankenstein experiment, combining the greatest musical invention of all time, the Piano; with the coolest amusement machines ever conceived; Pinball, to create an interactive sound installation like no other; ‘Pinball Pianola’ a musical device constructed by replacing the keyboard, hammers and front panelling of an upright piano, with a pinball cabinet butted up perpendicular against its exposed strings. Embracing high and low culture this instrument allows virtuosos and wizards alike to pit their skills in a game where musical compositions are created as metallic balls jettisoned into the game clash with the pianos resonating wires to make what Wired magazine called “terrible, beautiful music”.

All machines devised and constructed by Lucas Abela. Audio effects: Hirofumi Uchino.  Additional electronic engineering: Danial Stocks. Pinball Pianola playfield art and decals: Keg de Souza allthumbspress.net. Balls for Cthulhu playfield art: Rev. Kriss Hades

  • Initially classed as a turntablist, Lucas Abela’s work rarely resembled anything in the field. Early feats saw him stab vinyl with Kruger-style stylus gloves, perform death-defying duet duels with amplified samurai swords, and be hospitalised by high-powered turntables constructed from sewing machine motors. Over the years his turntablist roots have became almost unrecognisable, evolving into his infamous glass show, performed countless times in over 45 countries. Redefining the expression ‘don’t try this at home’, he extracts the most extraordinary sounds from shards of broken glass. Now after a long performance career his ideas have crossed over into sound installation with works like The Vinyl Rally (RC cars raced on vinyl), Mix Tape (accessible audio tape) and Pinball Pianola (a pinball/piano hybrid) that highlight his desire to create interactive installations for musical play.  dualplover.com/abela

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.