Red Psi Donkey
Audiovisual installation
Engineering and programming gfai tech GmbH and Sukandar Kartadinata

images / text / movie

Sound is invisible, but can be translated it into the visual world with the help of new technologies, such as the Acoustic Camera. Sound produces wave patterns that at first appear as abstract as waves in water. It is theoretically possible that wave-shaped images can be produced from the overlappings: hatchings whose appearances are coincidental, but accidentally resemble things we are familiar with from the visual world such as an object or an animal.

The basic concept of the Red Psi Donkey consists of a static image constructed from wave patterns and visualized by means of Acoustic Camera technology. Speakers produce a sound that is inaudible for humans which in turn produces an image, the image of a red donkey.

The wave pattern depicting the red donkey exists solely as long as the waves can unfold undisturbed within the empty exhibition space. The wave pattern changes as soon as a visitor enters the exhibition space; the image of the red donkey disappears. The entering into the sound space causes the dissolving of the image. Red Psi Donkey deals with the visualization of an otherwise invisible reality that is destroyed by means of its own presence. Red Psi Donkey consists of an aural and a visual room segment.

The sound sources

The wave pattern is produced by an array of several hundred sound sources in the space.

The sonics

The sound that produces the image of the donkey is inaudible. It consists of a noise in the inaudible ultra sonic pitch-range.

The sound decoder

An Acoustic Camera registers the amplitude distribution within the space, the wave pattern of which is processed to produce the image of a red donkey.

The visual part/the produced image

The Acoustic Camera’s projected image is located separately from the test construction. When there is no audience in the space, projection shows an image of the space and the wave pattern of the Red Psi Donkey located within. When someone enters the space, his physical presence alters the wave pattern. The image registered by the Acoustic Camera becomes abstract.

The Acoustic Camera/photographing and filming sound

A digital camera produces an image of the sound-emitting object. At the same time, a precisely designed arrangement of microphones acquires and records the sound waves emitted by the object. Specially designed software calculates a sound map and links the aural and the visual images of the sound source to each other. /

Produced by the Edith Russ Site for Media Art in conjunction with the Lower Saxony Foundation’s stipend program for media art and realized with the additional support of gfai tech GmbH and their Acoustic Camera.