The latest spectacle by Berlin-based performance and installation artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, node 5:5 is a large-scale audiovisual installation using video projection, kinetic laser modules and Wave Field Synthesis. The kinetic laser module system controls 10 lasers and is oriented perpendicular to the screen. Each laser is controlled independently to irradiate the screen with intense red light to synthesised imagery. By entwining laser trajectories with video images and synchronised surround sound, Kurokawa creates a whole new dynamic spatial form, at the unseen scale and magnificence – one that can only be fully experienced on site.

The project is part of an ongoing initiative at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea, to showcase the best of visual arts in the region and beyond. Since its opening – which we curated and helped organise – ACC has featured the likes of Ryoji Ikeda, Kimchi and Chips and now Ryoichi Kurokawa, all taking over the gigantic 1,300 square metre space of ACC Creation right at the heart of the Asia Culture Center.

The term “node” describes a point of intersection or a vertex. The title is derived from the structure of the piece which has 5 nodes on left side and 5 on right side. The visual structure such as image area, ratio, and each 5:5 nodes movable scope is geometrized based on number “5”. The nodes which are the points irradiated with the lasers are the visual origination, and around those source nodes, imagery is discretized and reassembled, acting as emission and converge points of image events. Audiovisual and laser composition rendering is based on binary opposition as: origination/terminal, emission/convergence, discrete/continuous, symmetry/asymmetry, point/line, tension/ease, horizontality/verticality, dynamic/static, chaos/organization, united/divided, physical/unphysical, constant/variable, restraint/release and segment/whole. By more architectural, larger scaled approach, it extends the field of perception, and the space build up of dynamic and static light and sound provides distinct perceptual experience.

In this work, Kurokawa sets out a new phase of use of space by light and sound, and how different medium can be merged in space and time as single unit. node 5:5 fills the space with mesmerising abstract information and imagery, intoxicating the viewer in an unforgettable visual, auditory and spatial experience.

↑ Plan of the “Ground” space and installation layout including equipment

↑ The node 5:5 making-of / TL → BR: OF app running the lasers, space 1 in it’s full view, aligning projectors, control room on the 3rd level looking over Space 1, lasers in position, structure holding lasers in position.

The imagery is rear-projected on 18 by 8 meters screen by 4 WUXGA projectors with edge blending for its total resolution of 4320 by 1920 pixels controlled by d3. For sound system, Wave Field Synthesis is used. Surround sound is rendered by WFS Processor with 56 speakers and 8 subwoofers. Kinetic structure is installed on opposite surface of screen, and it contains 10 laser modules with 637 nanometers wavelengths red light and 10 actuators with 5 meters length. On each left and right sides of structure, 5 actuators are installed at regular height intervals. Prism is mounted on each actuator, and 5 actuators are also installed at regular height intervals on each left and right half of structure. Laser beam is radiated to prism which is directing beam at right angles toward the screen, in fact prism is acting as a 90 degrees reflector. Perpendicular laser beam to screen is moved corresponding to projection images. Execution is done by computers, media server, and WFS processor which are network-connected. Main machine has master timeline for all medium and sends signals to other machines and send information of sound’s spatial coordination to WFS processor. Other machine has timeline includes DMX composition to control each lasers. One of machines is used for controlling actuator motions. This machine receives signals from main machine through network and send each coordination data through EtherCat to motor drivers of actuators.

On the software side, Windows machine is controlling actuator motors by the use of custom openFrameworks app and twincat. Visual timeline is composed in d3 including the laser/dmx composition. The master machine, tosca/ircam sends OSC messages to Cinder app which also sends OSC data to win and wsf processor. Finally the main machine sends audio signal to d3.

The installation is on display until 26th March at the Space 1 / Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea. More info available here.

Learn more about Ryoichi Kurokawa in the latest issue of HOLO magazine.

Ryoichi Kurokawa | Asia Culture Center

Credits: Asia Culture Institute (Commission), Ryoichi Kurokawa (Concept, Direction, Composition, Programming, Design), Hiroshi Matoba (Technical Direction, Programming), Seong-hoon Bahn (Technical Engineering), Takuro Iwata
Producer: Nicolas Wierinck (Space Design). The project has been co-produced by Bipolar and Stereolux and supported by White Circle.

Via Creative Applications

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