The picture shows the light installation N-Polytope
Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xenakis
Sat, September 01, 2018 – Tue, October 23, 2018

The installation »N-Polytope« is a homage to the polytopes of the 1960s and 1970s by composer Iannis Xenakis. The first of his revolutionary multimedia room compositions was premiered at the French Pavilion in Montreal at Expo 67.

The new configuration for the ZKM subspace consists of 126 powerful LED lamps and many tiny loudspeakers distributed over the entire room. They are suspended from a geometric »control surface« of thin aircraft cables, creating a light and sound environment that constantly oscillates between order and disorder and echos Xenakis’s original fascination with the behaviors of natural systems.

The installation is active from until October 23, 2018 from Tuesday to Sunday from sunset until 10 pm.

The installation is steered by means of a wireless sensor network that uses machine learning techniques to »learn« different rhythmic and temporal patterns produced by the light and sound, and influences the overall compositional action over time.

N-Polytope is by no means a recreation of Xenakis’s Polytopes, but rather a re-imagining that explores how Xenakis’s interest in probabilistic (so-called »stochastic«) systems can be made sense of and kept alive today using new technologies that were unavailable to the composer during his lifetime.

The installation was created by Chris Salter in collaboration with Sofian Audry, Marije Baalman, Adam Basanta, Elio Bidinost and Thomas Spier.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media