How to capture a frequency?
We as human beings are made up of 60% water, water plays a big part in our lives. In Animism, water is believed to be alive and honoured as something that makes life possible. In the western world, maybe because of our instant access to water, our society somehow lost respect for water. The rituals we had with water are decreasing, and so is our connection.
My goal for this artwork was to bring back admiration for the beauty and intelligence of water. One phenomenon that inspires and amazes me endlessly is the science of Cymatics. The fact that water is so transformative that it can even adopt sound. But this transformative quality of water also makes it difficult to freeze and showcase the Cymatic patterns. So my quest was to find a way to capture the patterns in a transparent material.
The quest for a transparent material
When designers or artists want to make a clear or transparent object, they usually look to synthetic resin as a material. Synthetic resins are, however, bad for the environment. They are not eco-friendly or biodegradable, made from fossil fuels and can release toxins if not cared for properly. That said, eco-friendly resin does exist, and some of it is recyclable, but I was not satisfied with this option.
My love for transparent objects didn't match with my will to try to create more naturally. I could not justify making an artwork about the beauty of nature, and at least not trying to make it as non harming as possible. So as an experiment, I would try to look for a natural alternative that can produce a transparent and non-stained material. Also, it had to be able to harden over time to solidify a Cymatic pattern.
Some time and research passed, and some side-quests which led to nothing made me put this project on a back burner. Until I coincidently watched a video about Amezaiku, the Japanese practice of candy craft. It was the perfect solution, the only downside would be the expiration of the product and the possibility of melting when in contact with water. A back-up material which is also interesting to investigate would be salt.
1. Build a set-up where sounds can be transmitted to the warm sugar before it hardens. The knowledge of Alexander Lauterwasser (book: Wasser Klang Bilder) will be used, for the different frequencies and the visuals they produce. Different containers for the sugar need to be tested out and a set-up with the right speakers. Making the container vibrate on the sound and affect the sugar inside will be a challenge.
2. Design a stand for the circles and add a light composition which not only does the artwork justice but is also reminiscent of water.
3. Find a sound artist that can make a soundscape for the artwork and make the artwork interactive with sensors (louder sound when in proximity of artwork).
Possible ways to expand the project
A study on frequencies and how they affect us physiologically.
Nino Basilashvili makes art on the crossroad of data and emotion. Her vision of a future in which there is a symbiosis of nature, humans and technology is expressed in her work and attitude towards life. This has led her to design and make Interactive Installation Art & New Media Art. She hopes her role as an artist is one that improves people’s lives.
Artist fee: Research and develop hours around 80 hours (two weeks) x 60 euro per hour = 4800 euro
Material cost (speakers, amplifiers, sugar, electronics, lights etc.): 1500 euro
Communication (information, webpage, photo's, videos): 1000 euro
In total: 7300 euro
This proposal is part of the 'Penny for your Thoughts' project 2022.