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Astroparticle Immersive Synthesizer³
A sound laboratorium by Tim Otto Roth in cooperation with the IceCube Observatory, KM3NeT and ANTARES

"Enigmatically atmospheric as the Universe". Ingeborg Ruthe, Berliner Zeitung.

444 spherical loudspeakers hang on thin seven metre long wire ropes. 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 "natural score" for the microtonal compositions are based on weird light motions recorded by neutrino observatories in remote dark places as in the depths of the ice at the Southpole or in the deep sea. For the most recent presentation in the historic side chapel at the Musée des Art et Métiers in Paris [aiskju:b] is presented in an edition with 216 speakers. Visitors can move freely in the sound laboratory among the speakers hanging on 18 strings and thereby follow the motion of "ghost particles" and other cosmic induced events in the room. Most of these event data come from the Antarctic IceCube Neutrino Observatory, for the first time the presentation in Paris features also data from the deep sea observaotries KM3Net and ANTARES.

Musée des Arts et Métiers,Paris 2023

Premiere at Saint Elisabeth,Berlin 2018

Reactor Hall, Munich 2019

trailer for the Reactor Hall,Munich 2019

[aiskju:b] adopts the form and arrangement of the sensors. 12 spherical loudspeakers hang on each of the 18 strings, creating a walk-in sound and light installation distributed over a volume of up to 8m x 8m x 7m. Recent data from the experiments 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: [aiskju:b] 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] was created in 2018 in collaboration with IceCube Neutrino Observatory. In cooperation with different scientific teams it is presented in various places. From 5 December 2023 until February 2024 [aiskju:b] is showcased at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. In the compositions to be experienced in the historic chapel tower, the German composer and conceptual artist Tim Otto Roth is interpreting light motions recorded by the large-scale astroparticle-physical experiments ANTARES, KM3NeT and IceCube.

In autumn 2019 the sound laboratorium was 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.
Above all 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.
[aiskju:b] premiered in St. Elisabeth in Berlin-Mitte from August 29 till September 16, 2018 in collaboration with DESY Zeuthen.

logos funding

IceCube – neutrino observatories as the weirdest telescopes in the world! To find neutrinos you need remote dark places. IceCube is located on such a place at the South Pole: The observatory consists of 5160 light sensors that are frozen deep into the Antarctic ice shield, 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. The deep sea observatories ANTARES and its predecessor KM3NeT also use highly sensitive light detectors registering light motions at the depth of 2500m. The KM3NeT observatory is currently growing on two different sites with varying detector topologies in the Mediterranean sea: ORCA close to Toulon at the Côte d’Azur and ARCA north of Sicily.

Scheme of IceCube

The light motions recorded by the observatories are potential indicators of so called „ghost particles“ – the neutrinos. This elementary particles 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. The clue of the neutrino observatories is to use the whole earth as a kind of filter: Light motions propagating from bottum up can only be triggered by a special type of particle that has the potential to pass the whole earth – a neutrino.

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.

Immersion into an invisible nature

AIS³ – the Astroparticle Immersive Synthesizer – confronts us in a very special way with nature and in parallel creates a unique immersive sound environment. So it 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 and the deep sea research site are massively decelerated and scaled down into a visual-acoustic representation, visitors become aware that they are subject to cosmic processes they usually do not perceive.

Eventdisplay with he most energetic neutrino event propagating through the detector array.

Light becomes sound – particle physical harmonics

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.
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):

detector noise (v4)

neutrino tracks

detector noise (v3)

Psychoacoustic laboratory

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.

[aiskju:b] – a cosmic sound laboratory by Tim Otto Roth

5. December 2023 till 25. February 2024,
Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris.

14 September - 8 October 2023 [aiskju:b] chamber music in context of the exhibition Des Abysses au Cosmos, Fort Napoleon, La-Seyne-sur-Mer (F)

[aiskju:b] chamber music – how scientific data inspire new composition concepts

14 March 2023, lecture and exhibiton of [aiskju:b] chamber music with 40 speakers2023 Spring IceCube Collaboration Meeting, SuperC, RWTH Aachen.

When neutrinos make you cry

24 March 2021 When neutrinos make you cry, special guest presenation in collaboration with RWTH Aachen, 2021 Spring Collaboration Meeting of IceCube, 12:00-13:00 CS
Recording: Youtube IceCube

Exhibition opening:
Thursday, September 5, 2019, 7–9 p.m.

[aiskju:b] was realized in cooperation with Prof. Christopher Wiebusch, III. Physikalisches Institut B of RWTH Aachen University.


without application| admission free

Thu September 12, 2019, 6 p.m.
Space Is (Not Always) A Place (lecture in English)
Robert Barry

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

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.

Exhibition opening:
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

Symposium Physics and Art(efacts)

Ort: St. Elisabeth |Invalidenstr. 3 | 10115 Berlin

Symposium Physics and Art(efacts), 2018

You 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 in 2018, a transdisciplinary symposium took 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), Karin Pelte (science historian and film maker, TU Berlin), 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 October 2023, Geister tief im Eis, by Sibylle Anderl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Bilder und Zeiten, p. Z 6.

7 May 2023 Art & Astronomy, special studio guest at Sibylle Anderl's Space Night science, ARD Alpha, 19h CET


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

18. January 2019

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

press pictures:

For pictures in print quality please click on the correspondent pictures. You find captions and credits in the picture's meta code.

For IceCube related images see the DESY media database.