Relaytor de Luxe

electro mecanical sound instalation

A relay is an electromechanical switch that uses an electromagnet to open or close one or many sets of contacts. Relays are used to control a high-voltage or current circuit with a low-voltage or current signal, for example when controlling a mains-powered device from a low-voltage switch. In an old elevator, for example, large amounts of power is used to run the lifting motors but we operate them - choose ours floor, open and close doors - by pressing small buttons connected to low voltage cables, behind the scenes relays are responsible for, well, relaying our requests to the larger motors.
Bastiaan Maris has collected relays for years. He collects all sizes and types, from finned Bakelite monsters (20cm x 20 cm) to small plastic blocks (3cm x 5cm); he collects mercury switches and timers. Relays are heavy, altogether his collection weighs tons. He also collects single strand electrical cable to connect them all together. 'Relaytors' is a sound installation. Each relay makes a sound as it switches, a deep 'thump' or a strong 'clack'. Using tens to hundreds of relays wired together on wooden boards of various sizes, from 1 x 2 meters to 20 x 30 cm, he creates rhythmical sound-scapes. Each relay wired to trigger another and each board to effect the next, turning on and off in choreographed sequences. The effect is stunning, rousing and mostly very loud!
The Relaytor de Luxe

wood cable relays
The Relaytor de Luxe

has been :

2005 Bienale - Prag
2003 Interzone - Berlin
2002 Spannwerk - Berlin
2001 Aktionsgalerie - Berlin
Click here for a video of the RELAYTOR in Prague