The Factory Instrument – Concept Overview

Shot N° 10314
De Stroopfabriek

Hey Fellow Students,

So, an overview of my ideas an toughts about “De Stroopfabriek”. Although I think i did a good job sufficiently ventilating all of them in the last class, I’ll recap on them here.

Rust & Dirt!
(Two of my personal favourites)
A shiny new beautiful building, to me, is less beautiful (or maybe interesting is a better word) then the old worn-out “Stroopfabriek” we saw. The reason is that all this dirt and rust is the leftover from a history, a past, a story. So as soon as I found out that the Stroopfabriek would be transformed into a “Fruit Experience Center” I felt the need to preserve some of that old, worn-outness, and find a way to expres the history contained in it.

Machines & Noise!
I’m definately a fan of all the stuff we wrote on our Machines-brainstorm-page.
There seemed to be a lot of good, interconnected stuff on it.
I especially liked the whole Machines=Soul=Organs=Connection=Sound line of thinking we came up with. This is basically very close to my personal idea that was floating in my head since I first set foot in the Stroopfabriek: to make a giant musical instrument out of the Stroopfabriek.

This could made possible with an Arduino prototype board, controlling a load of Relays that trigger a bunch of Solenoids. This basically enables us to hit all the machine parts, building a giant drum kit out of them.

Check the video for an idea of what’s possible – then imagine these solenoids hitting big kettles!
[Edit] I added Olmo’s Youtube underneath the original video too…

Does this tell a story?
I’ll be ahead of my teachers: is making noise really a concept to tell a story? I’m convinced it is, you could call it an industrial version of Sergei Prokofiev‘s “Peter and The Wolf“. It’s an interesting way to look at storytelling, a different angle. And the connection between the old factory, the machines that will preserved and the invisible history made hearable by this kind of installation seems like a very natural match. Also, it’s miles away from anything involving screens, text, images or projections – so the chance we end up with something original, no-one of us has ever done before is bigger.

User Input?
I’m not totally in favour of building a storytelling platform in the sense that each user should be able to enter his story into the system. I tought the “Story-Vault/Box” Rosanne showed us AND the “Now Or Ever” project that was done last year where pretty awesome. BUT, If we build something that has the same purpose (collecting stories), we will be basically building the same thing, or at least something very similar: some sort of machine that has an interface for capturing as much media as possible. A box with a scanner, microphone, keyboard and screen in it – so to speak.

This might be a bit to rough, but I’m more in favour of finding out “the big storyline“, and then telling those in a new, exciting way – capture the spirit, feel and soul of the factory, and make sure it still echoes trough, when the new infrastructure is in place. Something that makes people who worked there immediately think back to that time, while newcomers are made curious.

Whatever our final project turns out to be – i’m convinced that the interface should be as physical and integrated as possible. No mouse, keyboard or screen. But buttons, switches and lamps. This is ofcourse an interesting thinking excercise too – because as C-MD students, we’re pretty used to thinking whitin in the borders of our screen. Also, oldfashioned buttons and knobs are another one of my personal interests.

So: Bottom line – I’m up for telling stories, not building a system to collect them. And turning these giant factory machines into music instruments vibrating with life seems Neo-Maxi Zoomdweebie. And the interface should reflect that too.

Totally unrelated sidenote
Does anybody think that Tim Burton’s “Big Fish” might be a contestant for a myStory-Lunch-Movie? It’s not as dark as his other works, but i think it has a lot of soul in it. Might be just me tough. It’s in a whole other league than Memento – but it’s definately about stories.

So, that’s it – my personal toughts on the matter.
Leave a comment here – or any other platform to your liking – I’m looking forward to those.


3 Responses to “The Factory Instrument – Concept Overview”

  1. zerolmzero Says:

    You know I love your idea.
    Just to make sure someone sees the potential.
    The rather amazing and famous David Byrne project:



  2. Blue_Boy Says:

    That’s exactly what was the plan!
    Thanks for the video – I didn’t see it yet.

  3. Blue_Boy Says:

    Forgot to add this to my post.
    But the video Olmo posted got it back in my head.

    It would be AWESOME! to enable people to “Play in” their own stories using a keyboard.
    So – you sit down at a keyboard – check out what all the buttons do – then you enter your name – and press the big red RECORD button. And play your tune.

    So then the question is – does an old factory worker play something that is related to his story?
    Does it sound different from a kids tune.

    Like Byrne says: it’s a music instrument that nobody knows how to play yet.
    It would be S.O. cool.

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