German designers Paul Bart and Marvin Bratke collaborated for over a decade before deciding to found their own studio in 2014. The two share a fascination with the impact that emerging technologies have on architecture and design and have recently mounted an exhibition in which they displayed their exploration of movements through space in relation to contextual stimuli.
The project, called the Platoon Sound Sculpture, is comprised of five vaguely anthropomorphic, 3D printed figures that were developed from the movements of those who attended a previous event held in December 2013. That interactive performance took place in the Platoon Art Space and Kinect cameras were used to capture the motion of the audience as they moved about while Berlin-based label Now/We/Bar played one of their DJ sets.
The data gathered from the Kinect sensors was used to create a composite digital model of the evening’s movement as a whole. That digital model was then printed to create a sculpture that would reflect the movement of time and the creation of sound while in a static, silent, physical state. The impression left by the sculptures is of a stage upon which the dynamic figures whirl and jive. It is reminiscent of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 in which the artist captured an entire set of movements in the single frame of the canvas.
This type of temporal composite has been made significantly easier to achieve as technology has advanced. In the 19th century, photographer Edweard Muybridge worked to document the individual movements within the performance of a particular action and was able to do so with the help of a camera. Étienne-Jules Marey developed a method for capturing several phases of movement over time in a single image. As photographic technology has advanced, other methods for capturing movement have as well. Through video and now through sensors, it is possible to explore the cubist fascination with the recognition of time as an element available for manipulation by the artist.
This project is part of a larger desire to explore dynamic existence in space as described in their design philosophy:
“We conceive the built environment as a product reacting to and acting within an extensive field of forces. [Our] projects aim at intensifying existing environments and unfolding social relevance by offering diversity and permeability. The deployment of integrative morphologies and tectonics provides our architecture with the capacity to productively negotiate contradictions of the contemporary city while vitally challenging spatial conventions.”
Let us know how this type of performance-cum-still art strikes you in the 3D Printed Sound Sculpture forum thread over at 3DPB.com.