N-Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xenakis is a dramatic light and sound environment combining cutting edge lighting, sound, sensing and machine learning technologies. The installation is a tribute to the Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis’s radical 1960s-1970s Polytopes (from the Greek ‘poly’, many and ‘topos’, space), the first of which premiered at Expo ‘67 in the French pavilion at Montréal. As large scale, immersive architectural environments that made the indeterminate patterns and behaviour of natural phenomena experiential through the temporal dynamics of light and the spatial dynamics of sound, the Polytopes are relatively unknown still to this day but were far ahead of their time: a major landmark in the history of the audio-visual arts and performative architectural practice.
Originally developed as a commission for the LABoral Center for Art and Industrial Creation in Gijon, Spain in 2012, this newly revised version for In Search of Expo 67 consists of 150, powerful 10 Watt LED’s and many tiny speakers. These elements are suspended through the space on a geometric “ruled surface” constructed of thin aircraft cable, creating a light and sound environment which continually swings between order and disorder, akin to Xenakis’s original fascination with the behaviours of natural systems.
Custom designed architectural structure of steel and aluminum LED's and custom electronics Lasers and custom electronics Custom designed control software Photoelectric sensors wireless Xbee modules and custom wireless sensor network software
Concept and Direction: Chris Salter
Composition: Chris Salter and Adam Basanta
Architectural Design: Thomas Spier
Technical Direction, Embedded Systems, Media Composition
Programming: Marije Baalman
Media Behavior Modeling and Programming: Sofian Audry
Production Assistance (Montreal): Owen Coolidge, Garrett Lockhart, Joseph Plazak and Alexandre Saunier
Electronics Assembly: Simon Claessen, Rene Wassenburg (Schrikdraad Ontwerp) and Stan Verberkt
With the original support of:
Fonds de Recherche du Québec Sociéte et Culture, Hexagram Concordia, Schlaich Bergemann und Partner, STEIM (Amsterdam)