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Spatial Soundsculpture (2010)

In collaboration with Christopher Warnow

The piece is inspired by VR-sculptures, though technically and conceptionally transcending the helmet-like “90ies data-glasses”. The basic thought is to re-organise the relationship between “the viewer and the viewed” whose traditional functions are expanded technologically; the starting point however remains set in “real space”.

A portable screen is used to visualise the soundsculpture; a camera attached to the screen collects information of the space surrounding it from markers distributed on adjacent surfaces. The screen becomes a transmitter superimposing a digital layer – the sculpture – onto “real space” (the unmanipulated space that greets the naked eye). The process allows the viewer to abandon the passive position of the “merely on-looking” consumer; he is enabled to visually and acoustically intervene with the sculpture, to model and module it. His changing positions and movements affect the visualisations on the screen, rendering an “extended reality” accessible. The sculpture generated is individually linked to each observer and thus singular.

The traditionally static and inactive viewer position is replaced by a mobile, navigating and active observer position. The one-way reactive relationship between sender and receiver is abandoned through a feedback channel to the moving image. The sound sculpture interprets a composition by Rutger Zuydervelt, that, parallel to the visual sculpture spreads spatially around the viewer through four loudspeakers. Employing FFT data the generated sculpture changes depending on the position of the user which is calculated by spatially distributed AR-markers. As it is Algorithm-based the sculpture is non-haptic – it is a generated but manipulable projection. Nonetheless the starting point remains set in “real space”: the technology does not attempt to conquer reality through VR, but rather seeks intersection points with the real-space context of the observer. The Laszló Moholy Nagy quote “Colour becomes light, mechanic turns into sculpture” resonates in this work, only here one might rephrase “Colour becomes thought, mechanic turns into narration”.

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