Audiovisual installation art piece based on wearable sensor data

The piece called D-A-T/D-A was presented in a group exhibition “ NOT IMPRESSIVE NOT BELIEVABLE ”.

The artists collectively known as KNPSST are Mira Kautto, Alisa Närvänen, Elina Peltonen, Marko Suovula, Janne Särkelä and Pekka Tynkkynen whose backgrounds are in art, clothing design, technology, music, architecture and contemporary dance. The group came together in the summer 2015 at Kone Foundation’s Saari Residence, where their first collaborative project called d-a-t/d-a started.

d-a-t/d-a is a document of an interdisciplinary project rooted in wearable sensor technology. It is a kinetic data installation, which registers physical gestures and movements and translates them into sound and light.


Life cycle – a sound installation exploring human rhythms

The work gives aural and visual forms to the cycles related to being a human. The pain during the menstruation (dysmenorrhea or painful periods) is intimately highlighted with the help of sound. The interaction between the Earth, Moon and the Sun is experienced by a sonification of their orbital data and their effects on gravity – which pervades the experience of being a habitant of the Earth.

The work was presented as a part of a group exhibition with the theme Cycles, in the framework of AAVE festival of audiovisual arts, in Helsinki.

The work consists of four led strips and four channel audio system. The Sun and the Moon rotate around the visitor. Also, a possibility to participate in the installation is provided by means of a heart rate sensor.

In the installation the orbits of the Sun and the Moon around the Earth have been translated into sound. The cycle of sounds lasts about 50 minutes, which corresponds to about two years. The period was chosen, because the Sun and the Moon happen to be quite close to the same position in the beginning and in the end of the cycle.

Sounds of pain are played at random intervals between 1 – 2 minutes. The Led lights pulses and fades with the same interval.

The audible frequency of the Sun in the installation is a higher octave of its about 11 year long activity cycle. The frequency of the Moon comes from the so called Saros cycle, during which the Moon goes through various cycles related to its orbit. Saros cycle lasts about 18 years in real time. The sound of the Sun in the installation is low and continous, whereas the sound of the moon is higher and pulsating. The length of one pulse is a thousandth of a month. The relationship of the amplitudes of the sounds of the Moon and the Sun corresponds to their tidal force amplitude.

It is possible to participate in the installation. In the middle of the room there’s a pole, on which a green light can be seen. The light shows the place of a pulse sensor. Just beside the sensor there’s a red Led light, which shows the sensed pulses.

The sensor finds the pulse from a finger or a palm, when the body part rests on the sensor. The pressure on the sensor shouldn’t be too hard or too light for it to work consistently. The red led will start to pulse according to your heart rate, when the contact is right.

When six sequential pulses have been detected, a real heart beat sound is played.


Mechatronic art decoration for a party

A mechatronic art decoration for Aortta Party by Hytky. Max/MSP listened for a beat and triggered Arduino, which in turn controlled an electric motor. The motor had a rod attached to it, and a cardboard heart was taped to the tip of the rod. The position of the rod was monitored with a hall sensor. Heart struck against a thin veil, which was illuminated with red light from behind.

Video: Oskari Niitamo.


Light controlled ambient music piece

The ambient piece acted as the musical introduction to a discussion between photographer Victoria Schultz,  psychoanalyst Heikki Majava and sound explorer (Me). The topic of the discussion was My Body and I – Synchronic Image, Vision and Sound.

The pitches of the piece were controlled with light dependent resistors. I had built two simple enclosures for the resistors, which I held in my hands. In a slow dance I moved about and explored the light and dark areas of the gallery, Laterna Magica, where the event was held.

Laterna Magica Light to Sound PerformanceVictoria’s photos were on display in the gallery, and I thought that light controlled music would bridge the media and weave the topic together. I had built a light controlled audio device a few years ago, which was perfect for the idea.

It has two oscillators, which can be independently controlled. I connected the stereo out of the device to a laptop, in which a modular sound processing software turned the pitches of the oscillators into synthesizer control messages. The other channel was used for texture and the other had more soloish character.


Resonant City

Soiva kaupunki is an interactive sound installation, which utilizes contact microphones to reveal the hidden properties of the resonant urban trash (Soiva kaupunki = Resonant city). The recording is from year 2002 installation.

The objects are gathered in an intuitive and improvised fashion, and hung by wires to make them float freely. Microphones are attached to the objects and their output is fed through effects processors in order to turn the characteristic sound of each object into an ever changing ambient collage, to which all the participants contribute by manipulating the objects.

2002 Lahden taidelauantai
2007 Olohuone, Turku