Friday 6th May saw the Launch of the Digital Factory, an exhibition of digital artworks in response to the Andy Warhol: Artist Rooms exhibition currently in Firstsite’s main gallery. To celebrate the event I was asked to organise an activity to run throughout the evening, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to combine my love of MakeyMakey with Warhol’s favourite fruit – the banana!

Amongst other things, Warhol was famous for making cover art for a variety of artists. This sound board allows you to create new music from that which he created artwork for. On the right are four bananas controlling different backing tracks, instrumental 8 bar sections that loop – the bananas simply start and stop these. On the left are six bananas triggering short samples, these are setup as one-shot samples meaning when you trigger the sample it plays in full – allowing for some hilarious re-triggering overlays. Using free software Soundplant I could allow people to overlay different backing tracks, and a variable which slightly re-pitched the one-shot samples each time they were triggered.

I’ve since convereted this very physical installation into an online Scratch game – play it below. Click the soup cans to start and stop the loops, then click the bananas to trigger the one-shot samples.

The samples used in the piece are:

  • Andy Warhol by David Bowie
  • I Knew You Were Waiting by Aretha Franklin
  • Brown Sugar by Rolling Stones
  • I’m Waiting For My Man by The Velvet Underground and Nico,
  • Happier by Paul Anka
  • The Philosopher by John Cale.

Warhol Piano


Firstsite, Colchester


Interactive Installation