untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun in early 2004, pe lang and zimoun began their collaboration «untitled sound objects», a project in which physical materials are made to generate sound by vibrating them using computer controlled machines and robots. the artists focus on creating acoustic architecture with an organic feel, investigating the properties of sound, materials, resonance and generative systems. the work is presented as sound installations and as live performances. these works are created by using small machines comprised of computer-monitored and programmed electromagnetic lifts, electromagnets and vibrating motors, in combination with different kinds of materials. often the installations are used as a source for creating sounds as well as to continually evolve new acoustic spaces. «we are interested in a selective mix between, on the one hand, living structures that are continuously generated or evolving by chance and chain reactions, and, on the other, a specifically delimited and contained space in which these events are allowed to happen. our compositional intentions are manifested through deliberate containment and cautious monitoring. thus, we are not preoccupying ourselves with chance factors and generative systems simply to discover unexpected results, but rather so that the compositions can attain a higher level of vitality.» even though this work is technically complex and intricate (involving custom interfaces and software programming), the artists never seek to create a merely technical spectacle. «our intent is to create simplicity and immediacy in our work, which may be appreciated without understanding the technical background. we believe that technology is merely a tool for converting and realizing our ideas, rather than being the basis for them.» pe lang and zimoun create works through reduction and simplicity to attain a minimalist aesthetic. this aesthetic reaches the public in a direct and immediate way so as to stimulate visitors into making their own discoveries through the works. as the individual spaces and their material constituents often form the basis for the works, most of the installations are specifically adapted for each room with regards to the architecture, function, sound design and use of acoustic materials. «the untitled sound objects by pe lang and zimoun convince through their elegant and clever simplicity in an inconspicuously complex setting.» stephen braun the works of pe lang and zimoun have been exhibited or shown as live performances in switzerland, germany, the netherlands, france, china, england, italy, belgium, usa, canada, egypt and spain. videos and website: www.untitled-sound-objects.ch

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun upcoming work: cube for 800 electro hub magnets and 50 sound transformers. this project for a cube equipped with 800 electro hub magnets and 50 sound transformers has evolved from an installation shown in 2006 at the city gallery (stadtgalerie) in bern, switzerland (see page 9/10). however, it differs from the preceding project, which was conceived for a specific room and its physical and resonance properties. because of this, the cube can be transported, assembled and presented anywhere. in addition, it allows for continued composition, development and immersion over extended periods as a unique instrument. as a room within a room, the cube is assembled from 18 elements. besides their fundamental characteristics as a construction kit, these elements feature ideal sound properties. in addition to the 800 individually activated electro hub magnets, which are made to knock on their surface board with metal pins, the whole cube can be made to vibrate and produce sounds selectively, through 50 sound transformers built into its walls. the software and interface for monitoring and programming of the electro hub magnets and the sound transformers are built in max msp. construction of the cube was developed in collaboration with the architect hannes zweifel.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 400 prepared vibrating motors. 2008. photos: zimoun

400 prepared vibration motors.

prepared vibration motors.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun dc-motors and chains. 2008. photos: zimoun

dc-motors and chains.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun swarms of autonomous vibration motors. 2008. photos: zimoun

autonoumous vibration motors.

autonoumous vibration motors.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 8.1 surround sound system with 360º pivotal speakers. 2008. these 8 individually controlled speakers can be pivoted by 360º around their own axis, controlled by highly sensitive motors. this allows for movement of the sounds by physical displacement of the speakers in the room, adding even more options for surround effects. the choreographic possibilities and allocation of the speakers thus offer further dimensions for composition. the concept and technology included in the system was designed and developed by pe lang in the course of an «artist-in-lab» scholarship of the swiss federal office of culture (FOS/BAK) and in collaboration with the swiss center for electronics and microtechnology (CSEM). photos: pe lang

360º pivotal speakers.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 250 electro hub magnets on floor, walls and ceiling. stadtgalerie, bern, switzerland, 2006. reacting to electrical impulses, electromagnetic lifts tap metal pins on the surfaces on which they are mounted. the composition is based on algorithms which stem from interacting organisms and organic structures of movement. the algorithmic structures and behavior patterns create an acoustic room that is on the one hand a static sound architecture, and on the other a constantly changing environment which develops acoustic patterns that are dependent on all previous events. the installation is used as a sound source as well as to continually evolve new acoustic spaces. photo: tob

250 electro hub magnets on floor, walls and ceiling, 2006.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun transducers on iron plates. espacio menosuno, madrid, spain, 2007. white noise containing virtually all frequency ranges with constant amplitude is transmitted to the individual iron plates as acoustic impulses. the plates enhance its volume so that it becomes clearly audible. the acoustic signals are recorded by a microphone and then re-transmitted to the same iron plate by the transducer. this procedure is repeated several times for each plate. as each of the plates is particularly receptive to certain frequencies, the individual sound of each plate becomes more distinct with each repetition of the acoustic signal transmission. this allows the determination of the individual resonance of each iron plate, which then forms the basis for the sound composition. photo: tob

transducers on iron plates, 2007.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 4 transducers on iron plate 1.2 x 2.4m. die schachtel milano italy, 2007. photos: luc gramsci

transducers on iron plate, 2007.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun materials on vibrating glass plates. stadtgalerie bern switzerland, 2006. vibrating motors cause glass plates, on which various materials are placed, to oscillate. the vibrations move the materials, and the friction caused by this generates sounds, which are amplified via contact microphones and modified through DSP (digital signal processing). using a multiple channel speaker system, amplified sounds are projected and reassembled into a new sound architectures. the glass plates are equipped with cameras which project images of the vibrating materials live through several projectors. photos: manuel burgener / pe lang / zimoun

materials on vibrating glass plates, 2006.

materials on vibrating glass plates, 2006.

sound source duroplastic plastics on vibrating glass plates.

vibration motor attached to glass plate.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun electromagnets on iron slabs. volksystem, toulouse, france, 2006. metallic rods are made to vibrate by computer controlled electromagnets. the vibrations are transferred to iron slabs and thus made to sound. by varying the speed at which the electromagnets are switched on and off, the proper vibrations of the metal slabs, which define the basis of the compositions, are established. photo: yoko hisho

electromagnets on iron slabs, 2006.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun vibrating motors on transparent architect’s papers. leerraum, bern, switzerland, 2006. vibrating motors agitate individual sheets of transparent paper to create sounds. the frequencies (speed) of the vibrations shift in slow cycles which move towards each other. photo: andrej marffy

vibrating motors on transparent architect‘s papers, 2006.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun robots knocking on a display window. marks blond gallery, bern, switzerland, 2005. the entire window display of the art room is filled with simple robots standing next to one another. sensors register whether and at what distance someone is standing in front of the display. as soon as the sensors detect someone, the robots knock on the window display. the further away the person is, the more hesitantly and infrequently the knocks occur; the nearer the person comes, the more the knocks are intensified and accelerated, until – when the person is right in front – the machinery is running at high speed, thus weaving a dense carpet of rhythms. the window itself, but also the parts knocking on it, are slightly manipulated to cause a wide variety of different, interweaving sounds in a small space. through subtle inaccuracies and constant slight variations of the robots, the installation appears to become organic and alive. photo: zimoun

robots knoking on a display window, 2005.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 32 and 64 electro hub magnets on wooden plinth in 2 perspex cubes. intersonar, freiburg, germany, 2006. photos: ferit kuyas

electro hub magnets on wooden plinth in perspex cube, 2006.

electro hub magnets on wooden plinth in perspex cube, 2006.

untitled sound objects pe lang + zimoun 16 electro hub magnets on spiral staircase. kunstraum, aarau, switzerland, 2005 16 electromagnets are distributed along a spiral staircase. each magnet knocks at an individual, regular pulse. the various pulses are conceived within the same basic grid, i.e., each pulse is in a distinct relationship to the others. located at a specific place on the stairs, the nearest electromagnet is the one perceived to be the loudest. therefore, this pulse is registered as the base meter, and the other pulses are perceived as patterns arranged to this base meter. as the person moves around on the staircase, the rhythms, their interactions and meters shift and change. photos: tanja tamos

electro hub magnets on spiral staircase, 2005.


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