“I always thought this (component) had a dormant potential beyond its basic supporting role in securing the tuning keys for the piano strings,” he tells Colossal. In one of his most recent works, titled “The Third Octave,” Lasserre investigates this prospect by carving directly into the back panel of two instruments.
The resulting sculpture connects through a tangled, textured knot of octopus tentacles, of which the eight arms correspond to the eight notes of the octaves available within the keyboard. Chiseled into the bodies of both pianos—the right features a lively
Underneath one set of pedals, Lasserre slotted two books to keep pressure on the joint: On Growth and Form by D.W. Thompson and The Quadruple Object by Graham Harman He selected the texts, which detail biological and philosophical systems, respectively, for both their size and subject matter, which relate to the conceptual framework of his sculpture.
“Most subtly, the octopus dwells in a submerged depth beyond easy human access and remote from the stories we tell of it,” the artist explains. “This could equally describe that hidden volume of matter below the surface of a musical instrument that we think we know but actually holds other strange and beautiful potentials.”
“The Third Octave” also evokes his 2015 sculpture “
When I have the opportunity, I gently emphasize that working, in a contemporary sense, with reclaimed material—and revealing something enduring and eternal in that—offers an intentional counterpoint to a society preoccupied with finding answers outside what we are and what we already have (see AI, new tech., etc).
Lasserre is currently working on a large public work in Squamish, British Columbia, which you can find preliminary photos of on
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