Valse automatique by Hermann August Weizenegger
Published on May 5, 2012
“The old Orpheus played his Lyre so beautifully, that he did not only delight the ancient gods, but also made stones melt away. He would have found great joy in a collaboration of a designer and a musician together with craftsmen, sound engineers and interface designers, bringing their talents together to create a synesthetic as well as synergetic happening.” Quoting the designer Hermann August Weizenegger, essentially describes the conceptual background of the project aiming to bring the romanticism and character of a musical composition and high-tech design-fabrication together.
In the context of the MADE-concept, “Anything can happen when creative minds from various fields clash”, the violinist and composer Michalj “MIKI” Kekenj and the designer Hermann August Weizenegger met at MADE to create an art piece from music, design, crafts and digital culture which exemplifies a visionary production-scenario, ranging from commodities over design-objects to artwork.
In three months of planning and research and under the creative direction of Hermann August Weizenegger and MIKI, the team (sound design: Chris Jeff; interface: Stephan Thiel; Artis Furniture and Interior Design Concepts: Wolf Deiss, Roman Kühnert; organization: Jacob Blazejczak) has developed the technical and artistic concept, written a computer program and composed a valse-theme in five variations. A KUKA-robot, known from industrial manufacturing and fabrication will become the third actor in this techno-romantic music/informatics/space/chorographical performance, accompanied by the designer and the violinist. Like dancing to the harmony and emotion of the played violin, the robot leaves its pre-programmed precision movements and becomes a sculptor. The performed music is simultaneously processed and interpreted by a computer program into digital data and translated into virtual, three-dimensional geometries. Those data drive the robot’s movements for the production or in this case the sculpting of spacial objects or poetic artifacts, capturing the character of the music, as part of this canon of human emotion and digital production. The most important aspect of this project is the notion of the relationship between us and our commodities. Handcrafted objects and items have, what we may call, a character – an emotional and personal relevance. This notion of relevance does not exist in industrial mass-fabrication. Weizenegger’s project aims to compensate this lack by utilizing those fabrication techniques to reintroduce this notion of relevance. The character of the music is forming the artifacts.