true/false

kinetic light sculpture

2017

On or off, true or false. Some entities have the property of being committed to adopt either one of the two states and switch between them. This sculpture explores what lies in between these fundamental states in order to make change tangible.

»true/false« is a kinetic sculpture composed of arrays of circular black metal segments set in mechanical columns. Interlocking and rotating around fluorescent light tubes, the cylinders cover or expose the light to display an endless number of patterns. The transformation of the sculpture is based on the shifting elements and their correlation to each other. As the segments do not move independently, for any of the cylinders on a column to change, the segments affected must work in unison to achieve the command.

»true/false« is a machine that constantly generates instructions to reveal images and assigned patterns according to its algorithm. It visualizes the computational process and exposes the implementation of these commands. As the piece transforms into the assigned motif, it completes the procedure and continues on to the next task. It is a veritable machine at work as it executes instructions and makes the algorithm and transformation between the images visible. Akin to the mythology of Sisyphus, this labour is perpetual and never-ending.

Reminiscent of devices originally used for calculations, such as Turing machines, the sound originates from the mechanical movement of the moving parts thus making the algorithm audible. The rhythm of »true/false« is captivating as variations in the visual choreography result in distinctive changes in its soundscape. Through the generation of algorithmic patterns and the repetition of endless tasks, »true/false« transforms itself into something more than the sum of its elements to reveal the beauty hidden within a basic algorithm.

credits

  • Creative Direction: onformative
  • Technical Direction & Hardware: Mick van Olst
  • Production: Monique Mathieu, Aurélien Krieger
  • Code & Content: Henryk Wollik, João da Fonseca
  • Mechanics: Jan Bernstein

awards

  • Lumen Prize – Shortlist 2017

exhibitions

  • NODE17, Frankfurt 2017
  • FvF Space, Berlin 2017