This installation by German artist Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto is currently on exhibition in the course of Sonambiente at Tesla Berlin.

Much like the classic Solid Light Films by Anthony McCall, fades deliberately neglects the projected image itself and focuses on the projection as such, “treating light and sound as material, not as content”. The dark space is filled with an extremely fine, almost unnoticable yet visible haze through which the projector beams rays of light while waves of sound are coming from an invisible speaker.

The result is mesmerizing: The light has a subtle quality but seems to be very solid at the same time. Where the beams hit the wall they get absorbed by a black surface, rendering a ghostly image of wavy patterns. These patterns, for both projection and sound are being generated by various logarithmic processes that slowly fade into each other. In Nicolai’s view, this combining of different mathematical formulae is almost a language in its own right and the fading interferences in space would be a try on making that language tangible.

Some photos (hardly do it justice).


There’s another nice mini-exhibition as well, this time by the students of Nicolai in cooperation with graphic designers Cyan at HGB Leipzig: In the project Notationen Archiv, the participants were asked to graphically visualize a certain track of electronic music, thus creating an experimental notation for the sounds. While this is nothing really new, I liked the way that each one was presented – as a seperate book and headphones with the respective piece of music – since it makes it possible for individual visitors to see which ones synesthetically work for them and which do not.

At Tesla through July 16th.

Related: Carsten Nicolai at SPOTS.