Carsten Nicolai + Marko Peljhan
polarm [mirrored]

New Work / Commissioned by YCAM Interactive Installation

Arranged in the exhibition space are several devices related to radiation and electromagnetic waves, and in the back, two cubic structures measuring 7 x 7 meters in width and 4 meters in height. They function as self-sustaining creation systems, and illustrate the phenomenon of earth and cosmic radioactivity and electromagnetic waves, both man made and natural. The spatial transformations manifested in elaborate motion graphics and sounds disclose new views of earth and cosmic radiation and radiance data.

Invisible data made perceptible with devices related to radiation and electromagnetism

Placed in front of the cubes are so called observatoria, a set of 5 Geiger counters, three high-frequency receivers (receiving electromagnetic waves in the high frequency spectrum 0.1MHz - 30MHz), radiation generators in the form of a robotic arm that senses natural radiation from granite stones and whose behavior is determined by the measurements, and a cloud chamber (a physics device for visualizing radiation). The Geiger counters measure the level of radiation inside the venue and generated from the rocks, in response to which the robotic arm determines its movement and investigatory behavior. The cosmic, earth and granite generated radiation patterns are also visible in the cloud chamber. These interconnected devices work together as a system of systems that allows us to experience the characteristics and sequences of radioactive particles and electromagnetic waves through algorithms that are designed to drive the radiant and sonic events inside the cubes.

Two symmetrically interacting structures: The installation’s central elements and their question to the visitor

Two cube-shaped structures are arranged symmetrically on the left and right side. Visitors can enter one of them, while the other is completely enclosed by a projection membrane and cannot be entered. The latter, A’, is a mirror image of the former, A, where both interfere with each other while constantly striving to achieve a state of balance. Each of the two structures is flooded with images and sounds that ceaselessly transform in an elaborate, dynamic fashion, creating a relationship between the two cubes. But why are there two symmetrically interacting cubes? This is the question the artists ask the visitor and is the central theme of this exhibition.

Concept, structure and systems: Carsten Nicolai, Marko Peljhan
Sound programming and systems display: nibo, Carsten Nicolai
Robot and sensor systems: Danny Bazo (MAT, UC Santa Barbara)
Visuals programming: Wesley Smith (MAT, UC Santa Barbara)
Architecture and hardware: Rob Feigel Office, Vorschub, Zavod Projekt Atol, C-Astral Ltd.
Production support and assistance: Daniel Klemm, nibo
Curated by: Yuiko Shikata (guest curator), Kazunao Abe (YCAM)

Photo: Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM)