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Create Undulating Waves Of Light And Sound Using Your Body

Cuppetelli And Mendoza's <i>Transposition</i> translate people's movements into "virtual forces".


It's not often you're able to watch a wall "breathe" or react to someone's movement, but using interactive technology collaborative duo Cuppetelli and Mendoza have made it possible with their installation Transposition. Currently on view at the Denver Art MuseumTransposition invites visitors to provoke waves of light and sound through their own movement.   The piece explores our understanding of what an interface is, how it serves as a mediator between two separate realms. As Mendoza explains: "The piece revolves around the idea of interface, which is interpreted as the point of contact between two different entities, and is displayed in the work in several ways: between the viewer and the piece (a human/computer interface); between the real and the virtual (the physical structure and its relationship with the projected structure); between the foreground and the background (as the projection interferes with its shadow)."

The piece was inspired by the minimalist sculptures of Fred Sandback, the kinetic art of Jesús Soto and artists from the1960s Light and Space movement like Larry Bell, James Turrell, and Robert Irwin. As people stand in front of the piece their movements affect the sound composition, created by Peter Segerstrom, and the lines projected onto the wall. "Our intention with adding sound to our work in Transposition is to close the gap created by the experience of 'disembodied embodiment' that occurs when you interact with the work: the body moves, the piece reacts, but there is no actual touch involved in the process." Mendoza notes.

The wavy, resonating affect of the visuals is generated by a computer so they act like soft ropes that sway and flow. A camera records the movements of the viewer and translates them into "virtual forces" that act upon the computer-generated lines. "Our goal was to precipitate the perception of touch via an interactive sound system, by providing additional perceptual cues to engage the body and thus to synthetically close the perceptual gap between body motion and reaction." Mendoza says. "Thus the title of the piece: we are trying to transpose once set of senses (hearing, seeing) into another (touch)."

You can interact with Transposition at the Denver Art Museum until September 22nd