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aura calculata (2016)

Conus pennaceus, a small mussel, provides the visitor with the principle that was the inspiration behind this room. The fascinating pattern is owed to a model that describes how the mussel builds its shell. This self-organizing principle was discovered at the end of the 1940s by the mathematician John von Neuman and the physicist Stanislav Ulam. Their work stimulated Konrad Zuse—the inventor of the first functional computer—to his idea of a "calculating space". Self-organization plays a central role in many of Tim Otto Roth's works, e.g., the pixelsex cycle he developed in close collaboration with the biomodelling team of Prof. Andreas Deutsch (TU Dresden). For the exhibition in Offenburg, Tim Otto Roth developed a new instrument: the waterorgan aura calculata. The glass organ pipes arranged in a circle are dependent on their neighbor's activity to regulate their own activity. The water column falls or rises according to how active the single organ pipe was in its last states. Thus not only the height of the sound's pitch from the wind (Lat. aura), but also its timbre are significant. In this way the tones are superimposed in the room, constantly producing beats, and weave a continually transforming layer of sound, the organ's expansion as an instrument by a microtonal dimension.

Aura calculata was carried out in collaboration with the organ builders Jäger & Brommer (Waldkirch). More about aura calculata on: