Karaoke Cupboard – Nicholas Shackleton

Karaoke Cupboard


Mixed media.

A large cupboard for karaoke. Three exterior faces each have a 42” plasma TV that broadcasts the interior from the corresponding point of view. The last face features a doorway and a mid length curtain, for entry. The interior contains a large sound system, visualisers, mixers, fog machine, lighting, food, beverages and instru- ments. The karaoke software has been custom developed for this piece, acting as more of a sing-a-long than a traditional karaoke format. Focus has been put on quantity of music available, rather than stripping the song of lyrics for the participant to sing over. This piece again plays with ideas around the interactions between the viewer and participant. The experience of being a participant in the cupboard distracts from the themes of the piece in a wider context. The exterior is brutalist, not immediately welcoming but it invokes a sense of curiosity as to what is inside. Once inside, you are met with many distractions designed to remove the participant from the gallery setting and immerse them in karaoke.

Karaoke is a very polarising activity among society; it is intimidating to some, and an opportunity to others. Karaoke Cupboard is designed to blind the participant from the viewer, making the live performance more authentic, as if the viewer was never there. To further ease the participant into performing, the software keeps the original vocal tracks of the song, making it a sing-a-long.

Exhibited at the 2021 Cuba Dupa Arts Festival.