Listen to Austin 360 Radio

You Gotta See This

A 1910 phonograph is disassembled, then strung together

Michael Barnes
John Peralta's "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland" can be seen at Wally Workman Gallery. [Contributed]

You Gotta See This is a series recommending art around Austin that you just shouldn’t miss.

“Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland”

Artist: John Peralta

Group: Wally Workman Gallery

Location: 1202 W. Sixth St.

Information:, 512-472-7428

Some people take things apart. Others put them together. Then there are those who make rarified art by doing both.

Artist John Peralta disassembles things like vintage typewriters, toys, sewing machines and silent film projectors. He then suspends the parts from fluorocarbon monofilament, often within lighted boxes. His objects appear to harken back — with a romantic eye — to an earlier industrial era, but he also performs similar slights of hand with information age products.

For “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” which can be viewed at Wally Workman Gallery on West Sixth Street, Peralta hangs the guts of an Edison Standard Phonograph, dated from around 1910, within a defining metal ring. In doing so, he brings attention to the fine workmanship of the wood casing and the refined design of the metal working parts, waiting like some sort of mechanized marionette to come to life.

One could spend a good deal of time imagining how all this worked together to produce beautiful sounds, but suffice it to say that Peralta has created something entirely new from what someone else might have dismissed as a mere decorative antique.


UT’s twister of a canoe sculpture

Ellsworth Kelly crowns Austin with an artistic jewel

Art lovers drawn to new giant indoor mural at the University of Texas

A trippy 'hypercollage' submerges views in a watery world