Randomly selected, acoustically usable finds (electronic junk, relays, plastic toys,compressed air valves, pneumatically operated components) are combined with cables and tubes. Via a device controlled by computer, they are turned into interactive instruments. An improvised ensemble evolves, from which – per mouse-over and mouse-click -short miniature compositions of dense rhythmic clicks, hisses, whirs, hums and crackles can be elicited. A tapestry of sound bursts forth from the floral-like web of cables and tubes. The installation can be used by the projected mouse-cursor: rolling over the improvised instruments causes small sound events. Activating the installation by rolling over its parts enables the user to play spontaneous improvisations. Clicking these objects starts short programs of loop-like compositions. Small “techno-compositions en miniature”, rhythmic patterns of analog (or real) sounds; a physical low-tech simulation of electronic, digital music, perhaps an ironic comment on interactivity.
“Soundform No.1” is a minimalistic soundscape and kinetic art installation that transforms heat energy into a poetically evolving, spatiotemporal composition. All the sound in this installation is created thermo acoustically by activating heating elements inside quartz glass tubes hung in the space. As the glass warms, a nickel-titanium spring reacts instantly, pulling the cylinder upright. At the correct angle, airflow becomes unrestricted, and a thermo acoustic phenomenon, known as a Rijke effect (named for the professor who discovered the phenomenon in 1859), creates an audible tone.
Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer Eide
Vertical Studies: Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections; Water Tower Sint Jansklooster In their new collaborative work, Vertical Studies: Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections, Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer invite participants on a journey to a 46-metre-high abandoned water tower in Sint Jansklooster. The tower has been re-imagined as a vertical field-lab where Lidén and Sommer discuss their ongoing research into connections between sound, history, wind and weather. To this end they have constructed a range of special instruments to record and playback sounds in the vertical dimension. The participants on this journey will experience live outdoor vertical studies and a vertical soundscape shaped by Eide and Lidén that ascends the tower’s spiral staircase.
A long piece of rope generates 3D waves floating in space by the physical action of its movement: the rope which creates the visual waves also simultaneously creates the sound by cutting through the air, making up a single element. The installation is affected by those who watch it. When the audience moves around it they influence the movements of the rope, generating visual and acoustic sound waves from harmonic patterns to complex ones.
Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon
It Only Happens All of the Time
Constructed by Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon within San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) new exhibition series Control: Technology in Culture, It Only Happens All of the Time is an installation that shapes sound, movement, and perception. Architectural in ambition, the installation tasks visitors with exploring a room lined with a droning 11.1.4 surround sound system and custom sound-dampening acoustic panels in order to foreground what the artist describes as the “the exchange between moving within the sound, moving within the sculpture, moving with someone else” and yielding an “intimacy” in the process. Borrowing the materials and geometries of the acoustic panels used in anechoic chambers and acoustic testing labs, Gordon’s immersive sonic environment deploys clinical sound design to engender exploration and interaction.Positioned in the centre of Gordon’s space is “Love Seat”, a pair of adjoined enclosures where visitors can sit and listen. While sharing a common sightline—but physically separated—listeners can enjoy a moment together, each within (relative) acoustic isolation. In the essay accompanying the exhibition, Control: Technology in Culture curator Ceci Moss succinctly describes Gordon’s approach as “sound modulating mood” to “both commune and command” those entering the space.As would be expected, Gordon went to great lengths to sculpt the acoustics within It Only Happens All of the Time and the exhibition saw her working closely with specialists at Meyer Sound Laboratories. She touches on her process briefly in the video below and the Creator’s Project post on the project is worth delving into, as it provides some worthwhile ‘making of’ details as well as comments from collaborators Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly) and Zackery Belanger.
DILLER + SCOFIDIO
The Blur Building (an architecture of atmosphere)
The Blur Building is a media pavilion for Swiss EXPO 2002 at the base of Lake Neuchatel in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.From piles in the water, a tensegrity system of rectilinear struts and diagonal rods cantilevers out over the lake. Ramps and walkways weave through the tensegrity system, some of them providing a counterweight for the structure. The form is based on the work of Buckminster Fuller.The pavilion is made of filtered lake water shot as a fine mist through 13,000 fog nozzles creating an artificial cloud that measures 300 feet wide by 200 feet deep by 65 feet high. A built-in weather station controls fog output in response to shifting climatic conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind direction, and wind speed.The public can approach Blur via a ramped bridge. The 400 foot long ramp deposits visitors at the center of the fog mass onto a large open-air platform where movement is unregulated. Visual and acoustical references are erased along the journey toward the fog leaving only an optical “white-out” and the “white-noise” of pulsing water nozzles. Prior to entering the cloud, each visitor responds to a questionnaire/character profile and receives a “braincoat” (smart raincoat). The coat is used as protection from the wet environment and storage of the personality data for communication with the cloud’s computer network. Using tracking and location technologies, each visitor’s position can be identified and their character profiles compared to any other visitor.In the Glass Box, a space surrounded by glass on six sides, visitors experience a “sense of physical suspension only heightened by an occasional opening in the fog.” As visitors pass one another, their coats compare profiles and change color indicating the degree of attraction or repulsion, much like an involuntary blush – red for affinity, green for antipathy. The system allows interaction among 400 visitors at any time.Visitors can climb another level to the Angel Bar at the summit. The final ascent resembles the sensation of flight as one pierces through the cloud layer to the open sky. Here, visitors relax, take in the view, and choose from a large selection of commercial waters, municipal waters from world capitals, and glacial waters. At night, the fog will function as a dynamic and thick video screen.