“Evolution” is an immersive audio-visual installation and performance that celebrates the vitality of inorganic materials. The project takes its inspiration from the physics phenomenon of Cymatics, which has demonstrated that certain substances can autonomously form complex patterns in response to vibrations. This phenomenon challenges the traditional understanding of life and poses the question: can inorganic materials be considered as life forms if they can respond to external stimuli? This project aims to inspire a new perception of non-living substances, and contribute to an ongoing philosophical debate on the nature of life and the relationship between the animate and the inanimate.
“Evolution” employs a digital-analog generative system that allows luminous powders and the sonic landscape to evolve together, freeing matter from its passive role. The sound is composed around the sonic textures collected from the material utilising a granulator and generative algorithm, directing the powders to move. Meanwhile, a live image recognition program employs particle behaviours to modulate the sound. Each element performs in response to the changes of the other, giving rise to a complex and dynamic system that challenges conventional notions of causality and interactivity.
This piece features a live moving image and a unique quadraphonic system where the four sound channels are splitted into a quad of transducers and monitor speakers. Through the immersive audiovisual experience, viewers are enveloped in a sonic haze that blurs the boundary between their individuality and the surrounding spatio-temporal structure. As the sound energy from the installation permeates their bodies, viewers are able to experience the vibrational environment in a manner akin to the non-living powders. This experience challenges traditional hierarchical perspectives and allows viewers to appreciate the power and agency of the non-human material world.
Hardware: HD Live Moving Image, Quadraphonic Sound, Projection, Transducers, Acrylic, Luminous Powder, White Sand, LED Strip, Infinite Duration / Software: Touchdesigner, Ableton Live, Open CV
Credits: Bryan Yueshen Wu, Ke Peng (Directors), Ke Peng (Visual performer), Bryan Yueshen Wu (Sound programmer),= developed at Royal College of Art White City, David Meckin (Project advisor) with special thanks Iklectik Artlab, Ronnie Deelen, Matt Lewis.