binary waves, cybernetic urban installation
article by Ruairi Glynn
"Another great project by LAb[au], "binary waves" is an urban and cybernetic installation based on the measuring of infrastructural ( passengers, cars...) and communicational ( electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones, radio...) flows and their transposition into luminous, sonic and kinetic rules.
This relation between the installation and the urban activity happens in real time and sets each person as an element of the installation, as a centre of the public realm. The installation binary waves is constituted by a network of 32 rotating and luminous panels of 3 meter-high and 60 centimetres wide, placed every 3 meters to form a kinetic wall.
The panels rotate around their vertical axis, and have a black reflective surface on one side, the other being plain mat white. Their rotation is controlled by microprocessors, allowing to determine precisely the rotation speed and angle, while their networking allows to synchronise the movement of the 32 panels.
The microprocessors are connected to infrared sensors, capturing the surrounding infrastructural flows, defining the frequency and amplitude of the rotation. According to this set up, each impulse is transmitted from one panel to the other, describing visual waves running from one side of the installation to the other, and then bouncing back while progressively loosing oscillation.
All these principles relate the 'micro-events' happening in the area to a unified play of light, colours and sounds directly derived from the rhythm of the city flows.
As such, the installation proposes an urban sign having as subject the 'urban' and as message to be a catalyst of urbanity via the transcription of urban flows in a contemporary play of kinetics, lights and sound."
Metalab02 History Navigator (requires the Adobe Flash Player 8+).