Tim Hawkinson (b. 1960)

Uberorgan, 1985

1. Uberorgan, part 1

2. Uberorgan, part 2

recorded by Keith Fullerton Whitman

"Uberorgan" is a massive musical machine that encompasses the six rooms. The one piece of sculpture is the show. The complexity in the organization of each functional part as it relates to the whole is staggering. Like being on a large sailboat mixed with a player piano mixed with a hot air balloon. This "musical" instrument manages to be mechanically overt, where its exposed form follows function, while at the same time representational. Its organic form is molded after the interior organs of the human body. A thin net held together by hundreds of plastic clamps keep the floating forms in place. The stitching together of the white nylon fabric, inflated by massive air pumps above the high ceilings, recalls rigging on sails of a ship. The stitching is the only aspect of the installation that Hawkinson did not do himself. What a slacker. This white material, used as a skin for the giant wind instrument, could easily have made the "Uberorgan" feel like a piece of cold machinery. But ultimately it does not. The warm hues of the extension chords and the web-like binding materials imbue a vascular quality on the synthetic tissue. -- Moshun Jacker