Lukas Truniger & Nicola Hein

The artwork: Membranes

Comprised of hybrid instruments made out of drumheads and electronic components, Membranes is a performative installation that transforms written text into luminous percussion. Over the course of the emergence of each automatic translation, the network of instruments begins to share the texts, thereby transforming the written elements into visual and sound motifs. In drawing on the example of the West African “talking drum,” Membrane creates a new language that is constantly developing and adapting itself. The instruments form a reactive network of semantic and aesthetic actors: a play of forms, light and sound unfolds between them. In following this archetype of a musical communication instrument and  in seeking to create a speculative acoustic interaction space, this audio-visual installation offers an alternative communication environment.

In its installation form, the work uses texts generated by an algorithm that analyzes a database comprising various theoretical texts about the relation between music and language. A dialogue between the various independent object-instruments takes shape and generates a network of dead agents—transformed algorithms—that testify both to a form of communication that is historically rooted in a cultural tradition and a hypothetical language spoken in a world after the Web’s demise.

The artists

Lukas Truniger

Lukas Truniger is a visual artist and musician, who engages in the areas of multimedia installations, sculptural objects, performances and the creation of new musical instruments. He is fascinated by complexity and invisible processes in nature as well as in society. He establishes singular experiences challenging the modalities of perception. His works have been shown in the framework of renowned exhibitions and festivals worldwide.

Nicola Hein

The guitarist, soundartist, philosopher and composer Nicola L. Hein plays the guitar with a focus on an extended sonic range. He builds sound installations and instruments, composes music to integrate questions of philosophy with artistic practice. His works have been realized in more than 30 countries worldwide. He also works as researcher in the field of philosophy, has been giving lectures at different institutions around the world and is a “visiting scholar” at the music department of Columbia University, New York.