Constructive Interference 2011

August 23rd, 2011

Constructive Interference: Emmanuel Gallery 2011

Constructive Interference is a hybrid artwork that questions the boundaries between installation and performance, instrument and environment, system and situation.

Artists David Fodel and Paco Proano use the notion of constructive interference, a concept rooted in wave dynamics, as a metaphor for the process of collaboration itself, and as a way of exposing individual and collective modes of experience and perception. The artwork tracks the movement of multiple gallery visitors, translating those actions into audible and visible feedback. The sound component is a specially tuned set of sine wave harmonics that are played back through a unique set of loudspeakers built from large bowed sheets of custom-finished plate steel. These steel plates, suspended from the gallery ceiling, each possess specific sonic qualities which resonate and combine tones, creating a complex “chorus” that reverberates through the unique architectural space of the selected site: in this case, the oldest standing religious structure in Denver.

As visitors move through the space, their movement and location are tracked and used to modulate the sounds and resulting harmonics. Visually, those waveforms, and additional visual elements, are projected back into the space using a multi-projector system that creates an immersive audiovisual experience. The sounds and the images react to one other, and to the audience, who collectively create the ongoing experience. Architecture and science, engineering and rational thought, have converged to create structures and materials that have protected and empowered humans for ages. Religion and belief, magic and mystery, have brought people together in collective rituals to raise our voices to that which is greater than the sum of our individual strengths.

Celebrating this convergence, this constructive interference, we acknowledge the extensions of our spirit through this playful entanglement with technology, bodies, and space. Working within the once active liturgical space, a sensitivity to the structure and to it’s intended purpose drove the project. A congregation exists as a community, a collective voice. The high ceilings and hard surfaces of the structure — elements designed to blend the singular voices of the congregation into a larger whole — are used to diffuse, merge and enhance the harmonics of the sound waves generated by the artwork.

On opening and closing nights the artists perform a series of real-time audiovisual compositions directly through the installation, transforming the space into a spectacular experience of sensory overload and subtle, minimal aesthetics. Guest artists were invited on closing night to compose and perform in the space, utilizing the audiovisual system in whatever ways they deemed appropriate. The result of this broad collaboration opens the artwork to other modes of interaction including dance, voice, traditional musical instruments and more.

Tangible artifacts in the form of silkscreen prints are similarly developed from subtle, additive overlays of offset monochromatic shades, providing evidence of the ephemeral processes employed by the artists in the construction and operation of the system. Constructive Interference attempts to explore those hybrid spaces that exist between media, materials, human interaction and collaborative play through the use of open-ended systems, processes and aesthetics.

Closing event at Emmanuel on Thursday Aug. 25th featured: Katie Elliott -dance (3rd Law Dance Theater) Paul Fowler - voice Matt Pass - voice and horns Janet Feder - guitar and voice David Fodel and Paco Proano: live media performance A photo gallery of images shot during the installation and during an "ambisonic" recording session is available, as well as a binaural recording of the actual installation from the point of view of a typical single gallery visitor. The full-surround recordings will be available soon.

Binaural audio recording of active installation Constructive Interference Binaural by davidfodel