SonOrb sound-installation official opening by Mayor of Amsterdam

Official opening by Amsterdam's Mayor van der Laan (photo: Bert Verhoeff)

On last februari 18th, the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, officialy opened the SonOrb sound-installation for use in the Klankspeeltuin in Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. The Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ did a good job of promoting the SonOrb. Along with the opening and inviting the mayor, there was also quite some media attention for the event. With, among others, a proper article in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper.
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Solar Sound Modules

Over the last couple of years, I have regularly been building solar sound modules, relatively simple electronic circuits that make sound using solar energy. Ralf Schreiber send me a lovely circuit diagram (thanks!). What’s so nice about these analog circuits is that they create unstable signals – always different sounds – by using a variating and limited amount of energy (tiny solar cell) and by accentuating the impreciseness of the electronic elements. Every instance of the same circuit design will have its unique sound character.

Here some sound and pics:

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Rechnender Raum

From 25 February till 2 May 2010 the Netherlands Media Art Institute is harbouring the 13th Sonic Acts exhibition, including a bunch of installations. I was mostly charmed by Rechnender Raum, an installation by Ralf Baecker.

An installation that asks for some time and investigation to discover its inner workings. The piece looks very open and inviting, showing all it’s ongoing processes to the audience. One might suspect some interaction with the audience or the environment, but this is not the case. The ongoing process is just continuously reacting upon itself. As far as I can see, the system is a cellular network consisting of 27 nodes. The nodes communicate with each other by simple, thin strings. Each node can have two possible states: pull or no-pull. It’s pull or no-pull state depends on the pull or no-pull message from a bunch of other nodes that it is connected to by the strings. These incoming messages are preprocessed by a combination of mechanical logic switches that conclude in one pull or no-pull message, all in a Boolean logic fashion. The resulting pull or no-pull state of this node is then again a message send to a bunch of other nodes, all through ropes. To the audience it becomes clear that the whole of the process is clearly visible, it’s all happening in front of your eyes. But to follow what* is actually happening, what messages are send where, that is pretty hard – impossible even – to do. So, at first the installation looks very transparent and inviting but it turns out it is very much turned inward, reacting only on itself. In dialog with itself. Communicating messages that are impossible to follow for the outsider.
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Bas Lobik



Last week, on sunday march 7th 2010, I visited the Open Day of the Concordia building in Utrecht, Netherlands. There I stumbled onto the atelier of a realy inspiring painter: Bas Lobik. He makes paintings that need sometimes more than a year to complete. He likes to work day in day out in his Studio. Long days. Patiently, slowly working out the paintings. He likes the manual labour. He doesn’t want to use machinery to automate parts of the execution. It’s not only about a good concept but also about the love for the execution. There is value in manually repeating a straightforward task again and again.
He sometimes refers to himself as ‘echtenaar’ (‘realist’) instead of ‘kunstenaar’ (‘artificialist’). He wants to stay away from the illusionairy capabilities of art. It is what it is. He uses the physical charateristics of the paint to an extreme.
That keeps me wondering about one aspect of his work: His paintings refer to buildings: a roof with walls, as he explicitly confirms himself. Isn’t that illusionairy? Isn’t that contradicting his claim of Echtenaar?
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