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Infinity Divided by Sixteen

Jeffrey Shaw


With Harry de Wit.

In this interactive installation the visual and auditory components of the work were interconnected and closely related. A finely perforated projection screen was visibly divided into sixteen sections. Behind each section was a speaker connected to its own amplifier and tape deck. Sixteen sound tracks were composed and recorded by Harry de Wit for this work. Each sound track was assigned to a specific position on the screen, and the volume of each of these sixteen spatially located sound tracks was modulated by a continual analysis of the changing light intensity of the images being projected onto that part of the screen. In this way the interactively controlled movement of the imagery over the screen surface caused a simultaneous mixing of the sixteen sound channels, and the dynamics of this sound mix was determined by shifting distribution of light intensities according to the viewer's manipulation of the images.

The viewer controlled the movement of the projected imagery using two trackballs to pan left and right and up and down, and buttons to control zooming in and out. The visual space was constituted by a network of interconnected pictorial images that were both conceptually and formally organised in relation to the sixteen-part division of the screen. The placement and movement of these images within the visual grid modulated the sixteen sound tracks physically located in this structure.



Software: Larry Abel
Hardware: Charly Jungbauer


1987: Image and Sound Festival, Haags Filmhuis, Den Haag, Netherlands; Manifestation for the Unstable Media, V2, Den Bosch, Netherlands.