Abstract art baffles some, enchants others, but for over 100 years has been at the heart of modern culture and design. Art consists of shapes, curves, and colors but what makes a piece of art pleasing to watch?
As a part of the Esch2022 project The Sound of Data project, Hugo Parlier and Bruno Teheux, two mathematicians at the University of Luxembourg, embarked on a project to explore how artists achieved harmony and balance, using elementary geometric shapes. They decided to do this exploration by getting the crowd involved. And so, the ReShape project was born – an adventure that spans continents, disciplines, and senses.
To take the crowd’s creative pulse, Bruno and Hugo created “stations” where visitors are guided to create their own compositions of different types by using their fingers on tablets. These stations were placed in a variety of locations including schools, Neimënster Abbey, Rotondes, Rockhal, the Cultural Centre of Dudelange, the Luxembourg Science Center and the University’s Learning Center. In addition, multiple stations were made available in the Luxembourg pavilion of the Dubai World Expo in March as part of the ReCreate exhibition.
The stations drew an impressive number of visitors. With over 20000 drawings collected, visitors spent a combined time of over 600 hours (which is roughly a full month!) exploring the immersive journey proposed by Bruno and Hugo.
So where does sound enter the equation, you may ask? While it might take years for the two mathematicians to sort through and analyse the result of this collective effort, the data was made available to musicians, as part of The Sound of Data project, to turn it into yet another form of art: music!
Curious as to what thousands of triangles, pixels, and curves might sound like? Hester Bolle, Thomas Evans and Mike von der Nahmer, three musicians, who participated in The Sound of Data artist residency have sonified and composed music using this intriguing geometric and art-based data. In the meanwhile, Bruno and Hugo have created visuals to illustrate this multi-sensorial project
The compositions have been showcased at the Sound of Data final show on December 3rd at the Rockhal. The two videos below: Pixelised Harmony by Thomas Evans (aka Timelord) and Mashrabiya ReShape by Mike von der Nahmer, will give you a flavour of this unique cooperation between researchers and musicians…
The Sound of Data has indeed offered a playing field where science met music, and in the case of ReShape also visual arts.