Meta.Morf 2014 – Lost in Transition


Evelina Domnitch / Dmitry Gelfand [NL]


Nature’s simplest atom and mother of all matter, hydrogen feeds the stars as well as interlaces the molecules of their biological descendants – to whom it ultimately whispers the secrets of quantum reality. Hydrogen’s most prevalent earthly guise lies within the composition of water. Emanating from an array of electrodes at the bottom of a water-filled chamber, strings and strata of hydrogen bubbles meticulously trace their emergent surroundings. A white laser sheet scans and illuminates the hydrogen bubble trajectories. Each quivering bubble-lens divides the white light into its constituent spectrum of colors, thereby inciting enhanced, prismatic depth perception.

Beyond macroscopically observable bubbles, an expanse of nanobubbles hides within water’s internal structure. Some researchers presume that these tiny bubbles of dissolved gas are the carriers of water’s magnetic “memory”, enabling electromagnetic fields to saturate its innards for hours and even days after their initial appearance. In the seas and oceans the lingering presence of electromagnetic fields, photonically imparted by sunlight, triggers the electrolysis responsible for most of Earth’s hydrogen. The original form of photosynthesis, solar water splitting was among the primordial initiators of living matter.


Driessens & Verstappen [NL]


The research of Driessens & Verstappen focuses on the possibilities that physical, chemical and computer algorithms can offer for the development of image generating processes. In these processes they aim for complexity and diversity in the conviction that chance, self-organisation and evolution order and transform reality. An important source of inspiration at this are the self-organising processes in our surroundings: the complex dynamics of all kinds of natural processes and the genetic-evolutionary system of organic life that continuously creates new and original forms.

Sand and wind have expressive features, that can be experienced in its purest form in a desert landscape. The wind has free play with the loose sand that creates a vivid spectacle of ever changing formations. Sandbox is a diorama in which a sand bed is continuously transformed by means of wind. This process is visible for the audience through a small window. There is no intention of simulating a down-scaled version of an existing desert, but to build a generative system in which concrete materials like sand and wind are the shaping elements. By locking up these elements in a box an imaginary sight is created, a glimpse of a world where another climate prevails.

Inside the box the basic facilities are installed: a thick layer of sea sand, the fans, electronics and lighting. In between the sand and the fans, a strip ceiling is hiding the fans from view. The fans are switched on and off individually by a custom designed algorithm. One can see rushing particles and sand drifts generating typical slopes. Now and then dust devils or avalanches will appear, or lees where lightweight particles seem to dance over the surface.


Daniel Palacios [ES]

Receptive Environments

A receptive environment is that one which is in constant change, the one always shifting from state to state, adapting itself to its surroundings. We are part of it, but we are only able to perceive change as big differences, starting and end points, while the process itself remains invisible to us.

The project deals with those limits by creating a series of images that represents change over time. A growing organism, which slowly evolves from picture to picture, created by the visualization of data captured (previously) from the environment where the pieces are exhibited; becoming logs of our everyday experience.

All the representative data (air quality, temperature, humidity, light color, light and sound levels, etc.) is collected during a significant time frame for the specific place. The data is analyzed and visualized in the form of a vegetal-like organism, where its global shape, nerves and every defining element is related to the data variations.

Rather than showcasing key-points, the growth is fed by the data, meaning that the data is never represented on a clean slate but added to what is already there, so it takes into consideration mixed factors and behaves differently on every occasion.

Those computer graphics are then laser etched on thin birch sheets, taking them far away from the digital imaginary but closer to something as natural as leafs.


For this special edition of the project in Trondheim, a new series of pieces will compile two weeks of data in different scales and formats, so:

– Each panoramic frame will arrange 7 individual pieces within it, each one compiling one day of data, visualizing the week as a group.
– Each square frame compiles 7 days, merging that same week of data into one bigger engraving.
– The large frame visualizes the full dataset in one single engraving.

The series of small pieces recreates the process on a daily basis, generating an individual engraving per day. They are fed with the data only from that specific period, thus showcasing a more analytic view of short-term patterns and how they affect the shape.

The two one-week pieces grow during a longer period, merging seven days of data into one engraving. Rather than resetting the process with new data every day, it keeps being added to the actual shape, which keeps expanding thus generating a more complete view of the effects of data changes over time.

The bigger piece becomes a time-line by merging the complete dataset into one single engraving, which reveals how even the stable values can affect differently in a long-term process. The mix of values every step of the way, as well as its relation to the shape that already exists at the moment of adding every new bit of data, decides how ramifications grow and die while the organism keeps expanding.


Christian Blom [NO]

al Khowarizmis Mechanical Orchestra

There is a small button lit by a diode. It´s mounted on an arm that sticks out of the installation. This interface reminds one of s technical museum and the start button for the model railway. When the diode is lit the audience can press the button to start a music and al-Khowarizmis Mekaniske Orkester plays a suggestion for a music, as if to say, this can also be music, or, here´s a way to organize light, sound and movement in a musical fashion.

The automated composer, the software, is constructed like a collection of dice, metronomes and grids. By pushing the button you roll the dice which sets the framework for what the music can be by numerating the fringes of the musics parameters. The mesh size of the grid is decided on and the metronomes start. The tempo is to be between 50 and 70, 30 percent of the beats are let through the grid and distribute themselves among three instruments in two layers. You get a brittle music, long intervals of silence and maybe a string or the flute has chosen longer notes, in which case you´d get a line against a background of points, a musical archetype. As an alternative the music falls apart. The intervals become too long, the tempo sinks and eventually the points fail to connect. Other times all the instruments fall into one layer, and perform what they think of as a unison. This almost unison is a batter of will to be precise which unfortunately, and efficiently, is stopped by mechanical joints, friction and the special challenges of the physical world – gravity and all sorts of resistance one has to put up with. But it can be a unison music in the listeners head. If you understand where the music wants to go and add what´s missing. Then you are gluing it together and creating a steady, limp trot.

It´s in the grey areas among possible musics that this work can become interesting. al Khowarizmis at its best lays out possible connections where the listener can weave his or her own music from the available threads. A point of departure where music is something the listener creates by actively listening structures into a sonic matter. In its utmost consequence this does away with the composer. The statement is polemic, but not without a shred of truth. And this shred is the basis for al Khowarizmis Mekaniske Orkesters music.

Piet On Ice

Piet on ice is a project in which a machine composes patterns utilizing the growth and melting of ice-roses as its material.

The work fluctuates in the dialectic between control and indeterminacy. In this space my will is constrained by a process, and the process is at the same time guided by my will. This dialectic creates a situation where the spectator is active in the sense that he or she, creates simple connections, patterns or vast worlds of association which all together form the work.

The work is a compositionproject. Not in the sense that a painting is also a composition, rather as musical composition. Something timebased, as if carved out of a silence. However much of the time, out of control, moving forward in explosive leaps or building too slow for the eye to detect.

I do not meddle on a detailed level. Although having, built the machine, made the software and balanced the process my role is that of a facilitator for the compositorial process. The work is suspended in this dialectic, between my forcefull will and the process. I can tell it when to start but not what to do. I can tell it where to go but not which way to take. I find this fruitfull, the resistance that lies in handling something unstable.