Lucas Abela, 'Mix Tape'

· Friday June 17, 2011

One thing I love about Lucas Abela's art is it never feels like “Art”. The things he makes and the way he displays them seem more about a brainy, hyperactive builder bloke out for fun rather than an art student bent on proving his grasp of history, theory, and a self-conscious servitude to both.

Mix Tape is another ingenious installation. For the opening, balloons were filled with helium and tied to cassette tape strands. Theses strands trailed off through various tape players on podium around the room. If my explanation's lost you, have a look at this video.

What works on another level, in a strange way, is going to see the exhibit more than two weeks after it opened. The soggy balloons lay piled in the center of the room, a tangle of tape splayed out like seaweed. It looks like a heap on the floor the morning after a big bash (which is exactly what it is).

Despite the balloons demise, the cassette tapes (a curation of contributions from sound artists the world over) still work. Go with some friends, and you can all have a go, hand feeding the reels through the machines. And make sure to check out the concurrent video installation by Pia Van Gelder,  which is equally effective and mesmerizing as a strobed, remixed, ever evolving A/V environ.