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Toccata for ultra-conservative book organ

Andrea RealiJune 11th, 2012

In an article on the New York Times Nick Bilton report us an impressive sentence pronounced by Paola Antonelli, senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art.  She said: “The two most important introductions for art  in the past 20 years have been the Arduino and Processing”.

Not all art projects we come across have precisely the characteristics of avant-garde art, but many are able to attract our attention and at least snatch us a smile.

That’s the case of  “Crush Limbaugh”.


The ultra-conservative book organ includes the autobiography of Sarah Palin, a thriller by Glenn Beck, the memoirs of Dan Quayle and a book-length rant by Rush Limbaugh, each repurposed into electronic triggers hooked up to a central Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino is programmed with a music-generating algorithm, and each hit of a book triggers a single note, or some other type of instruction within the program. Toccata for ultra-conservative book organ (“Crush Limbaugh”) is the name of both the program which generates the music and the interactive, semi-improvisational performance on this instrument.

The performers are Sangbong Nam, Charles Peck, and Benjamin Martinson.