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KOAN #7: Visuals

The first idea was that the visuals would represent the resonance of the human voice/ electronic sounds and correspond to the physical effects, the tiny oscillating movement of material in the microscopic environment. The method of choice was to use the phenomenon known as Cymatics, that was researched by the Swiss physicist Hans Jenny in the 1960s and is documented in Cymatics: The Study of Wave Phenomena volumes I and II. The study of effects of resonating "Chladni" patterns on a membrane is essentially the same as discovered already in 1787 by Ernst Chladni. The effects are widely used in art and popular culture so this was not a new idea, but rather a very fitting medium for visualizing the soundscapes of in the KOAN concept.

The problem with realizing such a physical set up in a live performance situation is not easily realizable in this time frame. It was necessary to relax the original ideals of true interactive interaction between live-audio and visuals for now, and to use pre-recorded material of such physical setups that could be triggered in the live performance with a VJ setup and a projector.

The setup consists of a single speaker that is covered with a latex membrane that is stimulated by a modular synthesizer.

Cymatic pattern formation in lycopodium powder

In nature, resonances and pattern formation is operating in scales ranging from quantum mechanical effects to cosmological effects and everything in between both in temporal and spatial domains and I wanted to also explore some of the large-scale effects between vibration and matter. The techniques of cymatics in visual concepts were thereby extended with filming macro effects of mixing interaction of various substances on a dish.


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