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Architecture Installation Makes Infinite Sound And Light Loop Based On Its Own Data

Merging machine-learning technologies with sounds, architecture and lasers, Chris Salter offers an immersive and complex AI environment.

Images courtesy of GRIDSPACE and LABOral

A spring wind finally seems to be blowing on Montreal, bringing with it the first of many major creative spring rendezvous. Since last week—and through June 19th—the second edition of the the International Digital Arts Biennial (BIAN)  is offering visitors an eclectic journey throughout the city and presenting a series of mind-blowing digital creations by local and international artists. With no less than 50 artworks, including both new and existing pieces, the artworks revolve around the double-theme of PHYSICAL/ITÉ (Physical/ity) and deal not only with the presence of the body within digital culture, but also its return to materiality.   

Drawing from this theme, a new iteration of the interactive installation N_Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xanakis by Montreal-based new media artist and researcher, Chris Salter, will take over the Fonderie Darling's main space until mid-May. Throughout the Iannis Xanakis-inspired total artwork, Salter revisits the avant-garde work of the Greek-French master composer half a century later. 

Like his predecessor, Salter uses an explosive mix of sounds, architecture, mathematics while interweaving the use of new technologies. Stunning lighting systems, lasers, sound, sensors and softwares lock together to offer an immersive and complex environment that questions the spatial-temporal dynamic of light and sound. 

Constructed primarily out of LEDs and miniature speakers spread out along aeronautic cables, the suspended artwork mingles perfectly with the architecture of the space it it finds itself in. While the viewer explores the area underneath the suspended metallic thread, constant flashes of LEDs and the rhythms of the laser beams draw out an ephemeral and dynamic space composed of luminescent lines and shapes. Sound textures provide a constant flux that alternates between natural and electronic sounds, both dense and sparse, creating a mass effect similar to a synthetic swarm of insects. 

The unexpected behavior of N_Polytope is calculated using a series of algorithms that touch on machine-learning technology, AI, and stochastic processes. Capturing an infinite feedback loop of its own emitted sound and light, sensors analyze and re-transcribe, giving rise to an auto-generative, non-linear and constantly evolving artwork. Below, images of N_Polytope in its artificially-intelligent glory: 

If you have the chance to visit Montreal between now and May 13th, check out the Fonderie Darling to experience N_Polytope. 

N_Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xanakis is by Chris Salter in collaboration with Sofian Audry (QC-CA), Marije Baalman (NL), Adam Basanta (QC-CA), Elio Bidinost (QC-CA), Nina Bouchard (QC-CA), Martin Marier (QC-CA), Harry Smoak (QC-CA) and Thomas Spier (DE).

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