carsten nicolai


rotating cylinder with engraved and perforated stainless steel surface, light, sound
260 x 168 x 168 cm
rota rota rota

the work rota is supposed to unite scientific research and artistic production. the installation could be considered an experimental construction dealing with the effects of audiovisual stimulation on human perception.

the installation consists of a cylinder with a height of 260 cm and a diameter of 168 cm whose surface is carved and perforated with a specially designed structure of contracted and warped honeycombs. a bright cold light shines from inside through the perforated holes, which by the rotation of the cylinder causes a stroboscopic visual effect. depending on the rotation speed changing frequencies of flickering light impulses occur, which are also transformed into sound that can be heard as impulse rhythm in the space.

according to scientific research these impulses may have a direct effect on the brain waves of the spectator causing a neural feedback. the light impulse frequencies can simulate different conditions of mental condition like trance, meditation, relaxation or stress thus possibly provoking states of concentration, creativity or neural reorganisation.

especially the dream and mind machines that were developed by brion gysin since the beatnik era in the 1950s and which were supposed to produce alpha-waves to expand human consciousness have been influential to the present work. the work rota therefore presents an experimental set-up that allows the viewers to experience in what way light impulses might influence their brain activity and if special functions of the brain – like relaxation, attention, learning potential and hence creativity – are potentially controllable.