Installation for four white lasers and sound
Powerful laser beams draw a floating white object on a thirty meter wide and six meter high wall in a completely dark space, slowly evolving shapes, edges and curves of shimmering, pulsating light.
Sometimes the shapes are barely visible, sometimes they explode into extreme brightness. In some sequences the quality of the light is steady, during other times it fluctuates and breaks apart into scintillating particles. A black shadow is moving through the image every five seconds, obscuring the light like the blade of a giant windmill.
Dense and tiny sonic events seem to emerge from the light object, embedded in distant reverberant echoes of decaying piano notes, a mysterious stream of sounds with no end and no beginning. Sound and light play with each other; commenting and complementing gestures that merge into one single breathing, bodiless entity.
The installation is based on the principles of algorithmic and stochastic composition, both for the visual as for the auditive side. It never repeats, and its future states cannot entirely be foreseen. Its duration is endless.
Fragile Territories is a commissioned work by Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France.
How did this project use Max?
The four laser projectors are controlled by generative Max patches, creating constantly morphing shapes of light. The Max patches run on two computers, each of them controlling two lasers, and a third computer runs Max4Live to generate sound, using algorithmic MIDI sequencers that play notes and parameters of several instances of the Max4Live Granulator synthesizer. The Max patches and Max4Live talk to each other via a simple UDP network. A lot of gen~ is involved both for synthesis and for the generation of the visual shapes. The visual shapes are basically complex vector graphics, calculated as audio signals at 96kHz and then transmitted to a multichannel DA converter that controls the brightness and color of the laser sources and the movement of the galvanometers inside the laser projectors.