Repurposing existing industrial products into a static sculpture is a beast to tackle in itself, but what about creating kinetic sculptures that actually…play decent music…and have a social message behind them? Artist Pedro Reyes has done just that with his collection of eight new instruments created from repurposed firearms. Built in collaboration with several musicians and media studio Cocolab of Mexico City, Disarm aims to find a meaningful purpose in objects previously used to create destruction in various Mexican drug cartels.

Disarm: From Destruction to Creation


“It is… The redemption of this metal, that could have taken your life or mine. So, they are better as musical instruments.”
-Pedro Reyes

Seized by the Mexican army in an effort to help curb the ongoing Mexican drug trade activity, the large variety of rifles, pistols and shotguns acquired by Pedro and his team of collaborators have been carefully dismantled and used as a medium for creating new instrument designs. The final result is an orchestra that “transforms negative instincts into creative instincts“:

As a native of Mexico, Reyes has made it his personal mission to make his homeland a better place through art and design. Inspired by a trip he took to recycling plants where firearms were disassembled and turned into raw materials, Reyes saw an opportunity to literally turn ‘instruments of hate’ into ‘instruments of life’. With the help of his musically-gifted collaborators, Reyes was able to utilize music software such as Ableton Live to create an actual orchestra from the final eight instrument designs. Because the instruments are wired through software, they are capable of performing live concerts with pre-prepared musical compositions:











If you’re in the Pittsburgh area this October, be sure to check out the Disarm instruments on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art beginning October 5th, 2013. Reyes will open up the exhibition with a talk on October 1st.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.