Musée des Moulages, Lyon 2011 © David Lettelier


Tessel is a kinetic sound installation investigating the perception of sound and space. The installation is comprised of a suspended and articulated topographical plane of 4 x 2 m, subdivided into forty triangles. Twelve of them are fitted with motors and eight are equipped with audio transducers, which transform the surface into a dynamic sonic space. 


The surface slowly modifies its shape, choreographing a dialogue between sculpture and sound while altering our perception. Similar to Tinguely's poetic machines, Alexander Calder's mobiles and Buckminster Fuller's synergetics, Tessel questions the link between geometry and movement, while continuing the quest for synesthetic perception of sonic and spatial phenomena.


The name ‘Tessel’ is derived from ‘tessellation’, a term applied to the geometric subdivision of a surface into planar figures, also known as ‘tiling’. The term has its origin in the Latin word ‘tessella’, describing the square tiles used to make mosaics. 


Tessellation has been applied throughout history from ancient to modern times, from two to n-dimensional configurations and merges science and art through mathematics. The installation is based on the ‘pinwheel pattern’, a non-periodic tiling coined by mathematicians Charles Radin and John Conway, which allows the creation of an infinitely complex geometry constructed with a simple single ‘seed’: a right triangle subdivided into four irregular triangles. Here, the pinwheel pattern is transformed, folded and transposed to the third dimension. 


Tessel is a collaboration with French composer and artist David Letellier. Tessel is realised with the financial support of Arcadi, Dicream and the Commission des Arts Numériques de la Communauté Française de Belgique.


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