Volte Gallery

Art+Com

ART+COM has been exploring the intersection of art and technology independently since it was established in 1988.In the recent past commissioned artworks have been created mainly for public and semi-public spaces. At ART+COM Studio the development of artistic installations takes into account the specific spatial and thematic contexts of the locations they will be integrated into. The installations respond to the different spaces they are conceived for in form and behaviour, often expanding them through, for example, kinetic light or virtual layers. The artworks add poetic and metaphoric elements to spaces that would otherwise be simply functional or non-descript.
The projects extend the modernist typology of art through the employment of new media, exploring the qualities inherent to such media, like reactivity, interactivity and generativity, for artistic expression.
Recent works reclaim physical presence, but it is a presence computationally charged with complex behaviour and coded meanings. These unique media installations and mediatectures create identity for spaces and add spatio-temporal reference. The artworks have an intuitive appeal and engage viewers in a dialogue. Becoming an active part of an artwork and the space it creates encourages people’s sense of identification with the space.
Since 1988 ART+COM’s artistic work has been led by Joachim Sauter and collaboratively developed with a team of artists, designers, engineers and IT specialists.
The following selection presents artworks commissioned by public and private clients between 2006 and the present.
Anamorphic Kinetic
2011
Deutsche Bank Headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany

Anamorphic Kintetic is an auto-active kinetic installation that takes a purely associative and aesthetic approach to translating a two-dimensional object into three dimensions. The installation explores the manifold possibilities of de/constructing both form and meaning within the visual parameters the Deutsche Bank logo, an iconic design by Anton Stankowski.

The logo is anamorphically distorted and transformed into a three-dimensional structure that is legible from only the ‘sweet spot’. From all other perspectives it remains abstract and is not revealed. Its central, diagonal bar is divided into 48 triangles. They move vertically and rotate around two axes in a complex choreography of flowing 3D structures that appear to hover in the air.
In addition to the physical movement, the triangles also serve as a dynamic projection surface. This is achieved with video mapping, which involves real-time analysis of the triangles’ position and orientation, the calculation of corresponding masks, and the generation of anamorphically distorted images onto the individual triangles. The installation executes a wide variety of choreographies that alternate between projected and non-projected sequences.
In one of the projected sequences, lines flow across the moving triangles as if they were subject to gravity, thus creating a link between the movements of the physical and the virtual objects. In non-projected sequences, physical movement is enhanced via controlled ceiling lighting and an interplay between the illuminated triangles and the dark, overlapping shadows they cast on the floor.
Kinetic Rain
2012
Terminal 1, Singapore Airport

Kinetic Rain is an artwork designed for Terminal 1 at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The kinetic sculpture adds a contemplative element to the lively transit space of the departure hall.
Kinetic Rain consists of two parts installed above the terminal's two central escalators. Each symmetrical element is composed of 608 copper-plated aluminium drops. The drops are connected by steel wires to computer-controlled motors that raise and lower them with precision.
The two elements move in dialogue through a fifteen-minute animated sequence, evolving from abstract to figurative three-dimensional forms. At times the two parts move together in unison, at other times they mirror, complement or follow each other.
The entire installation spans a total area of more than 75 square metres and spreads over 7.3 metres in height. It can be seen from above, below and all sides. The visual experience of the complex computer-designed movement is completely different depending on perspective.
Manta Rhei
2012
Berlin, Germany

Manta Rhei combines choreographed light with physical movement for a kinetic light sculpture that has a strong poetic and performative spatial presence. Using organic light-emitting diodes, it is a contemporary addition to the genre of kinetic light objects that blurs the boundaries between natural and artificial, animate and inanimate.
The current version of Manta Rhei consists of fourteen flexible, metal lamellae of 1.2 metres, each of which carries ten paper-thin OLEDs. The lamellae are suspended from the ceiling with a metal rod. Thin steel wires are connected to individually controllable motors that raise and lower the ends of each lamella, allowing various movement patterns to be performed.
Different sequences of moving lamellae and animated light have an effect on how the sculpture is perceived. Depending on the space and situation, Manta Rhei can perform a wide spectrum of patterns ranging from harmonious to more conflicting. The changing ‘behaviour’ evokes the impression of an animated object with a certain degree of autonomy. The kinetic sculpture seems to hover silently in an intermediate space between the ceiling and the ground. Due to its modularity it can be expanded to a kinetic environment. Through the performance of light and movement Manta Rhei shapes and interacts with space.
Mantha Rhei is a joint project with Selux Berlin.
Design by TRAMPOLINE DESIGN | CREDITS