[Pedro Reyes] is a visual artist who lives in Mexico City. His most recent project was called ‘Disarm’ – a unique exhibit that combined dismantled weapons with sculpture and technology.
The army in Mexico seizes firearms on a regular basis and they are typically either buried or destroyed. But this time a friend working for the National Crime Prevention Commission thought to ask [Pedro] if he could use them for something. A few hundred non-functional guns later, and [Pedro] has a fully automated mechanical orchestra. The articles don’t go into much information about how it works, but it looks like solenoids are mostly utilized to actuate the various instruments. The entire setup is then controlled by a computer, but there’s not much information on the interface design.
When asked about the project, [Pedro] explained his reasoning: “The beautiful thing about ‘Disarm’ as a project is that it combines music, with sculpture, and at the same time, with technology. This is the redemption of metal that could have taken your life or mine. So they are better as musical instruments.”
Watch the 8 minute documentary on ‘Disarm’ by the Creators Project after the break. The weapon-based orchestra sounds pretty good!
This isn’t the first time he’s made something different out of firearms. Culiacán is a city in western Mexico that has one of the highest rates of gun related deaths in the country. So in 2008 he ran a project called Palas por Pistolas (Shovels for Guns), where they collected over 1500 firearms from the people of Culiacán and melted them down and then forged them into shovels to help a botanical initiative. The people trading guns in received vouchers that they could use to buy electronics or household appliances.