Reexamining the nature-technology relationship
22 000 visitors saw the GRID performance by Christopher Bauder (WHITEvoid) and Robert Henke (Monolake) produced by TETRO, at the Fête des Lumières Light Art Festival 2013 in Lyon.
GRID is an audio-visual live performance combining kinetic lights with live electronic music. Kinetic lights form a huge suspended maze, which consists of 50 motorized LED-rod triangles covering over 200 square meters. GRID hovers above the spectators, its triangles constantly change position and color in direct response to a live-generated music track. Each and every sound triggers a visual impulse and produces visual alterations of GRID.
GRID is an innovative, artistic way of questioning the relationship between nature and technology. It started as 3D computer simulation and was molded into a massive, real-life installation. Suddenly, computer-generated objects and surfaces appear in physical space. Corresponding music makes GRID feel even more real, almost like a breathing organism. Nature and technology conflate before the eyes of spectators.
The light installation has complex design and technical features. GRID was designed to look weightless yet monumental. Two interconnected computers run Ableton Live and Kinetic Lights software based on the Touchdesigner platform. The musical software takes the lead and triggers every visual element and variable. Every performance is entirely unique. Audio-visual combinations are created on the spot, reflecting the tension between nature and technology.
The music score, composed by Robert Henke (Monolake), was in Lyon contrasted by a local choir “L´Hostel Dieu”. The choir started the show by performing Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Knut Nystedt and directed by Franck-Emmanuel Comte) accompanied by a subtle light show. The echo of the choir was then fused together with electronic sounds, ultimately culminating in purely electronic music. The goal of the music was to shape emotions and infuse life in the mechanical works of this highly technological installation.