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HAPPENINGText: Ari Matsuoka

After the performance, I was able to interview one of the organizers, Christopher Bauder.

© Christopher Bauder

Christopher Bauder (born 1973) started creating large scale spacial art installations and lighting design after finished his studies in digital media class at the Berlin University of the Arts. His projects focus on the translation of bits and bytes into objects and environment and vice versa. Space, object, sound, light and interaction are the key elements of his work. Christopher Bauder lives and works in Berlin.

DEEP WEB is not the first performance at Kraftwerk Berlin in 2016. Is there any reason why you chose the same location again for the first time in three years?

DEEP WEB is a monumental immersive audiovisual installation and live performance that unveils its full possibilities in a contrasting large scale industrial space. Presented in a spectacular industrial space of Kraftwerk Berlin, DEEP WEB plunges audiences into a mesmerising experience of space and time. Visitors immerse themselves in a gigantic amorphous sculpture in choreographed light and multidimensional sound. The flying of luminous patterns of old digital communication symbols become a fascinating sensory experience. Kraftwerk Berlin simply is an ideal location for this installation and we’re happy that this summer DEEP WEB has returned to its iconic birthplace where Berliners and city guests had a long stretched six weeks of exhibition period to take part in this breathtaking art experience. We are expecting more than 45.000 visitors this time in total.

I thought it was very wonderful that DEEP WEB was held just before Berlin Atonal. Is there any intention to hold the event just before Berlin Atonal?

Actually I had the idea for DEEP WEB before Atonal festival that took place in the Kraftwerk space. While I listened to the fantastic electronic music and watched the large scale visuals, I thought it would be fantastic to extend these into a vast and empty air space. Since I worked with a lot of kinetics installations, I had the idea to create them with lasers and modify a large scale architectural object purely out of light. So the cycle completes this year, like we are basically the heating up the Atonal.

Which software are you using? Did you need to create additional scripts or program extensions? How much do you use the KINETIC LIGHTS system? What are the management challenges?

The biggest challenge on the technical side of DEEP WEB is the synchronisation of lasers and kinetic spheres while everything is in full continuous movements. With my companies WHITEvoid and KINETIC LIGHTS, I have developed a very precise motor winch system and control software for many years.
This system allows us to position the 175 spheres with a repeatable precision of 1mm in space. Then we have a special software calibration system in place that we developed together with the German high end laser manufacturer Laseranimation Sollinger to sync the lasers with the spheres. In combination with their high precision lasers, we are able to follow the moving spheres in real time. This means we can alter variables of our pattern generation algorithms at any time and the laser beams will automatically follow.
The kinetic spheres are also end points for the laser beams. So it is also a safety question that the beams can never glitch off the spheres and eventually hit the audience. Then there is the real time connection to Robert Henkes music software Ableton LIVE that adds another layer of complexity.
All in all DEEP WEB is a huge and complex network system that needs to work flawlessly and in complete sync. But at the end the audience should not be aware of all this and just marvel at the beauty of the show.

Is the next program decided?

I am currently working on another large scale light art piece to be premiered probably at the end of next year. It will incorporate all the experience and knowledge I gained with the DEEP WEB and SKALAR shows over the last years. I will try to push the boundaries once more in terms of what is technically possible and I will try to incorporate even more narrative elements. The rest remains a secret for now 😉

I realized again that the city was protected and supported by strong intentions like what artists have.

Date: 12th July – 23rd August, 2019
Opening hours: 13:00-21:00
Place: Kraftwerk Berlin
Fee: 12.50 EUR

Text: Ari Matsuoka

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