"Enigmatically atmospheric as the Universe". Ingeborg Ruthe, Berliner Zeitung.
444 spherical loudspeakers hang on thin wire ropes in the empty hall of the Reaktorhalle in Munich. The speakers do not emit sound and light all at once, but sometimes eruptively from a centre, while at other times sounds meander through the room like a soft wave motion. Developed by Tim Otto Roth, the sound laboratory is based on data collected at IceCube, the neutrino observatory at the South Pole. Visitors can move freely among the speakers hanging on 37 strings and thereby follow the movement of the "ghost particles" in the room.
[aiskju:b] adopts the form and arrangement of the sensors in the Antarctic ice. 12 spherical loudspeakers hang on each of the 37 strings, creating a walk-in sound and light installation distributed over a volume of around 8m x 8m x 7m. Recent data from the IceCube experiment is fed into the installation, whereupon the measured energies are translated into coloured lights and sounds that fuse into different timbres, depending on one's position in the room. The goal is not only to provide both laypersons and scientists with a novel approach to physics research, but also to establish a new interdisciplinary art practice: AIS³ is at once an artwork and a fundamental experiment in psychoacoustics, turning the room itself into a sound generator in which the visitor becomes immersed.
[aiskju:b] is a collaboration with IceCube Neutrino Observatory. In cooperation with diffrent teams it is on dispay in varios places. Currently the sound laboratorium is presented in collaboration with Prof. Christopher Wiebusch and his team from III. Physikalischen Institut B, RWTH Aachen University at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst.
[aiskju:b] premiered in St. Elisabeth in Berlin-Mitte from August 29. till September 16, 2018 in collaboration with DESY Zeuthen.
[aiskju:b]The project was on show in collaboration with SFB 1258 Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astro- and Particle Physics on 9 & 10 February 2019 at Reaktorhalle in Munich/Germany. Further presentations will follow up abroad.
The presentation of the sound laboratory [aiskju:b] in Aachen is in a certain sense a back to the roots: In summer 2018 Tim Otto Roth mounted and tested the installation with a team of young scientists around Prof. Christopher Wiebusch from the III. Physics Institute B of the RWTH University Aachen. A week ago this project team did set up and optimized the sound sculpture at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen.
Just a look back to summer 2018: For several weeks the team of master and phd students got together in the “dance saloon” of the physics department and later in an old industrial to mount the speakers and to test the entire installation. “Without the marvellous commitment of the team around Christopher Wiebusch [aiskju:b] would have never been ready for the premiere at St. Elisabeth in Berlin by the end of August last year!” corroborates Tim Otto Roth. The RWTH team not only managed the mounting of the 444 speaker spheres, but they improved the software and realized the transfer of event data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South pole. Martin Rongen and Lasse Halve are the specialist for the data transfer and the python scripting. Marit Zöcklein, Jan Audehm and Marc Klinger are team members since the very beginning taking care about the mounting of the speakers. In summer 2018 they realized in collaboration with DESY Zeuthen guided tours for school classes in Berlin. As core team members they did setup also the second presentation in Munich.
Team work in Summer 2019: Together with Tim Otto Roth the young scientists on 6 and 7 August 2019 assembled the installation at Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst. Similar to the past setups the collaboration went off without a hitch. Just after one day the installation did start operation. This summer we welcome Philipp Muth as a new team member, who regrets, that he couldn’t join the initial creation of [aiskju:b] due to a knee injury. Apart from the assembly at the Ludwig Forum also a new soft- and firmware was implemented: Simon Zierke, who is just completing his Phd thesis in experimental physics, improved the script implying an incredible speedup of the sound and light processing. The museum staff and curator Dr. Christian Haring are amazed. “I have never seen that space like that before” expresses enthusiastically co-director Annette Lagler.
Outlook: On 5 September 2019 at 7 PM the opening of [aiskju:b] will take place at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen. Now the young physicists look forward not only to show the work very soon too their friends and relatives, but they will also offer guided tours together with art historians and special programs for school classes. Even the enthusiasts having joined the presentations in Berlin and Munich, the show in Aachen will offer a new experience not only due to the system’s speed up: In the upcoming week Tim Otto Roth will work with the installation and arrange brand new compositions, which will premiere at the opening.
IceCube is the weirdest telescope in the world! Instead of light, X-rays, or radio waves, it detects neutrinos. Neutrinos are tiny, electrically neutral elementary particles that only interact with matter in extremely rare cases. For instance, 60 billion solar neutrinos reach each square centimetre of the earth's surface every second, but only a mere dozen react with the nucleus of an atom as they pass through the earth. However, these "ghost particles" provide us with unique information about the cosmos. Because of their low reactivity, they are capable of escaping even the densest cosmic objects, whereas light can only escape them indirectly.
IceCube consists of 5160 light sensors that are frozen deep into the Antarctic ice shield at the South Pole, covering a full cubic kilometre of ice. The sensors register the tiny flashes of light that occur in the rare case of a neutrino interaction. On this basis, the direction and energy of the neutrinos can be determined. In 2013, the IceCube team managed to provide the first ever proof of high-energy cosmic neutrinos – a discovery celebrated as the breakthrough of the year by the journal Physics World. However, the directions from which the neutrinos arrived seemed to be distributed evenly across the sky: the IceCube researchers found no evidence of an individual source. This is exactly where the latest findings break new ground. They are the first step to a precise cartography of the neutrino sky. Hence gravitational-wave astronomy, which won the Nobel prize in 2017, will in future be joined by neutrino astronomy as an important research field in physics.
Tim Otto Roth's installation constitutes a sound space that be can be grasped as a form of land art expanding into the cosmic-acoustic realm: a hybrid between approaches such as Bernhard Leitner's research into the spatial motion of sound, and elements of land art such as those found for example in Walter de Maria's project Lightning Field. Visitors immerse themselves in a nature that is invisible, hardly tangible. As the motion of light signals measured at the South Pole research site is scaled down into a visual-acoustic representation, visitors become aware that they are subject to cosmic processes they usually do not perceive.
At the same time, the distribution of acoustic sources transforms the room into a synthesizer that blends tones
into site-specific sounds depending on their duration and distance from each other. What is unique about AIS³ are
the hundreds of acoustic sources installed in the room, offering an immersive corporeal experience that other
procedures cannot equal. The simultaneous translation of pitch levels into coloured light guides listeners along a complementary path to a
sound experience whose tonal elements could not be so accurately located by a merely acoustic approach.
By this sonification the environment creates a new access to the data. The coexistence of light and sound makes apparent the major distance between a soundscape and pure optical representation. Vision can locate relatively well individual events in space, but the "bigger picture" and its simultaneousness can be perceived much better by audition. Last but not least, the sonification bears the potential for the scientist to experience his own experiment in a new way. The installation renders both selected data records by IceCube and live data transmitted from the Antarctic. When it comes to composition, the processing of IceCube data is informed by Tim Otto Roth's interest in the spatialisation of sound and in alternative physical scales that go beyond the twelve-tone system. IceCube lets different processes reveal themselves as cascading motions or spherical 'explosions.' The recorded energies are by no means arbitrary; they are related to one another in specific ways. These are weaved into physically determined micro-tonal sound movements in space – a Music of the Spheres for the 21st century.
Records from the center of the installation (headphones recommended):
But AIS³ offers even more than a new access to scientific data. The 444 loudspeakers are physically distributed in the space. This allows an extraordinary sound space experience, which differs considerable from classic multi-channel systems of a cubic or hemispheric shape. Tones travel in space and recompose locally to different sounds. By this way each visitor experiences a unique sound space, which can be explored like an instrument by moving in.
without applicaton| admission free
Thu September 12, 2019, 6 p.m.
Space Is (Not Always) A Place (lecture in English)
Thu October 17, 2019, 6 p.m.
Tim Otto Roth: Artist, Scientist, and Social Analyst Lecture followed by an Audience Discussion (in German)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
Thu October 31, 2019, 6 p.m.
Reality and World Generation. Lecture followed by a Panel Discussion with Dr. Tim Otto Roth (in German)
Dr. Sibylle Anderl
Saturday/ Sunday 9/10 February 2019, 10-20h
location: Reaktorhalle | Luisenstraße 37A | 80333 München
| admission free | How to get there.
The exhibition is presented by the Sonderforschungsbereich 1258 Neutrinos und Dunkle Materie in der Astro- und Teilchenphysik at Technische Universität München.
Tuesday, 28. August 2018, 7–9 p.m.
location: St. Elisabeth | Invalidenstr. 3 | 10115 Berlin
registration | admission free
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of lectures curated by the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton DESY in Zeuthen. In addition, leading experts from the sciences and humanities will gather for a tow-day symposium on September 14 and 15, 2018, to discuss the relationship of "Physics and Art(efact)."
Ort: Villa Elisabeth | Invalidenstr. 4a | 10115 Berlin
without applicaton| admission free
contact: aiskjube[a]desy.de or 033762 7-7201
August 30, 2018, 7 p.m.
Black Holes and Neutron Stars: About Gravitational Waves, Kilonovae, and the Creation of Heavy Chemical Elements (lecture in German)
Prof. Harald Pfeiffer, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam
September 02, 2018, 5 p.m.
Nutters, Newbeats and Neutrinos:
Tales on the Weirdest Object of Particle Physics (lecture in German)
Dr. Christian Spiering, DESY, Zeuthen
September 12, 2018, 7 p.m.
All Good Things Come from Above: The Mystery of Cosmic Radiation(lecture in German)
Prof. Karl-Heinz Kampert, University Wuppertal
Ort: St. Elisabeth |Invalidenstr. 3 | 10115 Berlin
You will find a German review by Daniela Hönigsberg at arthist.net.
[aiskju:b] is the expression of a special liaison of physics and art. In occasion of the premiere in Berlin, a transdisciplinary symposium will take place asking for the relationship of artefact and nature and focusing implicitly upon the relation of the arts and physics (and its neighbouring disciplines). Here the symposium traces the physical dimension artists and scientists are confronted with – speaking the material and embodied quality of artistic and scientific experiments.
You find the program here
Accepted speakers (talk & panel): Peter Bexte (professor of aesthetics, Academy of Media Arts Cologne), Charlotte Bigg (science historian, Centre Alexandre-Koyré Paris), Horst Bredekamp (professor for art history, HU Berlin), Wolfgang Ernst (professor for media archaeology, HU Berlin), Rolf-Dieter Heuer (vice president Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, former CERN Director General), Heike Catherina Mertens (program director Hatje Cantz, former director Schering Foundation), Helga de la Motte-Haber (musicologist (em.), TU Berlin), Thomas Naumann (physicist, DESY), Hans-Peter Nollert (physicist, Univ. Tübingen), Christian Rauch (physicist, director State-Festival Berlin), Robin Santra (head of theory group Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY), Gereon Sievernich (curator Hauptstadtkulturfonds and former director Martin-Gropius-Bau), Friedrich Steinle (Professor for History of Science & Technology, TU Berlin), Jol Thomson (artist & film maker, University of Westminster, London).
Conference chairs: Christian Spiering & Tim Otto Roth
7. September 2019, Sternzeit: [aiskju:b] im Ludwig Forum Aachen. Neutrino-Kunst zum Hören und Sehen, by Dirk Lorenzen, Deutschlandfunk
6. September 2019, Im Neutrino-Takt: Lichtspuren vom Südpol. Lichtkünstler Tim Otto Roth in conversation with Chefredakteur Sven Horsmann,luxlumina. Schweizer Magazin zu Architektur und Licht
5. September 2019, Wie Musik aus kosmischen Sphären. Licht- und Klanginstallation 'AIS³' im Ludwig Forum macht Neutrinos erfahrbar, by Rauke Xenia Bornefeld,Aachener Nachrichten
4. September 2019, Arndt Lorenz: Verrücktes Teleskop im Ludwig-Forum, WDR Lokalzeit Aachen
8. February 2019, Teilchen als Licht und Klang in München. Dem Universum auf die Schliche kommen, by Michael Watzke, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
8. February 2019, Kunst & Wissenschaft: Faszination der Geisterteilchen, by Evelyn Vogel, Süddeutsche Zeitung
7. Februar 2019, Eiskalte Botschaften aus dem All sinnlich serviert, by Ralf Burgmaier, Badische Zeitung
Guest of the day | Live interview with Jens Olesen in the TV programm "Der Tag" [engl. "The Day"] of the Deutsche Welle.
8. Januar 2019, Physics and Art(efacts), Tagungsbesprechung von Daniela Hönigsberg, arthist.net.
20 September 2018, Auf sinnliche Tuchfühlung mit dem Kosmos, by Ralf Burgmaier, Badische Zeitung
3 September 2018, "Nachgefragt" bei AIS³: "Es gab Rückschläge, aber dann haben wir es geschafft. Interview by Carolin Mackert, Kulturförderpunkt Berlin
29 August 2018, Meditative Lichtinstallation: In der St.-Elisabeth-Kirche trifft Kunst auf Wissenschaft, by Ingeborg Ruthe Berliner Zeitung
28 August 2018, IceCube - Kunst und Wissenschaft, by Thomas Prinzler RBB inforadio
For IceCube related images see the DESY media database.