Kerstin Ergenzinger & Sono-Choreographic-Collective for Dystopia Sound Art Festival Berlin 2020

Mix of live-recorded single instrument with AI-generated sonification of Whistleblower source texts and the edited myth of King Midas:

 

In a popular Greek myth, Pan the satyr challenged the sun god Apollo, contending that his flute playing was more beautiful than Apollo’s Lyra. Tmolos, the mountain god is called to judge on this and favors Apollo’s sounding strings. King Midas disagrees however, and favors Pan’s flute. Furious, Apollo transforms Midas’ ears into donkey ears and Midas, in shame, hides them for always under a hat. Only his barber gets to see his secret, but is not allowed to tell anyone. As he cannot bear this burden, the barber digs a small hole in the ground and whispers into it: King Midas has donkey ears. A group of nearby reeds overhear the whisper, and moving in the wind they echo in chorus King Midas has donkey ears, carrying the news throughout the land.

Whistleblowers is originally conceived as an outdoor sonic installation of a subtle political intervention. At a time when whistleblowers expose the ways in which we are manipulated by invisible hands, the work draws on three instances of whistleblowing, one mythical and two contemporary, which each make its public aware of being manipulated by those in power. Text from these three sources* (see below) are edited to play upon their semantic, sonic and aesthetic qualities of whistleblowing. These generated words are then sonified through machine learning algorithms and further transduced onto the atmospheric sensitivity of aeolian string instruments.

Seven electro-acoustic string-drum-horns transform, amplify and chant uncomfortable revelations, warning whistles and announcement signals.

These instruments are tuned to a Phrygian Greek Aulos mode, and resonate the natural elements and artificial voices in a spatialized and slightly chaotic constellation. What results is a blending of tuned whispers of the wind with electro-acoustically amplified political voices; a polyphony of wind and strings, acoustic and electronic, in which contemporary secrecies find an echo.

*The tale of King Midas, Ovid, Metamorphoses. Book 11Jon Doe‘s’ Manifesto, Edward Snowden: ‚A manifesto for the truth‘

Collaboration Installation Sound Work / 2020

site-specific sound installation, electroacoustic, aeolian string drum horns. Brass strings, transducers, custom-made electronics, aluminium-tubes, acoustic-horns out of ply-wood, glasfiber and epoxy, dimensions variable.

joint work with Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari and Kiran Kumar  – a Sono-Choreographic-Collective project

Commissioned by Dystopie Sound Art Festial 2020, Berlin. Outdoor permission canceled on short notice by Deutsche Bahn, single-instrument version realized at Alte Münze Foyer

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation Schering Stiftung Berlin Foto © Katja Hommel

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation Schering Stiftung Berlin Foto © Katja Hommel

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © G.J.van Rooij

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © G.J.van Rooij

Navigating Noise at Acts of Orientation A Tale of a Tub Rotterdam Foto © Nathanja van Dijk

Navigating Noise is a poetic exploration of the means of orientation in space through sound and movement. The installation is a site-specific, interactive sonic architecture through which visitors move freely, navigating its sounds and noises. This leads to subtle shifts in the perception of space.

Upon entry the visitor experiences an artificial, technological environment. S/he steps into a world of sounds brought forth by a beehive-shaped aluminum structure that is suspended in space.

The structure is interwoven with approximately 130 meters of piano wire, which is interconnected with robotic muscle wire (the kinetic actuator and shape memory alloy nitinol). The muscle wire is set into motion by voltage pulses that are modulated via the communication frequencies of the controlling hardware – ranging from 1 Hz to approx. 15 000 Hz.

As a result the installation is brought to life by the subsequently vibrating piano wire and the resonating aluminum body, creating a wide range of sound qualities. Each sound hexagon has two in-built infrared motion sensors. Detecting the visitor´s presence the installation translates his or her movements into changing acoustic fields.

Depending on the activity level of a person the system generates and shifts between different sonic states. Each sonic state consists of a background mood and an activated mood – triggered by the presence of a moving body. When standing still s/he will be untraceable for the installation, the system will forget her or his presence and falls back in its own moods and behavior.

The visitor is asked to enter the installation alone, in order to be able to have a highly personal encounter with the installation. Maneuvering through the complex range of sounds at a relatively low volume, the installation asks for a heightened awareness for your surroundings, your own presence in these surroundings (e.g. your steps, breath, the sound of the moving fabric of your cloths) and the acoustic atmosphere of the space.

Through movement and holding still the observer can navigate through soundscapes that are reminiscent of everyday noises that shift between natural, man-made and technololgical phenomena.

Navigating Noise is a metaphorical space, linking a physical experience with the abstract notion of a world increasingly determined by data flows and electronic pathways. The installation renegotiates questions about the relationship between body, sound and space and between the natural and technological conditions of our time. How do we distinguish information in what appears to be noise? How do we orientate ourselves within a diffuse surrounding, how are we influencesd and how do we act ?

Installation Sound Work / 2015-2016

aluminum, nitinol, instrumental wire, strings, cable ties, ukulele tuner, custom-made hard- and software

in close collaboration with Thom Laepple

a workstipend of the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art and the the Stiftung Niedersachsen

the Award of the Saxon State Ministry for higher education, research and the arts

the SMArt® Steps Program of Dynalloy.Inc

programming network communication and counseling: Christian Dietz

Atuning-in Wind

Site-specific sonic intervention with differently tuned aeolian ‘String-Drum-Horns’ on the ground of the former Turbinenhalle at the Lake Stienitzsee in Rüdersdorf close to Berlin. The outdoor installation was realized during the summer workshop and exhibition Unter Strom of Endmoräne e.V. from June 10th until July 7th 2019.

The ‘String-Drum-Horns’ are tensed up with long wind sensitive bronze and nylon strings between the trees along the lakeside. In this site-specific constellation the strings resonated with the winds and turbulences coming from south-west, west, east and south-east. Material, length and tension of the strings extract and filter the frequencies and timbre of the sounds from the ambient aeolian noises. Which are subsequently amplified by the resonant tubes with their connected directional acoustic horns. With those instruments we explore possibilities to a-tune-in the subtle energies of the ambient noise of the winds, that defy control.

Collaboration Installation Sound Work / 2019

Seven custom-made, tuned aeolian ‘String-Drum-Horns’ out of bronze instrumental wire, nylon strings, aluminium, plywood, glass fiber, epoxy and kite strings.

part of Sono-Choreographic-Collective with Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari and Kiran Kumar

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rotterdam in Acts of Orientation at A Tale of a Tub Foto Johannes Langkamp

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rotterdam in Acts of Orientation at A Tale of a Tub Foto GJ.vanRooij

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Andreas Schimanski

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Andreas Schimanski

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Kerstin Ergenzinger

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Kerstin Ergenzinger

Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Andreas Schimanski

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Kerstin Ergenzinger

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Andreas Schimanski

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Kerstin Ergenzinger

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin GLINK in Spacial Clearings at GLINK Foto Andreas Schimanski

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin HaK in Raum Zeichnen in Linien Denken at Haus am Kleistpark

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin HaK in Raum Zeichnen in Linien Denken at Haus am Kleistpark

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Berlin HaK in Raum Zeichnen in Linien Denken at Haus am Kleistpark

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rosenheim in VOLTO1 at Heilige Geist Kirche Rosenheim Foto Max Erbacher

RAUMTASTER [Rotterdam] 2016; RAUMTASTER [Berlin HaK] 2017, RAUMTASTER [Berlin GLINK] 2017, RAUMTASTER [Rosenheim] 2017

The Raumtaster/space senser are modified, overhead projectors and programmable drawing machines, that transforms an existing dark space into an immersive light drawing.

The machines constitute a hybrid being between creature and space and functions as a sense organ, employing light as a means to touch. A Raumtaster departs from the limited radius of its own area of support, takes possession of its surroundings step by step, and makes no distinction between human being and building.It situates viewers themselves at the center of a mechanical process of drawing and signifying. Luminous lines and fields wander across the walls, ceiling and oor, scanning and demarcating the space.

Small details become im- portant elements within the image. Bare walls function both as projection screens as well as the projected image. While scanning the surface and limits of its surroundings. Raumtaster generates new vistas and horizons within the con nements of a given space. Everything becomes a part of its semiotic process and is included in a on-site preprogrammed, fleeting choreography.

Drawing Installation Work / since 2016

Series of site-specific light drawings with technically modifed overhead projectors.

Projectors developed in collaboration with Thom Laepple

Pluvial at KIT Kunst im Tunnel Düsseldorf Phot©Ivo Faber

Pluvial at KIT Kunst im Tunnel Düsseldorf Phot©Ivo Faber

Pluvial at "What if it won´t stop here ?" Archive Books Berlin Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Pluvial at "What if it won´t stop here ?" Archive Books Berlin Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Pluvial at KIT Kunst im Tunnel Düsseldorf Phot©Ivo Faber

Pluvial at KIT Kunst im Tunnel Düsseldorf Phot©Ivo Faber

Kerstin Ergenzinger Noiseflow 2018 conceptual sketch

Kerstin Ergenzinger Noiseflow 2018 conceptual sketch

Pluvial at "Be Water#1 - Pluvial" bpart Exhibition Berlin Foto © Andreas Schimanski

Pluvial at "Be Water#1 - Pluvial" bpart Exhibition Berlin Foto © Andreas Schimanski

Pluvial at "Be Water#1 - Pluvial" bpart Exhibition Berlin Foto © Andreas Schimanski

Pluvial at "What if it won´t stop here ?" Archive Books Berlin Opening Foto © Graduiertenschule UdK Berlin

Pluvial refers to an age determined by rainfall, a period with high precipitation, a season like the wet monsoon, continuous rainfalls of severe wheathers or a state of being rainy. The  sound installation Pluvial takes the form of a sono-tactile architecture and spacial instrument, that follows the associative and physical quality of rain noise. It simulates and creates acoustically rainy, watery conditions and explores the sensual and conceptual relationship between man and place by connecting the listening body with a self-organizing, animated system.

The eighty-channel spatial instrument consists of self-made, digitally controlled drums that work according to the String-Drum principle and use the shape memory alloy Nitinol as instrument string. The hanging drums balance floating in a large cloud-like mobile. Their metallic resonance tubes lift and lower at the heat-sensitive, kinetic nitinol strings, sending and knocking swelling rhythms and rushing harmonies through space. Pluvial invites to enter and follow the acoustic and tactile sounds.

Rain materializes white noise: modulated by the drop size and intensity of precipitation, acoustically and tactilely filtered by the quality of the environment that the drops encounter. In analogy to the phenomenon of rain, these string drums are driven by random on-off voltage pulses, which in turn are modulated by the density and intensity of collected precipitation measurements on the world‘s oceans.

The result is an acoustic environment that unfolds in time and space, modulating from barely audible to expansive rhythms. The physical body of the drum cloud with its different resonance frequencies and their harmonics acts like a set of bandwidth filters – defined by the different tube lengths, widths and materials, as well as by the randomly varying tensions of the drumheads. In addition, each drum is equipped with a feedback pendulum that interrupts the circuit when it is heated and fully tightened, allowing the rhythms of the individual drums to diverge further.

The work explores  rhythm and the sonic as carriers that are able to wander in-between different senses, mental modes, ways of thinking, and generating sense. It ties in with the experience of being outside in changing weather conditions, with the openness of perception that arises when one is exposed to these conditions without protection.

Installation Sound Work / 2019

aluminum, tin, brass, nitinol, silicon, strings, cable ties, custom-made hard- and software

in close collaboration with Thom Laepple

Thorsten Schumm and Simon Stellmer, research project nuClock

Part of the research project “Rhythmic Textures”, funded by Einstein Foundation Berlin
Realized with the Graduate School at the Berlin University of Arts.

supported by the SMArt® Steps Program of Dynalloy.Inc

The modulation of the random pwm-control-volatage is based on the open source data of the Ocean Rain And Ice-phase precipitation measurement Network (OceanRAIN)

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry at UnReal - The Algorithmic Present at Chronus Art Center Shanghai Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry at UnReal - The Algorithmic Present at Chronus Art Center Shanghai Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry Footprint Detail Basel Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry at UnReal - The Algorithmic Present at House of Electronic Arts Basel Foto © Gina Folly

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry at UnReal - The Algorithmic Present at House of Electronic Arts Basel Foto © Gina Folly

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry at UnReal - The Algorithmic Present at Chronus Art Center Shanghai Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Timekeeper Footprint Detail Basel Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Timekeeper Footprint Detail Basel Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Wanderer Spacetime Poetry is a continuously evolving installation series. Wanderers are small modified and individually programmed thermal printers that roam along paper strips that are stretched in different constellations across a space. On their journeys the Wanderers leave traces behind, a line, a dot or words. Like a snail with its trail the units dynamically create a poetic drawing over the course of an exhibition – e.g. a period of 2-3 month.

Opposing the manufacturing diktat of maximized performance, they are devoted to slowness. They translate the passage of time into movements in space. They configure a netting of branded marks, that themselves result in temporal archival roles of interconnected reflections and remains of accidental events – because exposed to light and touch, these prints are gradually fading.

The little automata interact with the texture of time as such. Counting, heat-printing and changing frequencies/speeds, they stress and compress moments. Embodying continuous change they perform the passage of time. The Wanderers rely on their internal clocks and two orientation methods: counting steps and calibrating when sensing black.

Both the pre-defined controls specifications of the machines and the controlling algorithms – developed in relation with the changing spatial constellations – together with the individual mechanics result in the possibilities and constraints that define the Wanderers behavior.

The seven Wanderers are ascending and descending slopes that are stretched between two fixed floating aluminum swings. Each printer shares a slow mean pace but randomly changes it. The Wanderes perform a gravitational experiment, while the slowly shifting weights create a continuously changing formation. The vectors of their printed traces follow these physical principles: The continuous lengthening and shortening of the paper strips with the falling and rising inclinations are superimposed in time. Each printer continues the trail of the previous one.

According to a set of rules based on probabilities the machines pick ‘their’ stream of consciousness from an electronic library, a partition written by Daniel Canty. The automata partition reflects both on the essence of time and connects to the different constellations and technical specifications of the machines. The writing changes with the particular location where the poetry is performed.

Close to the seven Wanderers a lonely Timekeeper moves at constant speed on top of a horizontally stretched paper stripe. The Timekeeper records and measures the duration of an exhibition on a four meter long paper strip. It divides the given time-distances with different vertical lines and creates a ruler-like time map. The Timekeeper moves at a constant speed, and its objective is to set its marks with utmost precision. Doing so, it manifests the system´s limits and its own idiosyncratic take on them.

Drawing Installation Work / since 2017 (ongoing)

custom-prepared thermal printers, custom-made electronics, thermal paper, aluminum, strings

collective work with Thom Laepple

in collaboration with Daniel Canty

The development of “Wanderer Spacetime Poetry” is enriched by the exchange with the scientist from nuClock, a project conducting fundamental research to develop a hyper-precise nuclear clock: namely by Simon Stellmer, Thorsten Schumm and Lars von der Wense.

The initial collaboration with Daniel Canty was financially supported by the nuClock, that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 664732.”project.

The explorations of the hidden sonic and rhythmic layers of the installation and the concerts “Listening to Spacetime Poetry” are part of my research project “Rhythmic Textures” 2016-2018, funded by Einstein Foundation Berlin and realized with the support of the Graduate School at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Intrusion - Lonely Star, at Touching Ambiguity, Oboro Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Intrusion - Lonely Star, at Touching Ambiguity, Oboro Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Intrusion - Lonely Star, at Touching Ambiguity, Oboro Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Intrusion - Lonely Star, at Touching Ambiguity, Oboro Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Intrusion - Lonely Star, at Touching Ambiguity, Oboro Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Geysir Lonely Star, Yellowstone Nationalpark 2011, pen on Paper

In Geology intrusion is a liquid rock that forms under Earth’s surface. Filling all cracks and spaces it can find or sometimes very slowly pushing away existing rock, too.

The drawings sublty intrude the walls and corners of a space. Lines shift from 2D to 3D. They meander back and forth from the surface, from the projection and the abstract sign, to the third dimension, the physical raterialization and representation.

The lines unite into an internally alternating rhythmic texture. Shifting between sharpness and haziness. They breath, they expand and contract, they shiver and vibrate.

Departure point for each drawing is a site, which I have experienced myself and where phenomena of the geosphere became visible.

Intrusion – Lonely Star
realized for Touching Ambiguity at OBORO Montreal
named after a Geysir at Yellowstone Nationalpark

Intrusion – Tiefenzeit (deep Time)
realized for zeich[n]en at Kunstmuseum Bonn
inspired by the horizontally folded time layers of a glacier´s wall in Greenland.

Drawing Installation Work / since 2014

site-specific, kinetic drawing series with muscle-wire, white cable strand, white elastic-thread, silicon, nails, pen and shadows

in collaboration with Thom Laepple

Rotes Rauschen at Touching Ambiguity OBORO Montreal Foto © Paul Litherland

Rotes Rauschen at States of Being Edith Russ House for Media Art Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Rotes Rauschen at States of Being Edith Russ House for Media Art Foto © Franz Warmhof

Rotes Rauschen at VIDA 15.0 Fundacion Telefonica Madrid Foto © Fundacion Telefonica

Rotes Rauschen at HMKV HartwareMedienKunstVerein Dortmund Foto © Andrea Eichardt

Rotes Rauschen at HMKV HartwareMedienKunstVerein Dortmund Foto © Andrea Eichardt

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.

Installation Sculpture Sound Work / 2012

expanded polypropylene (EPP), carbon, nitinol, aluminum, steel, strings, cable ties, custom-made Lehman seismometer, custom-made hard- and software

in close collaboration with Thom Laepple

the scholarship for woman media artists by the Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of North Rhine-Westphalia and HMKV Hartware MedienKunstverein Dortmund

Stefan Niermann igus GmbH

the SMArt® Steps Program of Dynalloy.Inc

Sensing the Gap - Crumpled#1- Mobiles of Transformation at Silk Museum Tblisi, Georgia

Sensing the Gap - Crumpled#1- at Acts of Orientation, Salon der Ästhetischen Experimente, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin Foto © Malte Spitz

Sensing the Gap - Apple and Crumpled#2- at Acts of Orientation, Salon der Ästhetischen Experimente, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin Foto © Malte Spitz

Sensing the Gap - Apple Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Apple Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Apple Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Apple Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Apple Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Shell Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Shell Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Shell Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Shell Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Shell Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Tomato Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Tomato Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Tomato Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

Sensing the Gap - Tomato Foto © Kerstin Ergenzinger

By investigating the surface texture of different objects, from a tactile, acoustic, and temporal perspective the Sensing The Gap series, actualises virtual rhythmic processes embedded (inscribed) in their surface texture and brings to perception previously unknown and imperceptible layers.

The mobiles are small, kinetic sculptures, mobiles of transformation. Each is made of an original object and three 1:1 replicates, that have been 3D-scanned and -printed employing different materials and printing methods. Each object stores time differently, from the instant moment of crumpling a paper, to the transformation of a silkworm into a butterfly or from a slowly dried tomato, a mumified 17-year old apple to the geological process of mineral formation. By balancing their original weight with the weight of the different replicates, the mobiles question their symmetries and revolve around what emerges from the gaps.

Installation Sculpture Work / divers original objects and 3D Print out of,different photopolymer and expoxid-plaster, brass, strings

The sculptures are part of the research fellowship project "Rhythmic Textures" at the Berlin Center for Advanced Studies of the University of the Arts Berlin. Furthermore I wholeheartly thank Arts@CERN for the inspiring and relevant time as guest artist in 2017

Funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin,
realized with the Graduate School of the Berlin University of the Arts

Studie zur Sehnsucht [Zagreb] 2017; Studie zur Sehnsucht [Évora] 2014, Studie zur Sehnsucht [Bremen] 2013; Studie zur Sehnsucht [Enschede] 2011; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Ghent] 2010; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Kopenhagen] 2009; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Chur] 2009; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Malmö] 2008; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Bregenz] 2008; Studie zur Sehnsucht[Köln] 2007

Studien zur Sehnsucht, Studies for Longing/Seeing, are site-specific sculptural ensembles and longing machines. They are connected with a reactive system, a geophone and a seismometer, which sense the location‘s seismic activity. Seismic data of the place is captured in real-time and turned into the source of information associated with simulations of equivalent movements keeping the work in constant transformation. The system is sensitive to both the micro seismic pulses of the exhibition space and its surroundings, including the ambient noise of the earth and the fine shifting of the oor caused by visitors’ moving weights. A dialogical relationship between reality (the data) and fiction (the simulated  movements actualized by the sculptural mechanics) is established.

Studie zur Sehnsucht [Zagreb]

The sculptures address the concept of longing in relation to the human idea of nature and landscape, herein symbolized by mountainsides and tectonic destruction. They explore the idea that for interpreting our surroundings, stimuli, data, and relationships, we only move on seemingly stable ground. Nevertheless our interpretations are deeply influenced by this longing for stability: We are constantly developing and implementing techniques that expand our ability of receptivity, on which we consequentially build our perception and again develop interpretation models and patterns to guide ourselves in the world.

Triggered by changing seismic signals, the sculptural bodies react and move within their time frame of adaptation. The system acts like an adaptive sensory organ, susceptible to stimuli. Like eyes to light and ears to noise, it adapts to changing circumstances and generates its own motion patterns. In a state yet slightly tense and aware, the work balances noise by vibrating between contractions and stretching.

These kinetic sculptures may be regarded as pseudo-scientific simulations of the landscape. Its shape and the inherent proportions arising from the mechanics are the result of extended graphical research on the mountainsides, conducted by Kerstin Ergenzinger during long hiking tours, and of a subsequent analysis of the natural proportions noted in the drawings.

Studie zur Sehnsucht[Kopenhagen]

Installation Sculpture Work / since 2007 (ongoing)

polymer foam, carbon, nitinol, silicon, magnets, steel plates, cable ties, strings, pigments custom-made Lehman-seismometer, geophone, custom-made mechanics, custom-made hard- and software

in close collaboration with Thom Laepple

by the SMArt® Steps Program of Dynalloy.Inc and Stefan Niermann igus® gmbh

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rotterdam in Acts of Orientation at A Tale of a Tub Foto Johannes Langkamp

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Raumtaster Rotterdam in Acts of Orientation at A Tale of a Tub Foto GJ.vanRooij

Sensing the Gap - Crumpled#1- at Acts of Orientation, Salon der Ästhetischen Experimente, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin Foto © Malte Spitz

Acts of Orientation is the programmatic title of independent cross-disciplinary research group and ongoing project founded by founded by an artist, myself, physicist Thomas Laepple and curator Nathanja van Dijk. Departure point of the joint research was my wish to develop a new interactive sound architecture: Navigating Noise right from the beginning within a critical dialog from a spatial-physical as well as natural science and humanities perspective both about forms and strategies of orientation in our technologized world and about conscious and unconscious mechanisms of perception. 2014, in preparation of our first exhibition at the Schering Stiftung in 2015, including a symposium with a series of seminars and a public lecture, we started to collaborate with Sebastian Schwesinger and Christian Kassung from the research group Analog Storage Media at the Interdisciplinary Lab of Image Knowledge Gestaltung Cluster of Excellence at Humboldt University Berlin.

On the act of orientation
Orientation is an act of tuning and co-ordinating. Our own perceptual apparatus and its learned mode of administration need to be co-ordinated with a magnitude of technologies and techniques that form the reference framework for our activity. Where bottom-up perception and top-down instruction blend a zone of highly intricate interaction is created. This field constitutes what Erich Hörl has coined »our highly technicized sense-culture« (in German »Sinnkultur«, 2013, p. 128). Consider yourself in a simple navigational situation like driving a car. Your auditory, visual, and other sensory perception and feedback is constantly confronted with geographical, transport, engineering and other reference or input data. Synchronisation does not happen by itself. Orientation, thus, needs techniques and strategies to bridge some of the fundamental categories at work here, some of them pivotal enough to characterise our historically specific condition: analog | digital, implicit | explicit, subjective | objective, etc. This description of orientation can serve as a common denominator for every situation in which we try to make sense of the world, may it be the everyday or science, in the realms of the concrete or the abstract.

With the aid of Navigating Noise this project intervenes both theoretically and practically in such trading zones of sense-making. It investigates not only the technology but also its inherent strategies as well as the material affordances utilised in orientation, i.e. its diagrammatics. What perceptual patterns are applied intentionally and unintentionally when such situations get blurry or noisy? What relations evolve when reference structures and data input do not match? Investigating such navigational systems or situations from the perspective of noise, i.e. what is excluded, dangerous, or unprocessable, one can unveil a system’s foundations and internal logics. In this way, a fresh perspective for critical evaluation is offered. Instead of macro-politics it is the micro-political which forms every act of orientation.

Past Acts of Orientation
Up to now we realized two exhibitions, the first 2015 at the Schering Stiftung Berlin, which included a symposium with cross-disciplinary seminars, a sound walk and a public lecture. The second 2016 at A Tale of a Tub in Rotterdam including an evening on sonic abstraction. Over the course of two years we worked on a follow up, cross-disciplinary publication: “Navigating Noise” (ed. Nathanja van Dijk, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Sebastian Schwesinger and Christian Kassung, Kunstwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Bd. 54, Walther König, 2017, http://a-tub.org/online/navigating-noise-publication/) and developed an experimental public evening in the series Salons der Ästhetischen Experimente at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Throughout the exhibitions and the follow up publication, the installation Navigating Noise was the joint space for experience that provided a shared sensorial dispositive from which the cross-disciplinary dialogue between the participants and the public departed.

Navigating Noise, the book, with contributions by African Noise Foundation, Lino Camprubí, Felix Gerloff, Paul Hegarty, Seth Horowitz, Tim Ingold, Eleni Ikoniadou, Brandon LaBelle, Thomas Laepple, Heike Catherina Mertens, Patricia Pisters, Wolfgang Schäffner, Martin Skrydstrup:

Navigating Noise” means getting off the beaten track in order to find, or rather, to create something new. This publication is the result of such unconventional navigations, which follow the track of noise on its path across art, science, and the humanities. The point of departure is the artwork Navigating Noise by artist Kerstin Ergenzinger and physicist Thomas Laepple. This ephemeral, somewhat out-worldly sound installation provides the framework for a collection of academic and artistic contributions that address the need for alternative means of orientation to deal with noise and to understand and (re)establish our unstable position within a highly technologized, mediated, and globalized reality. These navigations cover a broad terrain of research: from the starry skies to the deep oceans, from the ice cores of Greenland to sonic navigation in the animal kingdom, from spatial acoustics in World War I to noise music. Through a multidisciplinary approach, Navigating Noise paves the way for unexpected connections between research domains located

Acts of Orientation, the Salon für Ästhetische Experimente at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin
Based on investigations on how to orientate oneself at the borderline of noise and and on the just released interdisciplinary publication “Navigating Noise”, the Salon “Acts of Orientation” questions as well the notion of rhythm as a middle force between regularity and chaos as the role of gaps and lines in orientation processes such as sensing, recording, reconstructing, translating and interpreting.

Starting with an experimental concert: “Listening to Spacetime Poetry”, performed by custom-made thermal printers, the evening tries to blend practical and theoretical thinking by offering a choreographed sequence of presented works in process that enter into dialogue with the different perspectives of the contributing guests:

Nathanja van Dijk (curator with background in art history and philosophy),
Eleni Ikoniadou (writer, researcher, teacher and practitioner specialising in media theory, sonic research and digital art and culture),
Thom Laepple (physicist working in climate research, specialist in the quantitative synthesis and explanation of paleoclimate data such as ice cores),
Sebastian Schwesinger (research associate in the Analog Storage Media project, specialising in models of sonic thinking and reasoning and the connection of sonic materiality with physical and virtual infrastructre design)
and with a contribution by the African Noise Foundation featuring Nicola Dean.

Collaboration / since 2013 (ongoing)

interdisciplinary research project by Kerstin Ergenzinger, Nathanja van Dijk and Thom Laepple

Nathanja van Dijk
Thom Laepple
Research group »Analog Storage Media« of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:
Christian Kassung
Sebastian Schwesinger

LAP Leuphana Arts Program
Schering Stiftung

»Analog Storage Media« of the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

A Tale of a Tub, Mondriaan Fond, Gemeente Rotterdam, Pauwhof Fonds, Goethe-Institut Rotterdam

De Player

Kunstfonds Bonn

As part of the research project “Rhythmic Textures”, funded by Einstein Foundation Berlin
Realized with the Graduate School at the Berlin University of Arts.

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Whiskers in Space at Kunststation St.Peter, Cologne Foto©Kerstin Ergenzinger

Whiskers in Space is an artistic study of listening, noise and meadows. Fragmentary, sculptural mechanisms are sensing and measuring disquietude. They are sensitive to the noise of the fine air currents we are normally not aware of. Similar to the whiskers of a cat in the dark, the whiskers serve both as feelers and antennae.

The installation is connected to sensors – hot-wire anemometres – that measure the air flow in the room. The Whiskers adopt this noise as their own agitated, slightly nervous state of being and mirror and transform the signals of the changes in the currents. At the same time the movement of this mechanism feeds stimuli back into its immediate surroundings causing the installation to alternate between feedback and reaction.

Acting as if they were sense organs they are mirroring synapses and adapt to the changing level of air activity oscillating between reacting, neglecting and waiting until they are ready to be activated again. With our warm and moving bodies we are part of the system but not necessarily more critical than an elusive draft or the combined movement of the sculptures themselves.

The individual sculptures out of flexible expanded propylene foam are connected and animated by tension controllable mechanisms constructed with nitinol wire. Furthermore the foamy bodies of the sculptures acoustically amplify the frequencies of the vibrating wires sending out nervously rhythmic hums and tickings.

Installation Sculpture Work / 2010

expanded polypropylene, nitinol, silicon, steel, custom electronics: air currents sensor: hot-wire anemometer

in collaboration with Thom Laepple

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Electrohype Biennal 2006 Kunsthalle Lund Foto©Electrohype

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Academy for Media Arts Colgone Foto©Heiko Diekmeier

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Electrohype Biennal 2006 Kunsthalle Lund Foto©Electrohype

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Academy for Media Arts Colgone Foto©Heiko Diekmeier

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Academy for Media Arts Colgone Foto©Heiko Diekmeier

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Academy for Media Arts Colgone Foto©Heiko Diekmeier

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast in zeich[n]en Kunstmuseum Bonn Foto©David Ertl

Kerstin Ergenzinger: Nodegreewestandnodegreeast in zeich[n]en Kunstmuseum Bonn Foto©Kerstin Ergenzinger

Nodegreewestandnodegreeast at Kunstraum Düsseldorf Foto©Kerstin Ergenzinger

„Nodegreewestandnodegreeast” is a boxed space, whose parameters and geographic positions remain indeterminate. Inside the box moving projeted light symbols constantly redefine it.

Into the ceiling the template of an anglular line is cut, its shape refers to width and length of the architecture. On top of the space a microchip controlled drawing machine defines the position and brightness of seven lamps. By cutting out lightlines it projects dynamic maps into the experimental space.

The walkable system is an apparatus with an open structure, all elements can be sensed. Beeing interested in the feedback between perceiving thinking and acting, I explore the difference between physical perception and ephemeral appearance and the emphasis of process and time, while we are constantly constructing world out of foreign and familiar elements

Programming the drawing sequence I concentrated both on the vertical, the feeling of balance and gravity when we stand inside the drawing, and on the horizontal, the perspectives that turn a 3D space into 2D and backwards. It is an approx. 11 min loop out of parts working with the floor, parts working with the construction elements of the box and parts working with perpective and horizontal lines that seem to open an inner to an outer space.

Drawing Installation Work / 2005/2006

space-related lightinstallation, mixed media, 560x300x260 cm

custom-made drawing machine with Thom Laepple (soft-and hardware development)

Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Electrohype, Kunstmuseum Bonn, igus®

out of the poetic ghetto © Sono-Choreographic Collective

resist disembodiment © Sono-Choreographic Collective

subverting motors of modernity © Sono-Choreographic Collective

held by the spin © Sono-Choreographic Collective

nuance as method © Sono-Choreographic Collective

navigating polysenses © Sono-Choreographic Collective

Coming from practices of sculpture, music and dance respectively, we –  Kerstin Ergenzinger, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari and Kiran Kumar -, are a collective for transdisciplinary art and research.

Invited by Aryan Kaganof, the curator and editor of the south africa based online journal herri,  our contribution to herri#4  Playing Grounds: a polymodal essay published in June 2020, offers glimpses into our transdisciplinary and cross- cultural artistic research processes by reaching into our desktops and drawers, our lab, kitchen and garden spaces. This assemblage of text, sound, image and video is an expanding portrait of our still growing and spinning musical instruments.

We presented this family of musical spin-tops through a lecture concert at the KlingtGut Konferenz on spacial audio at the HAW Hamburg 15.5.2021. The conference was held in hybrid form. As many contributions as possible where performed in their studios and streamed live. At this time Kiran could only be present through his previously recorded voice.

Working through our multi-disciplinary studio practices, and also through interdisciplinary dialogues with other artistic and scientific interlocutors, as a collective we actively seek out interpersonal thought, collaboration and play in order to explore notions of subtlety, embodiment and consciousness through the arts.

At the core of our collaborative practice is play: We play intentionally to seek, affirm and share a life-ness, which we see as so important to the world today. We play our self-made research instruments, and also our human body-mind. We play attentively to create and sustain encounters for something subtle to emerge. We call these encounters ‚Sono-Choreographic Playgrounds‘, because on the playground we can be playful rather than precious about seeking out subtlety.

Our playgrounds are interspaces of installation, performance, instrumental music and story-telling. Our playgrounds are also collective spaces where personal encounters of subtlety might expand into shared experiences of e.g. our shared bond to gravity. And it is in this sharing of nuanced co-presences that we locate our urgent resistance to the excesses of modernity, to tendencies of higher, stronger and faster. Our resistance is micropolitical in that it proposes subtle modes of sensing. It is also playful in proposing poly-sensory spaces and places to tease out more than monistic ways of sensing, experiencing, knowing and therefore relating-with our worlds.

Playground#4 – projection view open studio on the 21st of September 2019 during the Lange Nacht der Gerichtshöfe, Berlin © Sono-Choreographic Collective

Collaboration Performance Sculpture Sound / since 2019

Sono-Choreographic Collective: Kerstin Ergenzinger, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari and Kiran Kumar

Listening to Spacetime Poetry are performative concerts with a selection of the custom-prepared thermal printers called Wanderes. In the concerts the hidden sonic layers of the units are picked-up and played back as single channels into the space. The controlling algorithm is taylored for the performances: playing with changing speeds and point of returns, the units print the unique scores of each particular performed piece of spacetime.

During the concerts the space is darkend, only the moving LEDs of the printers visually mark their lines.

Performance Sound Work / since 2017/2018

custom-prepared thermal printers, custom-made electronics, thermal paper, omni-microphone-pickups, 1 speaker per thermalprinter and microphone

The explorations of the hidden sonic and rhythmic layers of the installation and the concerts “Listening to Spacetime Poetry” are part of my research project “Rhythmic Textures” 2016-2018, funded by Einstein Foundation Berlin and realized with the support of the Graduate School at the Berlin University of the Arts.

“Ortsflüchtig” is an interactive, performative installation or sculptural performance for a solo dancer, a live controlled kinetic installation and live generated electronic sound.

Departing point for the musical compositions and variations is Daniel Williams intense examination of Monteverids L ́Orfeo. The permeable, kinetic sculptural installation, created by installation and media artist Kerstin Ergenzinger, is stage set as well as performing counterpart for the dancer and choreographer Johanna Roggan. A new and constantly changing space within space for dance, music and audience at the same time. An invitation to think up, to imagine and to affect ones-own different spaces.

Johanna Roggan and Kerstin Ergenzinger worked on an augmented dance form between a dancing body and the ambiguous physical and technological presence of an animated kinetic sculpture. The sculpture changes roles between: a spatial fragment or an architectural element and an organic residual or physical/body part, between a machine and an animistic being. The interplay between the dancer and the wireless controlled augmented sculpture varies between serving and controlling, refusing and embracing, playing and fighting, rigor, tenderness and fusion.

The choreography evolves within in the triangle of dance, kinetic sculpture and music and is based both on a red line of motives (kinesthetically and musically) and on a setting of atmospheres and scenes in between which improvisation plays a pivotal role. During the performance the artists try to weave a rhythmic texture that kinesthetically and acoustically resonates within the audience.

Collaboration Performance Sculpture / 2015-2016

custom-made mechanics out of: carbon, epoxy, polymer friction bearing, aluminum, stepper motor, strings, weights, pulleys, custom-made hard- and software

Commissioned sculpture for an interactive performance installation

with Johanna Roggan and the guts company

Credits:

choreography & dance: Johanna Roggan
space-light concept, kinetic installation & live interaction:
Kerstin Ergenzinger
sound live: Daniel Williams
hard- and software: Thom Laepple
dramaturgy: Célestine Hennermann
light: Severin Beyer, Falk Dittrich
head of production: Dana Bondartschuk
documentation: Benjamin Schindler
production of the guts company

Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen,
Landeshauptstadt Dresden – Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz,
Kulturstiftung Dresden der Dresdner Bank
Igus®