Pedro Reyes disarm: Turning weapons into instruments.


Pedro Reyes travels frequently through dangerous territories. Not only creative: push the boundaries of how we appropriate materials for use in artistic works, but also literally. Often working in notoriously dangerous places like Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the site of many gang murders and “women disappearing”, to make your homeland a better place through art. Reyes hopes to recover the tools of violence and turn them into a force for good.

Inspired by a trip to recycling It took the arms seized by the government as part of its project “Shovels for Guns”. These instruments have decided to turn from instruments of literal hatred. Now, It provide life and music, rather than murder. As part of his latest project “Disarm,” with the help of his team Reyes was reliable at using programs such as Ableton Live, MIDI, and Max MSP to turn weapons into self-playing musical instruments.



Disarm whos is the second generation of instruments, built after his 2012 project Imagine the use of the remnants of arms seized by the Mexican army of drug cartels. This series, however, was made in collaboration with a team of musicians and Cocolab, a multimedia studio in Mexico City. These new pieces can be programmed and operated by computer, making them able to perform music concerts with compositions prepared in advance.

As if that were not impressive enough, Reyes is also creative polyglot, getting involved in many settings including sculpture, music, performance and painting. Renowned for his talents in his homeland, Reyes has received international recognition as well, showing off to prestigious art galleries and high profile events such as Venice Biennale and Miami Art Basel.

Recently, we met to discuss with Reyes his work, and how his life and art has been affected by the ongoing struggles of Mexico. “That I believe the purpose of art is to find ways to transform with the most negative instincts into creative instincts … I want my work to be useful for social and psychological transformation,” says Reyes.

And the work of Reyes has been helpful Admittedly both on a creation and practice level– using the vast weapons junkyards to provide materials for his work, doing something tangible and positive out of the trash of the wars of useless drugs from Mexico.

Having witnessed first-hand the many ways in which technology has been used to provoke war, destruction and misery, Reyes is still hopeful he will acquire his redemptive qualities: “Technology is neither good nor bad, it all depends on how he uses it .. ”

Reyes demonstrates how he used a modern equipment for AIMS positives:

“It’s … The redemption of this metal, which could have taken your life or mine, so they’re better this musical instruments.”

“I think the other complicated, but amazing part of the process was to bring out the sounds of the guns.”

“It was a great experience because I surrendered the weapons did not just make rough sounds, they were able to make subtle sounds like a lullaby.”