by: Filip Visnjic
SignalToNoise, kinetic sound art installation
by LAb[au] 2012
'Signal to Noise' by LAb[au]
512 mechanical split-flaps and the noise of data
algorithm, Events, installation, kinetic, labau, machine, recycle, Sound, split flaps,
'SignalToNoise' is the latest installation by LAb[au], immersing the spectator in patterns of sonic motion produced by 512 recycled mechanical split-flaps. The expression 'signal-to-noise' is a measure used to quantify how much a signal has been lost to noise; it's a ratio of useful to un-useful information in a data exchange. The circular installation invites the visitor to plunge into a kinetic composition in the midst of the eternal calculation process of an auto-poetic machine. The split-flaps are constantly spinning on a variable speed/rhythm which is dependent upon on the underlying algorithm, analyzing in the maze of information the appearance of a word-equals-meaning.
The works consists of a circular structure, containing 4 horizontal rows of 128 split-flaps at eye height. It is an interesting hybrid between digital and analog technology based on mechanics, visual and sonic characteristics that have been carved in our memory - train stations and airports. It is sad
that these displays once covered entire walls of train stations and airports have nowadays almost entirely disappeared from public space - replaced with much cheaper LED displays. By pure accident in January 2011, LAb[au] had the opportunity to recuperate a stock of old split-flaps coming from Bruges' train-station which had been stocked for several years in Ghent. The team now own a big stock of split-flaps after having spent months restoring them.
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