Tore Honoré Boe
Tore Honoré Boe has the last ten years produced a large number of his "acoustic laptops". These are small wooden boxes decorated with trivial little things that make sounds (paper clips, hair clips, pins, etc.). The material of the boxes act as a resonators, and the sound is amplified using one or more contact microphones. The public is invited to play on them by poking, rubbing, knocking and pulling the various small objects in the boxes.
Bøe also plays concerts with these laptops, and through his ongoing workshops and inviting attitude, the concept has spread to various many different fields. Everybody, spanning from nursery children to noise musicians have built their own acoustic laptops with Tore's blessing. It is a living concept that is constantly evolving, partly outside his control. The boxes can be viewed as found objects or collages, known from Dada and Fluxus tradition, but equally important references are David Tudors' Tudor boxes and Michel Waisviszs' Kraakdoos (Cracklebox), which continues through today's circuit bending and D.I.Y. instrument art. The relationship between sound and the visual receives a certain value, with collage and found objects as a common reference. Both in music and the visual arts, the use of found objects has such a long tradition and thus serves as a backdrop in the reading of Bøe's work.
The boxes' D.I.Y. aesthetics means the threshold for interacting is low, and although some things in the boxes would fall off and be glued on again, it is not detrimental to the experience or for laptop's own life. The acoustic laptops create a direct, tactile encounter with the audience and open up new social spaces when they are exhibited. Spontaneous performances and audience interactions suddenly occur, encouraging non-verbal communication. The sounds are fascinating, not only in themselves but also as audio microscopes. Notable objects are given new meaning by virtue of their inherent sounds we usually do not hear. A series of hairpins becomes kalimba, a long thin spring becomes thunder, a needle a bass, and so on.