2 video pieces insstallation, 8min 31 sec , 2005

presented at:  "Coma", Dolnośląskie Centrum Kultury, 2006

 related to "Tones & Whispers"                      





video installation "Somnium" belongs to the series of works entitled “Hidden Melody” and  inspired by the Pythagorean idea of harmonic relation between macrocosm and microcosm of our universe. Believing that the matter of the world is music, Pythagoras divided it into Musica Mundana (later known as Music of Spheres) and Musica Humana (music of human body). Since then Harmonia Mundi recognised as Great Theme has been inspiring both art and science evolving according to changes in our perception of the world and its understanding.  

One of the crucial figure in bridging ancient and modern knowledge was mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. It was him who elaborated :Music of Spheres” along with his famous physical laws concerning the movement of planets.

The title of the project “Somnium” (the latin word for “Dream”) comes from the last text written by Johannes Kepler being in fact first science fiction novel.

For our project, the beginning point was Kepler’s “Music of Spheres”, which was performed on a theremin (the instrument using radio waves as the source of tones). The choice of instrument was dictated by increasing role of radiotechnology in gathering data about our universe (i.e. radio telescopes). These simple tones and structures of sounds form the initialisation that grows into the complexity of both visuals and soundscape for the installation.

  The waveforms of the theremin sounds are digitally shaped into spheres and wrapped around images of planets (of our solar system).  These many ’worlds’ circulate around changing landscapes composed of both images from fMRI brain scanning and distant galaxies and planets. The attentive viewer however can also recognise fragments of everyday surrounding.

In my “Somnium”, the planets don not circulate around the Sun - the scanned human head moving through the undefined space replaces the „centre”. 

There are 2 simultaneous video pieces, each being exactly 8min. 31 sec long - which is the light distance between the Sun and the Earth.

 Soundtrack was elaborated by Dave Lawrance.

with special thanks to Barbara Buchholtz (theremin), dr Lauren Stewart  Functional Imaging Laboratory, London University, mgr Agnieszka Grabka Dept. of  Medical Physics Warsaw University