carsten nicolai|syn chron
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syn chron ; art as a crystal-symbiosis of light, sound, and architecture

This work is Nicolai's major work showing his real ability, in which he forms a unique structure is generated from crossover ideas of visual art and sound art. He calls it "Symbiosis of light, sound, and architecture". In this sound installation, a large 14m-wide and 4m-high polyhedron made possible by analyzing a physical crystal system is covered with a new material that has a special honeycomb structure to permeate through image projection, and on its surface are fixed many small special speakers. Particle-like images (on six white-laser projectors) synchronize and change with the composition of abstract electronic sounds that frequently use Nicolai's original sign-waves and pulse sounds. Thus visitors can experience freely this work and resonance moving about inside and outside the installation.

perfectsquare In the sounds of "syn chron" connecting vision, auditory sense, and space is uniquely used a system inferred from the visual, formative system. When the inside of a square is divided by squares of each different size, a combination of twenty-one square parts in minimum can restore the full-sized square. The principle used visually and formatively in his latest piece "perfect square" (2004), a square installation composed of glass blocks, is adopted in "syn chron" in a way that twenty squares with each different side length rotate to make a spiral curve one by one around the center, and then they are placed back in a row, which eventually changes into a time axis for a sound diagram. On this time axis are components such as sign waves and pulse sounds complicatedly composed from the viewpoint of electronic sounds.

The particle-like images responding synchronizingly to the sounds are allotted precisely to each part of the composition. They loop in the cycle of 21+21=42 minutes.

syn chron text by carsten nicolai

An accessible crystal-shape object is constructed of semi-transparent material and has a hexagonal shape. The exterior skin of the architecture forms the essential interface in the symbiosis of the elements of light and sound. Together, the surfaces of the exterior and interior skin form a space that functions as an acoustical body, resonating space, and a projection surface.

The sound comprises of simple acoustical particles as well as sinus sounds reminiscent of test signals. The acoustic signals are produced and merged through the special acoustic of the crystal-shape object. Visually the object can also be perceived as a sculpture. It was the intention to create a perceptible ordered interior space that maintains an optical and acoustical neutrality.

laser projections, the dimension of the space is constantly re-defined. "syn chron" tries to evoke a symbiosis of light, sound and architecture, and to connect them with aspects such as time, frequency and space.

syn chron - team

Carsten Nicolai: concept, composition
Finn Geipel & Giulia Andi, LIN: architecture
Werner Sobek: supporting structure
David Letellier: artistic / architectural assistance
Ingrid Buschmann, Gabriele Knapstein: curators in Berlin
JENOPTIK AG: laser sources
LaserAnimation SOLLINGER GmbH: laser technology, programming
ELAC Electroacustic GmbH: audio technology
Nibo: sound programming
Rob Feigel: technical production
Carsten Koppe, Knut Kruppa: production team