MOS (Mountain Operated Synth), produced for the IBP by Michael Candy, Pia van Gelder and Andreas Siagian, 2014

Instrument Builders Project is a forum for experimental work – at the intersection of contemporary art, sound and music, and performance – engaging artists from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Each IBP culminates in new and experimental works in the form of ‘instruments’.

For IBP, artists invent, build, present and perform using invented ‘instruments’ that mix traditional and contemporary forms including sound sculpture, installation, improvisation and performance. IBP centres on a shared residency model, with an accessible open studio / workshop, plus talks and performances punctuated by periods of creative free time.

The project was initiated in 2013 by Kristi Monfries (Volcanic Winds) and Joel Stern (OtherFilm, Liquid Architecture).

IBP1 was held at iCAN, Yogyakarta in July 2013 and featured Rod Cooper, Dylan Martorell, Pia Van Gelder and Michael Candy (Australia) alongside Wukir Suryadi, Asep Nata, Ardi Gunawan and Andreas Siagian (Indonesia).

IBP2 took place at iCAN, Yogyakarta in April 2014 and featured Jompet Kuswidananto, Wukir Suryadi, Bagus Pandega and Mas Bowo (Indonesia) alongside Dale Gorfinkel, Tintin Wulia, Peter Blamey and Caitlin Franzmann (Australia).

In November 2014, at the invitation of Director Tony Elwood, IBP3 took place at The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and featured artists and works from across the first two projects with a number of new pieces added.

In 2015 a commemorative publication was produced, with support from the Australia Indonesia Institute, with commissioned essays and artist pages covering the highlights of the program.

In 2018, IBP will be hosted by Kyoto Art Centre a an open studio with 9 artists (Australia, Indonesia, Japan) occupying KAC studios for 3 weeks – researching, experimenting, conceptualising, building through multiple collaborations and micro-projects. The program includes fieldwork, workshops, concerts, talks and exhibitions throughout the residency period.

The creative outcomes for Instrument Builders Project Japan at Kyoto Art Centre are manifold and consolidate the artistic merit of each methodology: in an exhibition context as sound installation works; in a performance context as unique sonic / musical works and compositions for newly invented instruments; and in a production context as they creation of new ‘sonic objects’ that may be incorporated into other works in the future.



Kristi Monfries & Joel Stern


Host Organisations

iCan (Indonesian Contemporary Art Network)


National Gallery of Victoria

Kyoto Art Centre