Creatures
Performances 2012 - 2014
Creatures Cluster
Site specific installation
2014 -  work in progress
Free-form oscillator circuits, metal wires, lights, jumper wires, Axoloti core
 
A co-production of HISK and Overtoon
Credits to Johannes Taelman (Axoloti Platform),
Ralf Schreiber & Christian Faubel

The Creatures are modules/miniature robots that live autonomously, receiving their energy from solar cells and generating a variety of soft sounds and tiny movements. They are developed with two simple analogue oscillator circuits, inspired from organisms: the Suneater and the Solar Sound module. The Suneater (invented by Mark Tilden) is a circuit designed to gather energy from light to produce tiny movements. The Solar Sound module (invented by Ralf Schreiber) generates a large variety of mild sounds depending on the intensity of light that touches its solar surface. Every module is special and unique and it is impossible to build exact equal.  

 

The project started in 2012 with sound performances in different formations: Creatures Sextet, Ensemble, Orchestra. The performing synthesis was determined after an intensive observational period of the interrelated sound-patterns occurring between specifically connected modules in series receiving controlled intensity of light. The performances were a mixture of structured improvisation elicited through manipulated light sources, while the produced sound-patterns were amplified and live mixed. The last performance took place at the Transmediale festival (Jan 2014) and from then on the project moved towards greater autonomy, through the development of the installation Creatures Cluster.

 

The Creatures Cluster is an apparatus of interconnected modules and lights that organically effect with each other in a reciprocal way. The sculptural, functional and auditory nature of the synthesis refers to the functioning of an open nervous system, as well as to a potential social organization. Each module as an organ cross-wire with others like a web expanded in space without scale limits. Together, they are responsible for the control of the organism and the communication among its parts, without divisions into central and peripheral.

 

From a rather anti-authoritarian point of view, as well as to profile the autonomous and self-supporting nature of the synthesis, there is no programming applied to effectuate interactions. Instead, modules and lights are directly compiled in order to prospect light sources that register changes regarding oscillations into the given cluster, evoked by the idea of autopoiesis [from Greek αυτό (auto) meaning self, and ποίησις (poiesis) meaning creation/production, refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself]. The light sources are integrated into the spatial sculpture and respond to the oscillating activity that the cluster is producing. As a result, the cluster responds continuously to the varying light circumstances, which give rise to new oscillating patterns and a causal reasoning occurs between possible chaos and homeostasis.

 

Each Creature Cluster is unique due to the fact that is impossible to reproduce the modules and interconnections to build an equal apparatus. Each module is a potential organ and each apparatus a regenerated organism unfolded in space and time without limits. From a deterministic unpredictability aspect, the work is in constant progress.

Creatures Cluster, 2014, Installation. Photo © Kristof Vrancken
Sense of Sound, Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium (2 March - 25 May 2014)
Creatures Cluster, 2014, Installation.
Sense of Sound, Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium (2 March - 25 May 2014)
Creatures Cluster, 2014, Installation.
Red Dawn, Hisk, Ghent, Belgium (22 November - 15 December 2014)
Creatures Cluster, 2017, Installation (detail)
Machines sensibles, Accès)s( Festival #17, Le Bel Ordinaire - Espace d’art contemporain, Pau, France.
(11 October – 9 December 2017)
Performing with the Creatures
Excerpt from performances:
Across the Great Divide, Creative Human - Machine Improvisations. International conference.
Medea Electronique & Onassis Cultural Center, Athens, Greece. The Creatures Ensemble, Performance (19 Oct 2012)
Q-02_workspace for experimental music and sound art, Brussels, Belgium.
The Creatures Orchestra, Performance (7 Dec 2012)
Transmediale Festival 2014, HKW, Berlin
The Creatures Ensemble, Performance (30 Jan 2014)