photo: KIOKU Keizo

A pair of speakers are set face to face, and the white noise emanating from them seems to fill the installation space uniformly. Standing precisely in-between the speakers, however, the noise is muted to an almost perfect silence. Antiphase wave patterns (wave patterns in opposite phase) within this symmetrical configuration of speakers directly engaging each other, cause each to negate the other, creating this "blind spot." "invertone" is an installation which allows you to experience the phenomena of damping (or attenuating) sound; a mutual interference of wave patterns in invert phase, in an anechoic chamber (a space covered with sound-absorbing materials).

The title is a portmanteau of the words "invert" and "tone." In this piece, sound is treated as a subject at once invisible, fluctuating, immaterial, but none the less sculptural. Frequencies are revealed in the forms of physical phenomena such as vibrations of air and moiré: in fluids, but ordinarily there are few opportunities to experience their dimensions in air. This art work indicates how physical and geometric interference function in auditory phenomena, and how we perceive them. The minimalist installation design, of ready-made products such as sound-dampening materials and speakers, is an eloquent expression of the artist's distinctive aesthetics.

Cooperation: Gallery EIGEN + ART Berlin / Leipzig, PaceWildenstein, New York
Carsten NICOLAI Profile

NICOLAI is also active a.k.a "alva noto" and "aleph-1." His works often employ unique applications of physical chemistry, such as acoustics, geometry, and crystallography, or minimalist interventions into physical phenomenon and information. He has gained international acclaim for work in many creative fields, including audio and visual arts. He established noton.archiv für ton und nichtton in 1992, and the audio publishing label raster-noton in 1999, and is known for his collaborations with IKEDA Ryoji and SAKAMOTO Ryuichi.
Artist's website: http://www.carstennicolai.de/

Past Exhibition / Event
Keyword: Acoustics

Addressing the physical properties of sound as frequencies creating vibrations in air in spatial environments has been a defining artistic position within the world of audio expression since the late 1990s. This method of positioning sound as an immaterial yet instantaneously observable material, rather than as melody and rhythm, to demonstrate the immaterial constituents of space, not only in terms of the effect of the participants' presence or their movements, in terms of the listener's perceptual functioning, are all important aspects of this work's composition.