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Binary Waves


 Abendroth, Jerome Decock, Els Vermang

Size: 40 pcs 3 * 0.6 m

Technique: aluminium, mirror, pmma, LEDs, piezo, custom tailored electronics, spectrum analyser, computer, reactive software

The installation Binary Waves measures the electromagnetic fields carrying telecommunication and transposes this data to light, sound and motion. 


The kinetic canvas consists of 40 illuminated panels measuring 3m high and 60cm wide, which rotate around their vertical axes. The individual panels rotate at varying speeds, derived from the activity within the electro-magnetic field. Their motion creates a wave-like effect reinforced by their alternating black and white surfaces. The waves oscillate from one side of the installation to the other, gradually slowing down until the moment when a new pulse sets a new wave in motion. 


The kinetic principle of the installation is derived from the behaviour of water. Moreover, the contextual connection is reinforced by the interplay between the reciprocal optical effects of the panels reflected in the water simultaneously with the water's reflection in the panels. 


Within the black surface of the panels red lighting strips are integrated. Within the edge of the panels white lighting strips are integrated. Their illumination is driven by the following rules: the red lights indicate, in real-time, the activity of the local electromagnetic field whereas the white light reacts to peaks in the measurement. The sounds are subordinate to the lights, the eight red light strips are similar to 8 tones, an octave, and white light is accompanied by white noise. These sounds are diffused by each panel increasing the spatial and dynamic perception of the installation.


The speed at which the panels rotate is based on an average value of the measurement, calculated every 5 minutes and correspond to a cycle. Each cycle of the installation is set to zero followed by a re-alignment of the panels from which a new wave pattern is generated. This analogy between wave-propagation, kinetic behaviour and light, follows the concept of fLUX. Through this assignment, the installation mirrors the rhythm of a city and renders the city’s invisible layer of electromagnetic waves visible.


The artwork has its roots in the cybernetic art of the 1960s and, above all, in the work of Nicolas Schöffer. The installation is a homage to this pioneer of an art located somewhere between science, technology and architecture.


'Looking at a work by LAb[au], or a work by Schöffer - which would have been delighted to see this installation as it follows his premonitory ideas  and his Tour Lumière Cybernétique that was to be erected at la Défense, translating the city of Paris 's functioning data flows into luminous and kinetic effects -, one is stricken, not only by its aesthetic beauty, but by all this significance that emerges, if the perceiver goes to the point of investigating the invisible part of the work – its meaning.'

 _ Eleonore de Lavandeyra Schöffer


For detailed documentation, please refer to Archive --->

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