An interactive sound-light-percussion-installation by Thomas Gerwin and Wolfgang Spahn, 2008

(3 Ferro-Fluid-Projectors (RGB) with Arduino controller, pane of glass with projection screen, MIDI drum pad, PC, Pure-Data-Patch, active speakers)

This interactive sound-and-light-installation is a work of cooperation between the composer and sound artist Thomas Gerwin and the media artist Wolfgang Spahn. It is considered as an instrument to generate and play sounds and liquid colours.

Three especially for this purpose designed and developed over-head-projectors are filled with a mixture of coloured liquids and Ferro-Fluid. In each projector these liquids can be activated and stimulated by 4 magnetic coils.

Face to face stands a Midi-Drum-Pad containing three small and four big pads, which can be played by the visitors. There is a PC with an Pure-Data patch running, to produce the sounds. Triggered by the Midi signal the three Arduino-controllers come into action and therefore stimulate the magnetic coils, depending on note and dynamics of the drum pad.

Each of the three small pads symbolize one of the three RGB colours, while the other four pads stand for four directions: above, below, left and right. If someone hits one of the pads, the according liquids in the projectors will react. Between the projectors and the drum pad there is a pane of glass hanging covered by a round projection screen. On that screen the three monochrome colours are projected to create one full colour projection. The mixture of the liquids as well as the whole system are developments by the artist.

The Sound Concept: A sound environment defines the space imagination around the installation. At the same time it offers the player a rhythmical musical accompagniement which makes the live performed sound actions on the drum pads a ‘solo con tutti’. The variety of sounds offered on the drum pad point to different musical genres. Timpani and grand cimbales sound like classical orchestra, Tamtam like Asian music, snare drum and hi-hat sounds jazzy, a conga Brasilian, a scratch sound like rap/funk music and the sound of a big water wave points to Musique concrete. This ways it’s possible to create a great spectrum of sound world associations. Another important idea behind this project was to inaugurate musical events and structures not only out of the ear but to enable an original audiovisual creation of colored music.

The Installation was shown among others at:
2013 “LAC“ ESC, Graz, Austria
2011 “Analog_ien“ Galerie Durynek und Kammler, Eichstätt, Germany
2010 “The Year We make Contakt - Media Scape Zagreb 2010“ Croatian Association of Artistsm, Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
2009 “Born Digital” Toonkammer, Utrecht, Netherland
2009 “Art of the Overhead” Malmö, Sweden
2009 “Licht und Schatten” Schloß Rheinsberg, Germany
2008 Internationalen Klangkunstfest “farb-laut”, Galerie Nord, Berlin, Germany

Wolfgang Spahn is a visual & sound artist based in Berlin. His work includes installations, performances of light & sound and miniature-slide-paintings. His art explores the field of analogue and digital media and focuses on both their contradiction and their correlation.
He is faculty member of the Sound Studies and Sonic Arts, Berlin University of the Arts.

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Here is most of the hard- and software the artist developed for his artwork.
- Analog Computer
- Pop Neuron
- Paper-Duino
- Paper Synthesizer
- Paper Bits
- Raspberry Pi Hats
- VGA Synthesizer
- Sound Boards



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© 2018-22 Wolfgang Spahn. All Rights Reserved.