Sverm-Puls: self-playing guitars at Researcher's Night

An interactive art installation at Researcher's Night 2017. Six guitars playing electronic dance music when you stand still.

Conceptual information

An installation that gives you access to heightened sensations of stillness, sound and vibration.

Approach one of the guitars. Place yourself in front of it and stand still. Feel free to put your hands on the body of the instrument. Listen to the sound appearing from the instrument. As opposed to a traditional instrument, these guitars are “played” by (you) trying to stand still. The living body interacts with an electronic sound system played through the acoustic instrument. In this way, Sverm-Puls explores the meeting points between the tactile and the kinesthetic, the body and the mind, and between motion and sound.

Technical information

Guitar with micro-computer
There is a Bela micro-computer with sensors on each of the guitars.

The technical setup of Sverm-Puls is focused on the meeting point between digital and acoustic sound making. Each of the guitars is equipped with a Bela micro-computer, which produces electronic sound through an actuator placed on the back of the guitars. There are no external speakers, all the sound generation is coming the vibration of the acoustic guitar. The guitars are also equipped with an infrared sensor that detects the presence of a person standing in front of the guitar, and which inversely controls the amplitude and build-up of the musical structure. That is, the longer you stand still, the more sound you will get.

About the installation

Sverm-Puls is a new sound installation by Alexander Refsum Jensenius, Kari Anne Vadstensvik Bjerkestrand, Victoria Johnson, Victor Gonzalez Sanchez, Agata Zelechowska, and Charles Martin.

Touch the guitars
The installation is as much haptic as audible.

The installation is the result of the ongoing art/science research projects Sverm, MICRO and AAAI, three projects which in different ways explore human micromotion and musical microsound. Supported by University of Oslo, Research Council of Norway, Arts Council Norway, The Fund for Performing Artists, The Audio and Visual Fund, and The Nordic Culture Fund.

Published Sep. 20, 2017 2:11 PM - Last modified Mar. 30, 2020 10:58 AM