N-Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xenakis is a dramatic light and sound environment combining cutting edge lighting, sound, sensing and machine learning technologies. The installation is a tribute to the Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis’s radical 1960s-1970s Polytopes (from the Greek ‘poly’, many and ‘topos’, space), the first of which premiered at Expo ‘67 in the French pavilion at Montréal. As large scale, immersive architectural environments that made the indeterminate patterns and behaviour of natural phenomena experiential through the temporal dynamics of light and the spatial dynamics of sound, the Polytopes are relatively unknown still to this day but were far ahead of their time: a major landmark in the history of the audio-visual arts and performative architectural practice.
Originally developed as a commission for the LABoral Center for Art and Industrial Creation in Gijon, Spain in 2012, the installation has toured internationally and adapted site specifically in each location as it will be for TRANSART 2021. The installation consists of 150, powerful 10 Watt LED’s and many tiny loud speakers. These elements are suspended through the space on a geometric “ruled surface” constructed of thin aircraft cable, creating a light and sound environment which continually swings between order and disorder, akin to Xenakis’s original fascination with the behaviours of natural systems.
The installation is steered through a sensor network utilizing machine learning techniques which “learn” different rhythmic and temporal patterns produced by the light and sound and influence the overall compositional action over time. These computer algorithms are similar to what runs Google searches, robots or self-driving cars. Termed “reinforcement learning,” they involve software-based “agents” that interact with their environment in order to achieve some kind of goal and that are then numerically “rewarded” in either a positive or negative manner. The agent’s actions thus, influence not only the state of the environment in the present but also can affect it in the future.
The installation will open on September 22 at 6:00 pm and can be visited on September 23 and 24 from 7:45 am to 9:45 pm.
✅The EU Digital COVID certificate is required for admission.
An installation by Chris Salter in collaboration with Sofian Audry, Adam Basanta, Marije Baalman, Elio Bidinost, Thomas Spier and Garnet Willis
- Concept and Direction: Chris Salter
- Composition: Chris Salter and Adam Basanta
- Technical Direction, Embedded Systems, Media Composition Programming: Marije Baalman
- Lighting module design: Elio Bidinost and Garnet Willis
- Media behavior modelling: Sofian Audry
- Production Assistant: Martin Kaffarnik (Bolzano)
- Electronics Assembly: Simon Claessen, Rene Wassenburg (Schrikdraad Ontwerp), Stan Verberkt and Garnet Willis
- Production: xmodal/Montréal/LABoral
With the original support of:
- Fonds de Recherche du Québec Sociéte et Culture, Hexagram Concordia,
- Schlaich Bergemann und Partner, STEIM (Amsterdam)
Management and Booking DISK-Agency - Remco Schuurbiers.