SpaceTime Helix

opto-acoustic instrument - performance


SpaceTime Helix is a performance with an opto-acoustic instrument designed by Michela Pelusio. The work explores helical symmetries and infinity, frequencies and geometry, sonic visions and perceptions. The helix is a spinning standing wave in a white string, forming a large helicoid up to the ceiling. Its surface is bright and transparent, with waves running over it, disappearing into the future, more and more distant in space-time.

Standing wave harmonics are the foundation of modern physics and our understanding of reality. In Quantum mechanics the energy levels of a particle are standing quantum-mechanical waves. In String theory the particles themselves are strings in 10 dimensional space-time and each type of particles is a different standing wave harmonic. Also the first theories of Pythagoras (500 BC) about the universe and the movement of the celestial bodies were based on harmonics. The theory of Pythagoras, "Harmony of the spheres", was confirmed more than 2000 years later by Kepler in his book "Harmonices Mundi", published in 1619.

Nowadays, our image of the world is seen and perceived through an objective almost more than through actual experience. This works is a metaphor for the return to the root of things, and to the simplicity and the complexity of the macro and microcosmos, the internal and external space, the architecture of the mind and the architecture of nature. The performance forges a malleable kinetic sculpture that bends space, light, matter and sound into a hypnotic experience for the viewer. A natural phenomenon which is almost a miracle right in front of your eyes. Magic and non-recordable.

SpaceTime Helix performances

SpaceTime Helix will be at BAM Festival, Liège, Belgium in October, and was at:
@ Keroxen17, Santa Cruz De Tenerife, 2017
@ Bozar Electronic Arts Festival Edition 7, Brussels, 2017
@ Mutek Buenos Aires, Edition 1, 2017
@ Mutek Montreal, Edition 18, 2017
@ ArtBites, 2017, <ยง> Drugstore Belgrade
@ Barcelona 2017
@ Mexico 2016
@ Tower of Federico II, 2016, Enna, Italy
@ OSA Open Source Art festival 2015, Gdansk, Poland
@ Sparkling Sound festival 2015, Denmark
@ ADAF Athens Digital Art festival, 2015
@ Fasma Festival 2015 Athens
@ Lexus Hybrid Art 2014 Moscow
@ Max Planck institute for Astrophysics, 2013, Munich
@ TEDx Athens (TEDxAUEB) in 2015
@ TEDx Heraklion 2014
@ Castle of Zynkovy Arts Festival 2012, Czech Republic
@ CineStudio Live 2012, Heraklion
@ SciCafe 2012 at the Natural History Museum of Crete
@ ScienceOpera, Theatre of the University of Crete

Technical description

The helix can range from 4 to 12 meters depending on the height of the space. The light frequencies and colours are controlled by the performer through a console built with RGBW LEDs and an Arduino micro-controller. The speed of the helix is controlled by a wearable interface, a 'breathing corset sensor', built with an Arduino XBee connected to textile sensors to capture the breathing of the performer. The sounds of the helix are the modulated signals from an electrical pickup and a small solar panel, which act as electromagnetic and optic sensors.

The first helix prototype was created by Michela Pelusio in 2011 and improved and changed over time through collaborations with different artists and technicians. SpaceTime Helix was partially developed during the artist-in-residence program of MQ Vienna 2012, supported by the Freiraum Quartier21, and at Schmiede Playground of Ideas in Austria. The 'breathing sensor corset' was made in 2014 in collaboration with Kobakant duo: Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson. The lights hardware and the console of the second helix prototype was developed in collaboration with Stratos Bikakis and Marnix Dekker in 2014. Since 2016 the live sounds of the performance are composed in collaboration with Glenn Vervliet.

SpaceTimeHelix / 0-Foto Anna Da Prato 2016 web_small.jpeg

SpaceTimeHelix / 1-Foto Thodoris Gourlamatis 2015 web_small.jpeg

SpaceTimeHelix / 2-Mutekmx 2016 SPT web_small.jpeg

SpaceTimeHelix / 3-Antje Larsen 2014 web_small.jpeg

SpaceTimeHelix / 5-Mutekmx 2016 photo by Elisabeth Cacho web_small.jpeg