Sonic Water is an interactive installation by Sven Meyer [Elfenmaschine & kymat.de] and Kim Pörksen [Piece of Cake] that creates an interactive environment for visualizing sound and vibrations that reminds us that sound is truly physical.
How does it work?
Our installation at the Photography Playground in Berlin consists of two different areas. A self-running installation and a DIY water-sound-image laboratory where people can experiment with their own cymatics. The setup in both areas is almost identical. The only difference is, that you can use your own camera and create your own soundscapes in the DIY laboratory.
The installation is very simple: A sound signal is used to vibrate a speaker. On top of the speaker membrane we have applied a plate and on the plate we have then glued an ordinary bottle cap. The bottle cap (or the whole plate) is filled with water. The water works as a flexible three-dimensional sculpture mass, that translates the sound into pictures. The vibration of the speaker creates one of a kind water-sound-images in response to the respective sound impulse – from chaotic patterns to standing mandala-like waves. The camera films the speaker from above and basically shoots a macro mode live view of the bottle cap action which is projected onto a large screen.
When people enter the room they initially just see the big screen cymatics projections. However, once they approach the cube with the speaker they suddenly grasp the setup and have this moment of incredulity and utter bewilderment, that a setup as simple as ours can create such astounding visuals. But this part of our installation is actually just an incentive or an ice breaker. Our actual intention is for the audience to have fun in the laboratory, where they can create and document their own cymatics. In the DIY laboratory you clamp a Olympus OMD camera on the stand, which you get upon entering the exhibition and you can then film or take photos of the water-sound-images you create by means of sound signals from a synthesizer, by using your own voice (via a microphone) or by just playing your favorite song on your smartphone.