Winter Sparks: Spotlight on Bosch & Simons
6 December 2012
Peter Bosch & Simone Simons, two time winners of the Prix
Ars Electronica, have been working together for over twenty-five
years making unpredictable sonic, kinetic and vibratory objects,
sculptures and installations. Their artistic collaboration is
focused on psychology, sonology, physical experimentation, and the
audiovisual; themes that are inspired by their separate academic
achievements in those areas. They create resonatory objects and
self-authoring instruments and are particularly fascinated in the
areas where science, engineering and artistic practise meet, and
the possibilities this merging creates.
Bosch & Simons' work moves from vibratory, sounding constructions made using recycled and found objects (Springtime in a Small Town) to live presentations which mix man-power and machine to produce exquisitely choreographed sonic-driven performance pieces (Chutes libres de printemps). The works linked below show examples of these, as well as the slightly different, Aguas Vivas.
Whereas most of Bosch & Simons' vibratory projects, such as Krachtgever, are mechanical sound sculptures, one of their most interesting and beautiful works, the constantly adapting installation Aguas Vivas is primarily invented to create dynamic, hypnotizing images. It consists of one steel container filled with black oil and mounted on metal springs. The reflections of a light-source on the vibrating oil-surface are captured with a video camera and projected on a wall by a video projection system. The images vary from orderly patterns to chaotic snatches, while the only sounds produced by the construction are the sloshing oil and some noise from an oscillating motor and springs.
Both the visual and sonic elements of Bosch & Simons' work come together in the vibratory installation which will appear in the foyer at FACT as part of the Winter Sparks exhibition which opens on 13 December.
Wilberforces will utilise the pairs' extensive research into parametrically forced pendulums, and a phenomenon which is well-documented by physicists interested in theories of order and chaos. A Wilberforce pendulum consists of a hung spring with one central, and two eccentric weights for calibration but this configuration delivers an unexpected outcome when a specific frequency is applied to the mounts for the spring. Although the movements of the pendulums are related to the oscillating frequency of their hanging mounts, at a certain point the behaviour of the pendulums becomes unpredictable, ranging from the expected up/down, to/fro movement to a more circulatory configuration, and thus the musical and sonic outcome is made unpredictable as well.
Bosch & Simons will attach audio-visual equipment to the
pendulums, so that their alternating and irregular motion can be
both tracked and experienced in real time within a purpose build
dark space at the rear of the building.
This will be the first time the award-winning Wilberforces will be exhibited in the UK, and FACT are pleased to have commissioned both a live performances on the evening of 13 December as part of the exhibition opening and and a Vibrations Workshop on Thursday 15 December to be delivered by Bosch & Simons in the first couple of days of the exhibition.