Currently exhibiting at Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery in London is Memo Akten’s installation Simple Harmonic Motion #5, part of a series in which Akten explores how complex patterns arise from the interaction of multilayered rhythms.
This latest installation is part of an exhibition titled Of this Event, I cannot foresee the end, which looks at experimental works from a number of artists and was initially shown as part of Ron Arad’s Curtain Call at the Roundhouse, where it was mapped onto 5,600 silicon rods 18 meters high.
Akten says the work looks at creating complexity from simplicity and is inspired by the natural world, physics, math, and the work of pioneering audio and visual experimenters Norman McLaren, John Whitney, Steve Reich, John Cage, Gyorgi Ligeti, Edgar Varèse, and Brian Eno.
Behind the different incarnations, at the heart of the project lies the concept of creating complexity from simplicity. Through the use of custom software, a large number of ‘entities’ are generated, each follow an extremely simple repetitive pattern of movement and sound. On their own, each entity can be considered very monotonous, basic, mechanical, repetitive. The repetition duration, motion and sound of each entity is precisely tuned such that the collection of all entities moving together, creates a unique, evolving and complex composition—both visually and sonically.
You can see the visualisation in the video above (go fullscreen) and check out the pictures from the Roundhouse performance below.
Of this Event, I cannot foresee the end, March 1 – April 1, Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, Stour Road, London, E3 2NT