Tessel is a kinetic installation investigating the perception of sound and space.

Its name is derived from "tessellation", a term applied to the geometric subdivision of a surface into plane units, also known as "tiling". It also describes a software technique that allows calculation of renderings through the subdivision of surfaces into polygons. The term has its origin in the Latin word ‘tessella’, describing the square tiles used to make mosaics.

Tessellation has been applied throughout history from ancient to modern times, from two to n-dimensional configurations and merges science and art through mathematics. Here Tessel is based on the ‘pinwheel pattern’, a non-periodic tiling coined by mathematicians Charles Radin and John Conway, which allows the creation of an infinitely complex geometry constructed with a simple single "seed": a right triangle. Here, the pinwheel pattern is transformed, folded and transposed to the third dimension.

The installation is constituted of a suspended and articulated topography of 4 x 2 m, subdivided into forty triangular mirrors. Twelve triangles are fitted with motors and eight triangles are equipped with audio transducers, which transform the surface into a dynamic sonic space. A dialogue between space and sound is created as the surface slowly modifies its shape, our perception of it altered through continuously changing light and sound reflection.

The project inscribes itself within the art historical continuum, from Victor Vasarely’s optical art to Buckminster Fuller’s synergetics, while continuing the quest for processual beauty in the numeric realm.

Read more at mediaruimte.be/archive/MRxpo/MRxpo_28.htm and nielswouters.be/tessel (in Dutch).

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