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The Visual Sound Tape

Becoming... Carsten Nicolai. Carsten Nicolai was mainly influenced by sound and music. Listening to the radio was something that had a lasting influence on him. He uses analogue methods. He says that the idea of digital has it’s own attraction and wants to stay in the core of the sound.


Professional people on the art scene are interested Moiré Tape. as well, as he is being influenced by architecture, theatre, mathematics... Visual interference patterns. Everything. Produced by two radial gratings of magnetic tape, superimposed onto each other on the gallery wall, Some of his works: and moiré film, where moving black-and-white line and dot patterns will create changing visual Static Balance works as a sculpture as well as a impressions while emitting sounds composed from system to conduct and distribute sound. Explore an audio analysis of the moiré phenomena. the space with your ears and follow the acoustic paths of sound.

He attracts people who know his music and suspect that there is something else behind it, that the music is in a different context. People who start to get interested in his work as a musician or a fine artist, can make their own minds up whether it’s important for the way they look at music. Kleanthis Michail



Telefunken, 2000. CD player, CD, Sony hiblack trinitron TV. This work was made for the consideration of the relationship of sound and video with an oscilloscope. It is made of a very simple structure. By using the signal of the audio portion of a video signal input, parallel stripes that are synchronized to the sound are created. The audio signal of a cd player is connected to the video input of a television.

Polylit, 2006. An interactive sculpture made of glass and steel. Polylit works as a detector for surrounding electromagnetic fields, emitted by devices such as mobile phones, radio communication and wireless computer networks and transforms them into an audio signal that also commands a light modulation inside of the sculpture.

Fleeting white horizontal lines on the black screen accompany clicks on the soundtrack; as the clicks double in speed the number of lines increases proportionately - effect reminiscent of psychedelic “phase-shifting” effects. “This work was the first experiment that was performed under the theme of “Visualization of sound.” This was an intentional mistake and the results were unexpected, but not by accident. Also on making music, the sound called “Glitch” which emanates from mistakes like this are quite an inspiration to me. I think that the visuals generated from sound sources will expand the possibilities of image display devices such as monitors and televisions.” Carsten Nicolai.


Sound Barrier, 2006 AMBIENCE08 Oral presentation with Hilde Hauan Johnsen. Point forces - a collaboration between sound art and visual art in a technological experiment. Light sources connected to both ends of the fibres. The sound is able to create many different fields of light. The audio frequency range and variation in amplitude activates the light in a subtle way and produces nuances in “colour” and intensity.

She is an artist, curator and producer based in Bergen, Norway. Her works include sound art projects, installations, site specific performances, films etc.

A sound installation consisting of some 130 CD-and cassette radios assembled as a wall. On an auditory level they are mediating the sound image implemented in the installation. Visually they are the concrete building blocks, the obvious function in the wall, but they also reflects issues. Kleanthis Michail

The Group


Presentation technique:

Group members:

When the user hovers the mouse over the lines, people hear the sound of Carsten’s/Alva Noto’s music. When the user clicks on the titles, they will hear our recordings of us talking about the artist, his influences, work and an evaluation of what we learn. When they roll out , the sound stops.

Kleanthis Michael Chara PItsillidou Konrad Sakib Afzal Sam Nguyen

Interesting facts that we presented: Me and my group investigated Carsten Nicolai’s work, inspirations, ideas and personality. Each of us took one specific period of his work and made a research on it. Then we mixed our findings and started searching for interviews and his background. Behind all of his work three things are a common and repeated theme; Complexion, Sound and Theory. Alva Noto (Nicolai’s musical alter-ego) is a huge support for his design work, with him often using his extremely complex visuals to support his just as varied music. Alva Noto: Alva Noto is a stage name of Carsten Nicolai. Nicolai transforms sound by looping oscillators and tone generators. He edits his work to give his compositions rhythmic structures. +Sound Artisit. +Inspiration : Obsession with Bats.

Carsten Nicolai was mainly influenced by sound and music. Listening to the radio was something that had a lasting influence on him. He was listening to Russian radio on short wave and that caught his imagination so he recorded them and made funny mixtures of language and Morse code. Today, he is still being influenced. One of his current influences is the club’s music. The idea of mixing and how a DJ weaves something endless out of lots of different things. He uses analogue methods. He says that the idea of digital has it’s own attraction. He wants to stay in the core of the sound. He attracts people who know his music and suspect that there is something else behind it, that the music is in a different context. Kleanthis Michail

the IDEA

Initial Idea:

The Installation:

After researching the work of Karsten Nicolai and other artists’ artefacts I came out with the idea of creating both visual and sound spaces using sound tape’s (casette) film. Film (sound-film) stripes hanging from a stick with lights. A fan is under the stripes and the light creates a visual composition and the film makes sound because of the fan.

An installation was set up in a photo studio. I extracted the film from the sound tape and put it in vertical shape hanging from a steel stick with a white paper behind it. After that I placed a light in front of the film stripes and their shadows appeared on the white paper, immediately.

I choose this material because it is made to produce sound and I wanted to produce sound from it, but, in a different way.

For the project installation I needed 5 sound casettes, clothes’ stand, sellotape, an air-fan, photo studio and strong lighting.

Kleanthis Michail

CREATCREATCREATING ING ING THE THE THE VISUAL VISUAL VISUAL - SOUND - SOUND - SOUND SPACE SPACE SPACE The visual space was created. By placing a fan in front of the film stripes , making them moved swiftly. The shadows on the white background started shaking and when I released the film stripes, they were floating up in the air. Sound was produced from that movement.

The acoustic space was created. I recorded the visual (stripes shadows) and sound spaces with a video camera and microphone, creating several videos of different perspectives of the shadows. The final pieces present the shadows - black vertical lines - moving and trebling, but in analogue way. It seems like a digital form of lines that respond to the sound.

Kleanthis Michail

Visual and Acoustic Spaces  

Folio sheets for the project "Becoming..." based on Carsten Nicolai and the game "Brick-Breaker".