Let’s Resonate!

Aug 1, 2019

When the viewer arrives, they are plunged into darkness and perceive a sound and visual vibration as if the room resonated.The viewer sits facing a cylinder-shaped installation of about one meter in diameter, from a distance of about ten metres or more. This installation consists of about a hundred lines stretched horizontally.

The installation

A thin rope is built using optical fibres and copper, respectively carrying light and electricity. Being both very thin; they are almost invisible. At the heart of the installation, tiny little luminous points, unique visible elements, indicate the seat of the interaction between light and matter. This interaction takes place between the light guided by the optical fibre and the movement of a nanoscale membrane locally covered with gold to reflect the light. Since this movement is very weak by nature, by adding a piezoelectric element it is able to amplify the motion of the membrane, transmitting it to the whole of the installation thus vibrating all the cables with different audible sound frequencies.

The whole installation oscillates with the rhythm of the sounds, themselves generated by the light. This hypnotic and harmonious ensemble results from the almost alchemical encounter between light and matter.

First test with a 3D printed cone to include light; membrane and piezzo.

The installation works like a loop. Electricity is excited by light, and light vibrates as a function of electrical intensity. To start the loop, a first voltage runs through the copper wire and activates the piezo that vibrates the rope from top to bottom. The optical fibre then vibrates and the membrane recovers this signal in order to modify the voltage of the electrical circuit which affects the piezo.

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.