Carsten Nicolai is known for his works of contemporary art based on physical and living phenomena, and also enjoys a worldwide reputation as a sound artist under his "alva noto" moniker. This exhibition, a co-production between YCAM and the New National Gallery Berlin, introduced a large-scale installation themed on a "harmony of light, sound and architectural space".
Fusing time and space in a coexistence of order and exception
Constructed from elements of video, sound and architecture based on algorithms incorporating geometric knowledge, the completed installation presented complex forms of knowledge while acting as a crystalline body interconnecting such distinct concepts as time/space and order/exception.
syn chron (Japan Premiere)
A symbiosis of light, sound and architecture
This elaborately composed large-scale installation fuses elements of sound art, video and architecture.
Installed in the exhibition space is a huge, 14m wide and 4m tall polyhedral structure covered with a special material. Images in particle form are projected onto the structure's surface, while its interior is filled with minimal sounds. The visitor can walk around and into the structure, and thus experience the instantly redefined and continuously transforming installation space from various distances and angles.
Sound and video
The sound inside the structure is a 42-minute musical composition made up of 21 parts, composed of electronic sounds distributed based on a minimal solution to the mathematical problem known as "Lusin's conjecture", which questioned whether any perfect square could be divided into a number of perfect squares of different sizes. Oscillated by exciter speakers attached to the membrane on the structure's surface, the sound seems to be coming from every inch of the structure itself.
The particle images projected onto the structure's surface are generated based on analyses of the sound's volume, frequency and phase, and are reproduced with overwhelmingly sharp textures using a special type of laser projector.
- Concept and Composition: Carsten Nicolai
Architecture: Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi
Supporting structure: Werner Sobek
Assistance: David Letellier
Sound programming: nibo
Laser sources: JENOPTIK AG
Laser programming: LaserAnimation SOLLINGER GmbH
audio technology: ELAC Electroacustic GmbH
Production: ideea Messe - und Dekorationsbau GmbH
Technical production: Rob Feigel
Production team: Carsten Koppe, Knut Kruppa
The exhibition opened with a set of special live performances by Carsten Nicolai himself as well as musicians from his "raster-noton" label.
Lecture "Sound Art Today: 1996-2006 and beyond"
This lecture introducing the defining currents and aesthetic behind sound artist Akihiro Kubota's exhibition reviewed the development of sound art after the emergence of such artists as Carsten Nicolai, Ryoji Ikeda or Oval from the viewpoint of computer-based information design, and examined on actual examples the potentials of software art, live coding and other new approaches that have come to the forefront in recent years.
Through the tours, participants discovered together with YCAM educational staff, most attractive features of the exhibition. (18 times during the event period)
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City
- the Board of Education of Yamaguchi City
- GOETHE-INSTITUT OSAKA
- Deutschland in Japan 2005/2006
- Asahi Beer Arts Foundation
Commissioned and produced by:
- Freunde Guter Musik Berlin e.V.
In collaboration with:
- Neue Nationalgalerie
- Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and MaerzMusik / Berliner Festspiele
Made possible by grants from:
- the Ernst Schering Foundation
- the Hauptstadtkulturfonds
With support from:
- JENOPTIK AG
- LaserAnimation SOLLINGER GmbH
- ELAC Electroacustic GmbH
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]