Don’t shoot me, I’m only the player piano

The stack of paint cans and buckets in Joshua Liner’s stand at the PULSE contemporary-art fair are not particularly impressive, until the lids start moving, banging en masse in meticulously coordinated drum circle. This unlikely percussive tour de force, which the gallery variously describes as a kinetic sound installation and an “animatronic tympani,” is titled True Value (paint fukette). It’s the creation of David Ellis, who programmed a composition by Roberto Carlos Lange into the piece using electronics and elements of a player piano. On Friday the fair announced that the work won Ellis the PULSE prize, given to an emerging artist. He gets $2,500 and the opportunity to design the next limited-edition PULSE tote bag. 

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