Totem Installation

Realisée en 2010

Présentée le November 26th, 2010

Khrônos is a visual and sound installation that brings the unique acoustic vibrations of the invented instrument Tu-Yo Afrika into relation with its digital and virtual representation.

ce paragraphe descriptif de l’instrument devrait faire l’objet d’un article dans “Instrumentarium”
The Tu-Yo Afrika is a new instrument that uses pneumatics, acoustics and informatics to generate a continuous vibration of a latex membrane stretched across the end of an aluminum tube. A small black rubber ball placed inside the tube bounces randomly, stimulated by the acoustic vibrations of the membrane. Its bouncing generates a kind of rhythmic “drone” whose figures are constantly rearticulated and renewed, creating a “hypnotic” ambience.

A halogen bulb installed beneath the yellow latex membrane illuminates the interior of the instrument, propagating an amber glow of variable clarity and intensity. A small video camera picks up what is happening inside the instrument: the image is that of a small black ball sketching natural movements against the “yellow-orange” background. This image is projected above the instrument thus making the sound visible. Ideally, the image is also projected on the floor, thus giving the public the opportunity to “virtually” step inside the musical instrument. This projection is round and has a diameter of 2 meters.

The computer follows the “dance” of the rubber ball. A system of analysis detects the rhythm, dynamics and pitch of the sound generated, and uses this information to control both the evolution of the music and the visual transformation of what is being filmed inside the instrument.


Original idea : Jean-François Laporte
Conception: Jean-François Laporte
Production : JF Laporte and Productions Totem Contemporain
Development of the electronic system : S. St-Aubin, A. Burton
Programming : Benjamin Thigpen, J-F Laporte, Alexandre Burton
Thanks to Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Digital Arts Fetival (Taipei – Taiwan)

Khrônos also raises the question of Time (musical time, machine time, human time). The relation between the real instrument and its digital representation makes it possible to move around virtually “within” the Tu-Yo Afrika and to discover its acoustic and visual subtleties. This enables the visitor to reach another level of comprehension and of interaction with the work: an entire symbolic universe is formed through the interrelations among the virtual representation proposed by the video projection, the physical reality of the various phenomena and the visitors’ imagination.

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