Constructing Deconstruction - Music Box art installation

2 min read

My father was a home builder. So was my uncle and grandfather and great grandfather. My brothers and cousins carry on the tradition today. Creating a house is more than a structure… our home gives us a sense of security and safety and comfort and joy. It’s also a metaphor for our ability to be grounded and at ‘home’ within our bodies and minds.

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After remodeling my own house, I was struck with the many layers of feelings and emotions tied up in a home. This inspired Constructing Deconstruction, an installation composed of 200 music box sculptures.

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To experience the piece, people enter the house and choose any of the bricks resting on steel and magnet plates, suspended from cables between 2x4’s. The steel and bronze bricks are music boxes, each telling the story of experiences that makes a house a home, instead of just a building.

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The house installation has 4 windows. While the music boxes face inward for most of the house, they face outward within the windows.

When we are truly at home (physically or metaphorically), our experiences feel internal and authentic. Once we step outside of our house (or lose our grounding and step out of our bodies) external forces have more control.

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Each music box is made of a fabricated steel cube with a bronze, bird themed key. Turn the key, and when you open the box, music plays and the interior details tell more of the story.

As I said, each box tells a story. But every story can be perceived in multiple ways, often in opposites. So for each bronze bird, there are 2 box designs.

Title: Reject Song: “What the World Needs Now”

Title: Reject Song: “What the World Needs Now”


Title: Accept. Song: “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”

Title: Accept. Song: “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”


Take this example of Accept and Reject…

These boxes consider our innate need for self acceptance - the parts of ourselves we struggle to accept but often make us most unique and interesting. Accept and Reject reflect on how confidence often comes easiest when we reject the influence of outsiders and trust our inner voice.

You can see all20 music box designs here.

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Constructing Deconstruction pays homage to the little stories that make us a bigger force out in the world.

Together, all the small moments and experiences combine to make us who we are and provide shelter from the unknowns.

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