VOID Lab is an audiovisual performance and installation project by
the media artist Egbert Mittelstädt and the sound artist Frank Schulte.
With VOID lab the artists have succeeded in creating a direct, immediate interaction of image and sound media and relating it to a space. The name of the project, VOID, stands for the empty space or for an open space of the imagination. To fill this space the artists use tactile and mechanical instruments that produce their worlds of images and sounds. “Analogue input instruments” such as video cameras, motors and light sources of all kinds, on the one hand, and microphones, acoustic sound sources, computers and controllers, on the other hand, play the leading role in their sequences of video and sound, which are generated live.
In the projection rotunda that was developed for VOID, the two artists operate live at networked workstations on the total audiovisual composition. Implemented in a multi-channel sound spatialisation and eightfold video projection, it harks back to the early days of media art.
In addition to the technical connections between the imagegenerating and sound-generating machines, improvisation, action and reaction play an essential part. VOID lab is a musical, visual adventure with an uncertain outcome.
The installation structure in the shape of a projection rotunda provides the platform for this project, which puts the emphasis on live interactive aspects. By presenting their art in the middle of the space, surrounded by their audience, the artists break out of the usual, often one-sided, relationship between performers and the public.
The rotunda forms a light, tactile central space, fixed at a height of about five metres. Through its surfaces of light the audience can watch the performers producing and processing the visual and sound events, and can experience the direct result in the space.
The visual result is projected onto and through the translucent fabric of the circular body by eight video beamers.
To generate the images Egbert Mittelstädt uses an analogue/digital animation
stand, at which – by means of a monitor and reproduction via a camera – he uses various light sources and objects to create changing visual structures, which are then processed live using computer software. In this way a controlled feedback system is produced.
The sound is spatialised and moved within the space live via an eight- to ten-channel audio system that is adapted to the place of performance. Here Frank Schulte works at various analogue and digital sound generators as well as with a vibration feedback instrument
specially developed for this project in which bass strings are made to vibrate by the basic harmonies of the sound space.
In addition the sound parameters of the music provide process control impulses for the digital image processing.
VOID lab can be operated in three action modules that can be combined:
- as a performance (concertante live performance in a direct dialogue
of the two artists)
- as an interactive laboratory (testing new working results with guest artists in music and performance, and exploring interactive sensory impulse and control with and for visitors to the
- as an installation (automated spatial performance with generative circuitry for sound and image events)
Forther informations about Egbert Mittelstädt can be found here