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Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction

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In a small warehouse gallery space in the center of Sydney a noise turntablist, Lucas Abela, stands over a stack of vinyl that is bolted to the rotary device of an industrial sewing machine. Instead of spinning the records at 33 or 45 revolutions per minute this “turntable” spins the records at up to 2,850 revolutions per minute. The stylus itself is made of a meat skewer directly connected to a guitar amplifier. Abela holds the makeshift needle against the records with difficulty; the speed of their rotation constantly whips his stylus off the vinyl discs. The sound is dominated by intense noise: loud bursts of sound join occasionally recognizable high- speed cartoon- like tunes. The force with which the needle is applied to the discs causes them to shatter at regular intervals, and as they do shards of vinyl are propelled across the room; some are fi rmly embedded in the gallery walls. In total the performance lasts around eight minutes before the combination of a completely shattered set of vinyl and a broken needle causes the end of the piece.
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