Chicks on Speed

Alexandra Murray-Leslie (AU/ES), Melissa E. Logan (DE/US)

Chicks on Speed began to make OBJECTINSTRUMENTS (self-made post-digital musical instruments) out of necessity in 2003. The art group began with a minimal stage set up and felt there was something missing on the big stages.

It all started with the OBJECTINSTRUMENTS when Alex and Melissa performed a show with F.M. Einheit. Alex was impressed by Mufti’s custom-made metal instruments and tools – it was loud, messy and dusty. Backstage Alex asked Mufti which technical set-up he uses. After that, Melissa started experimenting with contact microphones and other materials. The experimentation of building and performing OBJECTINSTRUMENTS continued with iconic body-centric pieces like the High Heeled Shoe Guitar, E-Shoe and Theremin Tapestry.

The group now possesses an ever-expanding OBJECTINSTRUMENTS archive of around 30 works. The risk-taking involved and the experimental nature of performing with self-made musical instruments has been an integral part of the artistic development of Chicks on Speed live performances. The group isn’t interested in perfection, repeatability or virtuosity, but in exposing experimental processes live on stage, sometimes at the risk of jeopardising the perfect pop show.


Chicks on Speed’s Alexandra Murray-Leslie & Melissa E. Logan perform OBJECTINSTRUMENTS in collaboration with technologist Dr. Sam Ferguson & costumes by Nina Kraine, Julio Escudero, Department of Fashion&Technology, The University of the Art and Design Linz.

The Chicks on Speed archive of OBJECTINSTRUMENTS commissioned by:
ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Artspace, Sydney, Craft Victoria Melbourne, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Institute of Modern Art Brisbane and Milani Gallery Brisbane.

Computer Enhanced Footwear prototypes 1 & 3 by Alexandra Murray-Leslie made at Autodesk Pier 9 Technology Centre, San Francisco and Creativity and Cognition Studios, The University of Technology Sydney.

Live Video:
Tina Frank