While Evan Holm seems to be destroying a record player in his latest installation, rest assured that Submerged Turntables is actually Holm's way of paying homage to all of the greatest musicians in history. The California-based artist constructed a forest-themed installation inside his studio, which Holm then took apart and re-installed inside SFMOMA. Consisting of tree limbs and a small expanse of water, the entire piece centers around a record player that has been immersed in water. As it turns out, Holm's records seem to play just fine even when submerged in the installation's pool. Watch the video below to see for yourself:
As a performance piece, Holm's Submerged Turntables is a metaphor for the enduring quality of music. Though the piece foreshadows a time when culture and arts cease to exist, the sound that emerges from inside the pool of water offers hope.
"There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe. The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, represents mystery and represents the collective subconscious of the human race. By placing these records underneath the dark and obscure surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss. In the end however this is an optimistic sculpture, for just after that moment of submergence; tone, melody and ultimately song is pulled back out of the pool, past the veil of the subconscious, out from under the crush of time, and back into a living and breathing realm. When I perform with this sculpture, I am honoring and celebrating all the musicians, all the artists that have helped to build our human culture," Holm's state on the project explains.
Though it's unclear how Holm was able to get his record player to play under water (perhaps he waterproofed the turntable), the mystery makes his latest installation all the more fascinating. Check out the video below to see Holm build "Submerged Turntables" inside SFMOMA: