The Machine the Sneetches Built

The Machine the Sneetches Built is a collaborative project between Arizona-based visual artist Bobby Zokaites and Kansas City Mo.-based composer John Chittum. The partnership originated through the opportunity to participate in ArtSounds 2012-2013. ArtSounds is a cross-media exploration of creative concert-making by composers, performers, and visual artists initiated by faculty from the Kansas City Art Institute and University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

Without ever meeting each other in person, the two artists conceived an interactive music-making experience influenced by one another’s personal practices. The Machine the Sneetches Built, inspired by Dr. Seuss, explores ideas of playfulness, whimsy, kinetics, and audience participation. The Machine the Sneetches Built is a twenty-foot long mechanized drum with electronic synthesizers that work in conjunction to cerate a chaotic soundscape. The audience is invited to see, hear, and play with the installation of physical and electronic sound-producing elements, which blurs the line between artist, performer, and viewer. Debuted at the Charlotte Street Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, MO, The Machine the Sneetches Built continues to travel to new audiences, igniting conversation about how we perceive music composition, highlighting the importance of audience participation, and pushing the boundaries of traditional object-making.