Tessel, kinetic sound installation, 2010:
By David Letellier and LAb[au]
Co-production of MediaRuimte (Brussels) and Roger Tator (Lyon)
Realized with the financial support of Arcadi and Dicream, Commission des Arts Numériques de la Communauté Française de Belgique.

A kinetic sound installation investigating the perception of sound and space.

Tessel is constituted of a suspended and articulated topography of 4 x 2 m, subdivided into forty triangles. Twelve of them are fitted with motors and eight are equipped with audio transducers, which transform the surface into a dynamic sonic space. A dialogue between space and sound is created through this sculptural “choreography”. Our perception is altered, as the surface slowly modifies its shape.

From Tinguely’s poetic machines to Alexander Calder’s mobiles or Buckminster Fuller’s synergetics, Tessel combines influences that question the link between geometry, movement and chaos, thus continuing the quest for beauty in the synesthetic perception of sound and spatial phenomenons.

Its name is derived from “tessellation”, a term applied to the geometric subdivision of a surface into plane figures, also known as “tiling”. It also describes a software technique that allows calculation of renderings through the subdivision of surfaces into polygons. The term has its origin in the Latin word “tessella”, describing the square tiles used to make mosaics.

Tessellation has been applied throughout history from ancient to modern times, from two to n-dimensional configurations and merges science and art through mathematics. Here Tessel is based on the “pinwheel pattern”, a non-periodic tiling coined by mathematicians Charles Radin and John Conway, which allows the creation of an infinitely complex geometry constructed with a simple single “seed”: a right triangle. Here, the pinwheel pattern is transformed, folded and transposed to the third dimension.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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