SMA – installation based on a seismometer

the sma cables are applied on top of the

Rotes Rauschen is an installation and sculptural sense organ. It is also a seismic instrument connected to its surroundings by embodying the ambient noise and microseism, which we are not able to perceive with our own sense organs.

The horizontal basis of the seismometer is the entire floor space, the walls are the vertical axis holding a freely oscillating pendulum. The kinetic sculpture which is mounted with a counter balance, swings in the center of the space.

Three equally long nitinol wires are connected around the balance point of the sculpture. They contract and extend analogous to the deflection of the seismic pendulum. By this means, the sculpture equilibrates the movements of the ground, while the thin sculptural body curls and stretches — controlled by the intensity of the seismic activity. Sounds are created by all movements, and amplified by the sculpture´s material and resonance space.

Like an ear, the sculpture listens carefully (in)to the space and renders the omnipresent slow frequencies of ground motion into the range of human physical perception. Everyone entering the space changes the weight distribution and the relational structure inside the room. However the observer is just one part in the multilayered structure of always present disquietude.

Recording the faint earth tremor caused by natural phenomena such as ocean waves, noise of the surrounding city and the movements of the observers weights, the sculpture embeds the site specific perception into an overall context.
*Rotes Rauschen, red noise, such as seismic noise and infra sounds, is a property of physical phenomena where low (slow) frequencies are stronger than in equally distributed white noise.

Leave a Reply