‘nico’ (Sound installation) by manabu shimada

Last December in 2013, I exhibited a new sound installation ‘nico’ at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse in Japan (commissioned by Japan Institute).
It was very successful there was over 1000 visitors for 1 week that I appreciate.

nico: http://vimeo.com/83860201

This is what the nico is below;

‘nico’ is a sound installation which the 5 rubber balls bouncing infinitely to produce an immersive visual space.

Structure of the installation is very simple, which is invisible thin string putting on a top of each rubber-balls hung from original pulley systems on a ceiling. When the rubber-balls bouncing up, the strings immediately rolling up to lift them to keep giving jumping energy forever.

Controlled by Max 6 with Arduino.

This sound installation has 5 critical elements of the concept.

1, “Against gravity”

It is literally the rubber-ball never lose bouncing energy against gravity.


2, “Controlled randomness”

The balls controlled by the strings produce a unique bounce actings to make audiences get immersive into the world.


3, “Silence is enhancement of the next sound”

When producing the moment of the all balls kept suspending in the air creates a completely silence time to make viewers expectation of what the next sound is going to be. Effect of the silence makes it possible to receive viewers’ ears attentions.


4, “Create infinity repetition phenomenon”

Like natural phenomenon, flow of river or bonfire is simple motion, however it has strong temptation to let people forget the time to keep watching. Thus, my intention was to create that phenomenon by rubber balls which never stop bouncing.


5, “Play immersive soundscape”

Like nature sound, bird singing or raining sound can be a potent healing force. The Sound of nature profoundly effect the human psyche. As for my view, the sound of rubber balls can be also classified into the category. The sequence of the rubber ball bounce sounds are musically, aesthetically and absorbedly.



5 DC motors with 2 Arduinos controlled by Max6 via Serial Communication.
There is a sequencer of the DC motors control as the live.grid object which is allowed to make different operations such as normal rotation, reverse rotation, rotation speed control, and rotation times.

Mar 28 2014 | 1:43 pm

i love this !

reminds me a bit of Elias Crespin http://ateliercrespin.tumblr.com/post/74837227834/elias-crespin-temps-suspendu-solo-exhibition whihc i saw in Nice a little time ago

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