Exponential Sound Experiences

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Given the abundance of artists who consort with one another amidst the driving sound of a techno beat, electronic music culture's growing influence on the visual arts is no surprise. But increasingly, the reciprocal influence of the visual arts can be 'seen' in the ways in which electronic music is created. "Techno²," organized by the Netherlands Media Art Institute, is the electronic music branch of the "5 days off" music festival, running July 13th to 17th in Amsterdam. Eight sound installations and twelve live performances evince their spatial and visual aspects as equally important to their compositions as their audible elements. The live performances vary widely, from Dutch noise artist Gert Jan Prins, who unleashes big noises from four small radio receivers and transmitters set at slightly different frequencies, to the Swiss group Codespace, who use algorithms to transform the architectures of dark, empty spaces into oceans of crystalline shapes. The installations, such as Farmers Manual's helmet worn by visitors to transmit meditative ultrasound waves, factor the active attention and participation of audience members into catalyzing the artistic fusion of audio and visual. - Ophra Wolf