WAVES, a research project by Petra Dubach and Mario van Horrik

MAD Foundation from Eindhoven facilitates this research project from October 2010.
The research project of Petra and Mario will focus on:
* Movement feedback
* Subsonic (movement)feedback.

Feedback has formed an extensive part of the artistic development of Petra and Mario. They used the phenomenon in several ways: in installations, concerts, and performances; and applied it as direct, indirect,
and industrial feedback, and mixtures of these types of feedback.
WAVES investigates and adds a new form of feedback: movement feedback.


Direct feedback: if you place an electric guitar against the loudspeaker of your amplification set and turn the volume way up, the noise of the system will be amplified through the guitar pickups; the amplified noise will be amplified, etc; until one of the guitar strings will start resonating and produce a tone, that will be amplified, etc. Eventually the sound will escalate and ruin your ears and gear.
Indirect feedback: same principle, but the feedback gets generated ‘through the air’, like a microphone on a stage that feedbacks: no direct (physical) connection between sound source (mike) and speaker.
Industrial feedback: system of measuring and steering. Like the central heating system in your house: you want it to be 20 C in your house, and set the thermostat. The heater starts heating the house; temperature is being measured. When it gets over 20C, the heating shuts off, and it cools down. When it is 18 C it starts heating again, etc.
Through the years Petra and Mario have developed techniques to ‘tame’ the feedback, so it can be used as a fascinating concept for making installations, concerts and performances.
WAVES: direct movement feedback

The first step in the research project WAVES is to replace the loudspeakers by shakers. shakers
can be connected to the loudspeaker outputs of amps, and they reproduce the sound frequencies as vibrations.
So you can make objects vibrate, like a metal plate, by mounting the shaker on the plate. With small shakers
you can generate direct movement feedback.  The resulting vibrations can be amplified again into sound, and the sound has a different ’behaviour’ than sound feedback would have, which is very interesting for the project.
So this will be one of the topics for further investigation.
WAVES: indirect movement feedback.
A second step is working with indirect movement feedback. Here, architecture, sound and movement are completely integrated. For this, shakers with more power are needed. Comparable setups with sound feedback generate standing waves in a space. Objects and people moving slowly or standing still influence the standing waves, and cause changes in the sound. Setups with shakers can cause big sheets of paper to change vibration patterns under the influence of slowly moving people.
WAVES: indirect subsonic feedback

Maybe the third step in the development of the project would be to generate subsonic feedback. Needed are shakers that can handle frequencies under 30 Hertz, much power, and a large space for the setup. The same pieces of paper then could be ’choreographed’ by  vans driving slowly around.

Besides the practical research, MAD and Petra and Mario also want to start a forum on the internet, where artists and scientists can exchange knowledge and experiences on movement feedback and related topics, and where results of  this and similar research projects can be shared and discussed.