SIGNES is a site-specific kinetic light and sound installation.
Commissioned by Maria Güell, artistic director of LlumBCN -the annual light art festival of Barcelona-, the installation establishes a dialogue with the architecture of Barcelona’s L’Auditori outdoors foyer, known as “la Llanterna”, as well as with the pictorical mural embedded on it.
The space of the Auditorium is signed by the architect Rafael Moneo, who envisioned a singular outdoors foyer, taking advantage of the warm climate of the Mediterranean. The result is a floating window in the middle of the building, which allows natural light to illuminate the outdoors foyer. The Signes installation extends Moneo’s Lantern to the floor level in two of its sides, keeping its proportions and chromatic values. In addition, Signes is also extending the pictorial mural by Pablo Palazuelo. Palazuelo’s work exhibits an abstract geometric composition based on long black lines which dialogue with the materials and rhythms of the architectural work. The kinetic elements of Signes extend those pictorial geometric compositions to the floor level, keeping its lines thickness and compositive rules.
Signes is the result of an artisanal, handcrafted work. All the architectural, hardware and software elements have been designed and fabricated by the Playmodes team. The result is a modular audiovisual instrument which relates light, sound and kinetics in a profound way. For the conception of Signes, a matrix of 26×3 of these modules were arranged following Moneo’s Lantern proportions.
The audiovisual behaviors of the piece are conceived for a dialogue with both Moneo’s architecture and Palazuelo’s painting. The intervention of the embedded architectural lighting allowed its computerized control and integration within Signes’ audiovisual sequence, easing a closer level of dialogue between the installation and Moneo’s architecture. A carefully planned sequence of algorithmic behaviors of the piece stablishes an interplay with Pablo Palazuelo’s mural, extending its abstract geometries to the floor level, while always keeping the mathematical and minimalistic approach of the original artwork.
Signes behaviors are generative on its nature. Due to randomness, chance and probability, the graphic/kinetic/sonic behaviors of the piece are never repeated exactly the same, and although there is a deterministic order on how the sets of rules are to be sequenced, the exact results are unpredictable. This algorithmic aspect of the piece is possible thanks to the use of Playmodes own software framework, which allows the creation of audiovisual compositions in real-time through the control of large banks of oscillators and mathematical functions. These real-time oscillation data is used to control the angles of motors, to create the pixel textures that feed the light fixtures, and also to control the sound synthesis.
All in all, the result is a hypnotic audiovisual installation where architecture, movement, light and sound are deeply interleaved.