Artist Naomi Kashiwagi encourages people to make music using office supplies.
She describes the Stationery Orchestra as ‘an inter/cross-generational project that enables people… to tune into cranked up stationery sounds and use stationery items as sonic/ musical tools: jazz pencils, hole punching dub step, free jazz writing and doo wop doodles’.
What Kashiwagi does is amplify the sound of people using office supplies such staplers, pens and pencils, hole punchers and rulers. This draws people’s attention to the musical or ‘poetic’ qualities of the products.
It may seem unusual at first glance, but I think it’s an extension of what people have been doing for years; I’m sure we’ve all flicked rulers against desks at school, listening to the pitch change. Perhaps the only thing that’s changed is our willingness to use office supplies as potential instruments.
Although the Stationery Orchestra appears to be an artistic and social project for Kashiwagi, I imagine the concept could be extended into the realm of corporate art. For years big companies have bought art pieces or sponsored exhibitions as brand-building exercises.
To me, Kashiwagi’s work suggests that corporate art needn’t be beyond the reach of small businesses, just that the nature of the art should change.
Instead of buying art which might be beyond their budget, perhaps SMEs could pair up with local artists or the community to create something together. It’s good for both parties – for businesses to build their brand and for the community to understand that local SMEs care.
Read more about Kashiwagi’s work here