GeertJan Hobjin – Practitioner in Residence – Plastic Souls


Geert-Jan Hobjin, from the Staalplaat Sound System, is a longstanding partner of Time’s Up. Previous cooperations include among others him curating the line up for “Staalplaat’s Sound of Music” during Safe Harbours in 1998, or Staalplaat being the producer and distributor of our Anchortronic DVD. In 2007, we worked together during our one month residency in Berlin, at the medien/kunst/labor tesla

It is a pleasure for us, that Geert-Jan this time stays with us, to develop one of his current sound art projects – Plastic Souls. He arrived on the 22nd of August – and he will be with us until the experiment is successfully implemented!

The core idea of Plastic Souls is the sonification of the plastic waste that floats in the water and is washed upon the beaches. Staalplaat Sound System constructed a series floating musical instruments which are entirely made of these ‘adapted’ plastic waste. The objects are placed in the sea and the waves act as the musicians of the instrument, pumping air through the flutes and organ pipes. Thus playing music composed by nature.

“The work touches on some issues that are of global importance, in addition it is very poetic to observe how it moves on the waves and plays; it has soul” says GeertJan.

In our labs he develops a new prototype, a new model that works in a river environment. Meaning harvesting the energy of the current instead of that from the waves. The idea is to build a star shaped vertical axe turbine, that will spin/rotate in the river that way it can play flutes of made of the plastic river waste.

“The prototype is made of material that I found at Time’s Up, a wrecked parasol for example – reused and transformed into a floating turbine and found plastic containers to make it spin and to make the flutes. It’s taking shape but yet not ready for working….”

We are looking forward to some first experiments in the Danube on Monday!

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