- Part of...Chelpa Ferro: Jungle Jam
- Gallery 1
Jungle Jam uses motors and plastic bags to create a cacophony of sound, echoing the rhythms and the tunes of Liverpool streets. A specially tailored rhythmical composition is 'played' by the bags. The piece inverts the process through which musicians appear in the commercial context of Liverpool's streets and brings commercial detritus into the gallery. Chelpa Ferro conceive their sound pieces as experiments that will develop and evolve beyond the authors, becoming machines with an art life of their own. The artists invent and build soundcreating devices that include non-musical objects chosen for the randomness they will contribute to the final composition. In Jungle Jam every turn of a bag will create different sounds depending on the exact order of its creases at any given instant; this makes the piece unique to each individual visitor.
The new sound machine invented by these instrument hackers explores the representation and physical presence of music as well as its dynamics through space, one of Chelpa Ferro's investigation lines. They adopt banal, everyday objects to re-define their functionality and draw the audience's attention to new and unexplored features in the object - i.e. the musical qualities of bags 'sampled' to create an unexpected sound environment. With roots in traditional Brazilian rhythms, Chelpa Ferro's practice builds on early experiments of the 50's - e.g. Hermeto Pascoal ('the sorcerer') - that developed into characteristic Brazilian Jazz of the 60's & 70's - Airto Moreira (Sambrasa Trio) - and other similar experimenters of Dadaist nature. They are in direct musical and conceptual line with the Tropicalismo movement, born out of the extreme modernisation of Brazil at the end of the 60's.
Chelpa Ferro was founded in 1995 by visual artists Barrão and Luiz Zerbini and video editor Sergio Mekler. Chelpa Ferro's work has been shown at international festivals (Venice Biennale 05; Videobrasil 05; Sao Paulo Biennial 02 and 04; Havana Biennial 03), they have had major solo exhibitions across Brasil (HUM 03), contributed to film and stage productions (Deborah Colker 2002) and have received awards such as the 4th MTV Video Music Brazil prize. Jungle Jam is their first major commission in the UK.