Wireless technology at the service of art



This project is a collaborative project between labXmodal directed by Christopher Salter, researcher-professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University, and McGill University's Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory (IDMIL), directed by researcher-professor Marcelo Wanderley.

This installation combines lighting, sound, lasers, sensing and architectural components to create a dynamic work of art.

Crossing the line between art and engineering, the project focuses on the development of software tools allowing artists to use real time data derived from large numbers of wireless sensors in order to create interactive experience environments.

The project resulted in the creation of a spectacular multimedia installation, N_Polytope, with the participation of Dutch artist-researcher and Concordia University post-doctoral fellow Marije Baalman and other Concordia graduate students. Inspired by composer Iannis Xenakis's 1960s-1970s works named Polytopes, this installation combines lighting, sound, lasers, sensing and architectural components to create a dynamic work of art. First presented at the LABoral Centre in Gijon, Spain, N_Polytope was awarded honorable mentions at the international VIDA: Art and Artificial Life Awards in 2012 and at Prix Ars Electronica, in 2013. The project is currently touring Germany, where it is appearing at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein and in Berlin, and may come to Montréal.

This installation has led to the development of innovative open source software tools that contribute to computer-assisted artistic creation. Chris Salter has presented the results of his work at conferences in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. He has also published scientific articles in the multi-authored books Worldmaking as Techne And Xenakis Matters.