By Evan Ackerman
This tubey balloon monster that’s taken over the atrium of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a sculpture/industrial waste depository/musical instrument designed by artist Tim Hawkinson. Called Ãœberorgan, it’s air powered and can play hymns and pop music. At least, that’s what the description says it plays, but I can’t for the life of me discern any actual melodies coming out of the thing:
The Ãœberorgan uses an array of photosensors to read dashes of black paint as they move past on a 250 foot long roll of laminated paper. Each dash activates a valve, channeling pressurized air through a sort of trumpet thing, which sounds until the dash ends (much like a player piano). Although it definitely doesn’t sound any less, um, atonal in person, it’s quite impressive to see. The Getty is free and there’s a bunch of other, you know, arty stuff in there, so check it out if you’re in the LA area. The Ãœberorgan will be on display until September 9.