Benoit Maubrey: Audio Ballerinas

  • ©, , Audio Ballerinas
  • ©, , Audio Ballerinas


    Audio Ballerinas

Artist(s) and People Involved:



    Music Performance

Artist Statement:

    Electronic clothes and audio uniforms

    In 1982 Benoit Maubrey started building Audio Jackets in Berlin. These electroacoustic clothes (30 watts, 12 volts) are individually equipped with amplifiers, loudspeakers and batteries that permit the wearer to use a variety of electronic instruments: their principal musical “tool” is a digital memory that works like a sampler and permits them to record, amplify and play back local sounds instantaneously. Additionally, they can plug in “Walkmans” with pre-recorded cassettes, radios, contact microphones and photo-voltaic sensors.

    In 1984 Maubrey founded DIE AUDIO GRUPPE and began creating a series of such clothes – the Audio Uniforms – which are electronic suits conceived “on site”. The material of the suits, the sounds they produce, and the choreography of the actors are chosen with a specific context in mind and are meant to subvert the daily routine of their environment. A few examples:

    – AUDIO HERD (Berlin 1985), two-piece suits of synthetic animal skin that play the recorded animal sounds while strolling through parks (see photo).
    – AUDIO STEELWORKERS (Ars Electronica 1986), uniforms borrowed from the local steel plants and equipped with electronics that play the industrial sounds of their work places.
    – GUITAR MONKEYS, a trash music band wearing electronic vests that amplify electric guitars.
    – AUDIO CYCLISTS (Festival Arts Electroniques, Rennes 1988), 10 members of a bicycle team are equipped with electro-acoustic sportswear and play a word-collage from a famous bicycle racer.


All Works by the Performer(s) in This Archive: