EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT

KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE, 2011

ROBERTO PUGLIESE

Feedback is the distinctive shrill screech that develops when a sound loop exists between an audio input, like a microphone, and an audio output, like a speaker, with sound from the output returning to be picked up by the input. The phenomenon is usually triggered when the microphone is too close to the speaker and picks up a frequency emitted by the latter. The microphone amplifies and reproduces the speaker’s frequency with gradually increasing amplitude, to the point where it saturates the amplifier and creates a signal with more power than its power supply can produce and causes the physical breakdown of the system.

Equilibrium Variant is a sound installation consisting of two robotic arms, with a microphone placed on the end of one and a speaker on the end of the other. Software, created specifically for this purpose, dynamically manages the position of the robotic arms in space and maintains the distance between the microphone and the speaker, preventing the system from going into saturation. This way, the system tends to reach an equilibrium that is otherwise physically impossible to attain. This struggle for balance creates an acoustic and visual dimension that is never the same: the frequency of the feedback and the movements of the mechanical arms are always different and change in real time.

In nature, the phenomenon of feedback is the capacity of a system to regulate itself, taking into account the effects of certain modifications to its features. All living beings experience this condition. This project introduces this phenomenon into the world of cybernetics, through the use of sound. Sound makes all the movements extremely harmonic and natural, and the mechanical arms show a movement pattern that is similar to the behavior of living beings, such as two animals fighting or courting. The system changes into a biomechanical organism that has its own life and reacts to external solicitations.

EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT — KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE
EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT — KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE
EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT — KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE
EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT — KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE
EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT EQUILIBRIUM VARIANT — KINETIC SOUND SCULPTURE

About the artist: 

Roberto Pugliese was born in Naples in 1982, where he lives and works. After having taken his master’s degree in Electronic Music at the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella in Naples, with Agostino di Scipio, he divides his time between teaching at the same institution (Musical Systems and Electroacoustic, Informatic Laboratory and Sound Art), playing music and realising sound installations. His works have been exhibited in different institutions such as the Ballroom Marfa in Texas, the Museum ZKM in Karlsruhe, the Volta Art Fair in New York, Galerie Mario Mazzoli in Berlin, the Pixxelpoint Festival of Nova Gorica and won honorable mentions in competitions such as Vida Prize in Madrid.

ROBERTO PUGLIESE