This is the 2nd installation in the [syn]aesthetics series of Investigations of Digitally Augmented Space
The installation is based on synaesthesia, the neurologically-based phenomenon where stimulation in one sensory leads to experiences in another sensory. A common experience is to see sound. Another theme is proprioception, the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body. I have been fortunate to collaborate with the Norwegian composer of contemporary music Arne Nordheim, and the project is also based on the electro acoustic sounds that he worked with in Warsaw in the 60’s.
These two first structures have a reference to blinds. They are hovering in front of the windows, and their movement creates the shadow patterns on the floor and walls. Their movement is controlled by the sound analysis data, and is a translated visualization of the sound.
The data controls the elements in the structures as a field force, and rotates them to create the variety of openness. The digital light source represents the sun coming in through the windows, and the structures hides and opens for the light, and creates the shadows.
This is the last structure I showed at the exhibition. I just had to have a “blob”. With this structure I push the limit of mass of the digital content in the scene. The room gets filled with this one, and at times I find it too much. But this is also the nice part of it, that it is a larger convex object that you can walk in and around.
[syn]aesthetics_08 is an installation that uses the technologys Augmented Reality and spatsialized sound.
It is situated in the AHO Gallery in Oslo. Half the room has been sectioned off with a wall, and all the windows and walls have been covered with paper, printed with circle shaped markers. These markers are the basis for the tracking system necessary for the positioning and orientation of the user. This area is about 50 m2.
The installation is viewed through a custom built portable monitor, with a built in camera and an attached stereo headset. The content that the user sees and hears is also transmitted to a similar setup on the outside of the room, so that other people can follow and discuss the users experience.
The digital structures are designed and animated based on Arne Nordheim’s sounds and conversations with him. They are not an attempt to copy or explain synaesthesia, but an artistic interpretation of the sounds. They are not representations of potential physical objects, but realized digital structures placed in these physical surroundings. They are experienced in the physical room through the monitor or “window” and is a new layer of architecture in the physical room. The structures move and change relating to the changes in the properties in the sounds. The sounds have been digitally analyzed, and the values of the different properties are linked to different parameters of the structures to visualize different qualities of the sound.
With this installation I am investigating the relation between the physical and the digital. The experience of a space defined by both physical and digital elements. I am proposing a new layer in architecture, an addition. A digital layer as a new architectural expression. This layer augments the physical environment, and the experience of the space. Since this layer is realized digitally, it can and should strive towards potentials and qualities in the digital, such as fluidity, nonmateriality and interaction.
I would like to thank:
Arne Nordheim for the permission to use his sounds, and for the inspiring conversations.
Hirotake Ishii for the use of his tracking system, his programming and the fruitful collaboration.
Henrik Sundt for the sound analyses.
Colleagues, students and family for support and help.