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OP_ERA: Sonic Dimension

© Daniela Kutschat, Rejane Cantoni; Photo © ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Photo: Anatole Serexhe
OP_ERA: Sonic Dimension
Sound Installation
Material / Technique
steel frame (free-standing), 3 projection screens, 72 photosensors on metal rails, 72 reflecting mirrors, microphone, 4 speakers (active), SPC (CLP Atos IHM 2002.97), 3 computers (PC), operating system (Windows XP), custom software, three sound cards (Audigy 4.0), 3 graphics cards (NVIDIA GFX 6700), audio mixer, 3 projectors
Dimensions / Duration
360 x 310 x 310 cm, installation dimensions variable
ZKM | Center for Art and Media
“Imagine a world in which your eyes are of no use and the only way to communicate is through sound.“ [1] (Rejane Cantoni, 2006)
»OP_ERA: Sonic Dimension« is a computer-based installation in which visitors experience sound spatially. Since 1999 the Brazilian artists Daniela Kutschat and Rejane Cantoni have been exploring sound chambers in their research project OP_ERA.
The music box »OP_ERA: Sonic Dimension« consists of three large projection screens arranged as an open cube. All three screens show hundreds of light vertical lines. When touched they begin to vibrate and sound like the strings of a harp.
Both the movement of the lines and their sound depends on the movements of the visitors. They can interact with the installation in two ways: by making sounds or tones of by moving their bodies. The sounds made by the visitors are recoded via 360° microphones. Sound frequencies of ambient sounds, like footsteps or voices, are analyzed by software and translated into visual material. Thus by making sounds the visitors can make the strings vibrate visibly. In addition to the microphones motion sensors enable a further type of interaction. The sensors detect the positions of visitors and their movements in the room: with each movement of hand or body the visitors trigger a sound.

[1] Rejane Cantoni, »Intelligent environments: Body architecture and op_era,« in Semiotic Bodies, Aesthetic Embodiments, and Cyberbodies, ed. Winfried Nöth (Kassel: Kassel University Press, 2006), pp. 199–210, quotation p. 207.




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