iii commissioned a new work from Hugo Morales Murguia and Nemø ensemble, ‘Automatic Means of Human Labour’ in which the musicians and their bodies become a metaphor for the massive production of automated processes by means of different kinds of machines, ranging from simple mechanical utensils to complex digital devices.
Repetitive tasks and seemingly futile actions create intricate rhythms and mechanical patterns in which physical endurance and absurdity reflect upon the conditions of human labour and the possible future of unemployment spurred by technology.
Boundaries and human physical limitations are inspirations for the conceptual apparatus of the music production. The music dives into the capacities of the human body as a means of controlling sound by reiterative mechanical movements and its constant interaction with different kinds of technology. The two performers generate sound by manipulating a collection of daily-life objects employing numerous physical sound-transforming techniques, sometimes trying (and mostly failing) to replicate the functions of electro-mechanical devices and sometimes using these objects as prosthetic extensions of their own bodies to manipulate sound.
Hugo Morales Murguia and Nemø ensemble will develop ‘Automatic Means of Human Labour’ at iii workspace throughout 2022.
By Hugo Morales Murguia
Co-production: Nemø ensemble