Cymatic Types is an interactive audiovisual installation, based on an experiment by Ernst Chladni. Resonances were being displayed through vibrating metal plates lightly covered with salt.
By further abstracting the images through digital processing, the installation allows to experience the correlation between sound and movement actively.
Cymatic experiments
The term ’Cymatics’ describes the imagery of sounds and (it’s) waves. On a flat medium, directly connected to a source of mechanical vibration, diverse patterns occur through a thin coating of a granular material, depending on the oscillation’s frequency and the resonators’ shape.
Concept
Based on the analog experiment, the installation’s approach is to create a digital way to visualize the resonance’s patterns, to let the audience possibly experience correlations between sound and movement as well as to explore the types.
Gesture recognition
The interaction design is predicated on the theremin's principle, an electronic musical instrument from the 1920s. Without any physical contact, the beholder interacts with simple gestures recognized by an infrared-based hand tracking sensor.
Graphic User Interface
A minimalistic scale is the interface's main element. Its subdivisions illustrate predefined intervals of frequencies associated to certain patterns. If the installation is inactive, a simple circle highlights the sensor invitingly.
Particle projection
Based on the analog archetype, the patterns are being formed through particles to imitate the granulate. Scaled down to a minimalistic setting, Cymatic Types can be experienced visually and auditory.
Study project
Universität der Künste, Berlin
Visual systems class
Project Partner: Niklas Thran
Supervision: David Skopec, Bernd Grether, Ulrike Rausch

Support: Achim Sieloff, Katharina Brenner, Davide Prati, Wanda Bleckmann, Livia Kirchner, Elke Schneider
Video: Vanessa Opoku
Model: Annalena Volk

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