DARK MATTER is a parallel cosmos of expansive light installations in which the boundaries between the real and the digital world become blurred.
Visitors journey through seven partially interactive works where light, movement, and sound fuse into emotional choreographies of luminous shapes and colors. The installations vary from breathtakingly intimate light compositions to interactive walk-in structures and room-encompassing audiovisual performances. Some works are supported with a worldwide unique 3D sound system.
Each room possesses an individual atmosphere that unfolds upon entry, creating a holistic and one-of-a-kind experience.
Behind this pioneering experience is visionary light artist Christopher Bauder and his design studio WHITEvoid. Collectively the team’s extensive portfolio includes the prolific installations DEEP WEB and SKALAR at Kraftwerk Berlin. In 2014, Bauder and WHITEvoid were also responsible for LICHTGRENZE, in which they imagined of and produced 8,000 luminescent balloons to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In cooperation with other innovative technology partners, DARK MATTER will operate as a space for continued experimentation. Fifteen years of technical innovation and creative vision will come together in this collection of unique light installations, some of which have never been displayed to the public before.
LIQUID SKY consists of over 800 individual light points which together form a coherent surface.
The additional mirroring of the entire room creates an endless light horizon that sparkles like a starry sky or seems to glitter like a river surface in sunlight.
Both the three-dimensional surface and the light animations are the result of complex computer simulations that imitate forms and movements from nature. Continuous algorithmic variations create a sky of "liquid" light.
The first three installations of the exhibition (LIQUID SKY, INVERSE, CIRCULAR) are accompanied as a triptych by the 8-channel soundtrack composed by the Dutch sound designer Boris Acket. The sounds move from room to room and connect the three installations like abstract living beings communicating with each other.
INVERSE combines 169 moving black spherical objects into a seemingly living entity. It forms a ghostly figure, like a flock of birds in synchronized flight against the bright sky.
From a dark amorphous form, a single-celled organism, a curious being slowly develops and seems to interact with the visitor. Monochromatic, sometimes threatening in its appearance, the ensemble presents in silhouette against the bright background.
INVERSE lives from the contrast between artificial movement and associative perception. Sometimes floating lightly and elegantly like a leaf in the wind, then again sinking heavily to the ground like a tough mass. The form and character of the kinetic sculpture continuously change.
INVERSE is a site-specific new development and has its premiere in DARK MATTER.
CIRCULAR is a hypnotic ballet of three rings of light that perform a weightless dance in the void of darkness.
Held in suspension by an unknown force, this perfect trio conveys a feeling of freedom and connectedness. The three mechanical actors find themselves in a continuous interplay of unity and independence.
The rings stand as symbols for endlessness and perfection. In harmony with the electronic score, the pulsating light animations and elegant movements create a calming meditative mood.
CIRCULAR also forms the third and final installation of the "triptych" of light installations in the first exhibition hall, which follow a common soundtrack by Boris Acket.
This installation uses modern technology to simulate an archaic institution - the Bonfire.
Digital technology creates the illusion of sitting together with friends around a campfire under a starry sky. A memory, which surely everyone shares. You can almost feel the warmth of the digital flames. For a moment one is reminded of the deeply rooted longing for shared experiences in and with nature.
But BONFIRE also addresses the way in which people are moving further and further away from nature. They are destroying it and then feel the need to bring it back in a controllable way as a simulation using technology.
BONFIRE consists of a 5m high, three-dimensional arrangement of 162 light elements with over 20,000 individually controllable light points.
POLYGON PLAYGROUND translates a computer-generated object into real space. A seamless 360-degree projection covers the surface like a digital skin that reacts to its environment via sensors.
POLYGON PLAYGROUND is a playground for all ages, inviting visitors to experiment. By interacting with the object, everyone becomes part of the work and directly influences its appearance.
The interactive surface plays with perception and gives the impression of the ground moving under feet. A constantly changing, digitally expanded sculpture is created for visitors to climb over, walk around or lounge upon.
Directly synchronized with the changing surface, the spatialized soundscape from Berlin’s KlingKlangKlong sound studio unfolds around the visitors. The interactive audio is reproduced by the unique wave field synthesis spatial sound system from Berlin’s HOLOPLOT startup.
The first version of POLYGON PLAYGROUND was developed in 2008. Since 2012 the installation is also part of the permanent exhibition at the Science Museum in Daegu, Korea.
GRID combines kinetic motion, light and electronic music to create a giant audiovisual sculpture that hovers above the audience.
GRID symbolizes the merging of the digital and physical world. The kinetic installation is a tangible embodiment of a computer generated dynamic surface.
Like a chameleon, GRID continuously adopts new forms and colors. At times the installation appears weightless, as a flying carpet woven from threads of light. At others, it becomes an alien vessel, threatening to dive and engulf the audience, only to dissolve into a crackling cloud shortly thereafter. GRID is enduring and fleeting at the same time, an endless transformation of dreamlike sequences.
A massive spatial sound system from HOLOPLOT spans the entire room. Every sound and musical element in Robert Henke’s composition is reproduced in direct relationship to the animation of the sculpture. This creates an almost synaesthetic impression that transports the visitors to another world.
GRID was first shown in 2013 at the Fete des Lumières Light Festival in Lyon.
A household ladder extended with sensors turns into a real musical instrument. The ordinary ladder becomes a TONE LADDER.
If you step on a rung or touch it with your hand, a sound or rhythm is created that varies from step to step. An individual piece of music is created by climbing up and down or by touching several rungs of the TONE LADDER at the same time. Whether in pairs as a duet or with several people - a whole band is quickly formed.
Each sound played simultaneously triggers an associated light animation. The interaction of the visitors with each other and the TONE LADDER creates a new audiovisual live concert again and again.
The TONE LADDER is the first interactive work by Christopher Bauder, which he created while studying at the Berlin University of the Arts almost 20 years ago.