panGenerator, a new media design and art group composed of Piotr Barszczewski, Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński and Jakub Koźniewski, work at the junction between the world of atoms and bits. Everything that concerns programming, code, software and its interactions with physical, substantial forms is subject of their highest interest.
New media design and art group composed of Piotr Barszczewski, Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński and Jakub Koźniewski.
They experiment with all available media, technologies, electronics and they mix them all together, creating new tools of expression and communication. They treat the art of new media as a laboratory for the future. They arrange unusual technological situations and by this means test the boundaries of people’s perception.
Dodecaudion is a music controller – a device which allows the transposition of body motion into sound. For panGenerator, the starting point was the diminishing expression of the present day music performer, a result of the use of laptops and electronics which demand great precision to be controlled. Their idea was to invert this dependency and investigate into how body motion can itself create music.
The shape of the body of Dodecaudion is based on a dodecahedron. Its skeleton was f 3D-printed and each of its aluminium walls is equipped with a distance sensor, which allows for independent measurement of the distance from each hand. The controller is linked to a computer via Bluetooth and sends commands to software chosen by the user. In a result, dance is translated directly into music simultaneously and they become inseparably merged.
The Museum of the History of the Polish Jews asked the group to create an installation which would refer to the analogue experience of being in a traditional archive or library and at the same time would engage visitors using new media technology. panGenerator came up with a spatial form, consisting of a composite, 8 metre-long ribbon which acts as a screen for displaying the projection. In the central point, a wooden desktop with a knob and a wooden card reader were placed. An old-fashioned locker is an additional part of the installation and is used for storing the aforementioned cards.
Tactilu is a bracelet which allows long-distance sending of touch thanks to a wireless connection with a smart phone and the Internet. Tactilu subtly raises the subject of the domination of audio-visual forms of communication in the mass media. It can be also regarded as a prosthesis enabling physical interaction with another person. Like Homeless Vehicle Project by Krzysztof Wodiczko, it signalizes the subject matter of neglecting the sense of touch – an issue emerging in social processes which can’t be overcome with use of any technology. It is therefore an example of a critical design, which creates objects that could conceivably be regarded as commercial products but in fact aim at criticising people’s behaviours.
.float is an installation which reflects the role of a creator in the process of creation. An animal’s motion (here an aquarium fish) is tracked live and becomes a source of data for generating a 3D sculpture. The project is regarded as a crossover experiment mixing the chaotic forces of nature with digitally-imposed order. The title -.float - refers not only to floating on the water's surface but is also a name for the set of floating point numbers used in programming, which were used here to register the position of the fish. The installation is an example of technology being able to expand our perception of beauty, revealing previously inaccessible layers of reality. It serves as a sort of interface between the ‘imperceptible’ and our senses.
Constellaction (a portmanteau of constellation and action) is a project based on the phenomenon of emergence, created for Festiwal Przemiany 2013 (The Change Festival), organised by the Copernicus Science Centre. According to the definition, an emergent system is a system composed of a large number of simple elements, which becomes much more complicated than the sum of its parts thanks to their interactions. It seems to be controlled top-down but in fact there is no control at all.
A regular tetrahedron made out of a vacuum-formed material is the basic module of Constellation. Inside each of them is a light receptor, a diode and a simple microcontroller. When one module detects a sudden change in illumination it blazes and emits a sound with a short delay. Thanks to these simple behavioural rules the modules can transfer a light impulse from one to another in a sort of domino effect. The interaction, however, has two dimensions - a simple interaction between the modules, and the interaction between the modules and the audience who spatially arrange any system components.
Non - video Game
The Non-video Game was created on commission from National Audiovisual Institute in 2011. This time panGenerator wanted to check if a simple text narrative is able to engage ‘players’ as much as visually complex video games. For this, purpose they combined the iconic interface of a classic Nintendo controller with a thermal printer (used, for example, for printing receipts in shops). The content of the game was based on a novel by Łukasz Orbitowski entitled Tylko Maks. Historia z dreszczykiem (Only Maks. A Thrilling Story). The player–reader could choose different paths of narration, built in a non-linear way, and then compare their outcome with other users.
The Musical Milestones of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
Quantum of Peace
In 2015 panGenerator created the Quantum of Peace interactive installation. The project was commissioned by the Warsaw Rising Museum for the 71st anniversary of the Warsaw Rising.
Quantum of Peace utilised more than 15 thousand bullet casings affixed to magnets to present data and numbers conveying the Warsaw Rising and facts about WWII. The bullet casings were meant to act as tangible proof of the war effort. Moreover, the project was a memento of sorts for post-war generations.
hash2ash was an installation presented in 2017 as part of the TEENAGE exhibition in the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. The project consist of interactive display that encourages viewers to take a selfie which is then rendered on a large 1x1m screen. The picture then disintegrates while black gravel falls to the bottom of the screen in sync with it, gradually building up a dark pile beneath the installation.
The project bring up themes of the transitory nature of electronic data due to technological failures, system flaws, or incorrect file formats. hash2ash also alludes to selfie culture and the fear of permanently losing digital resources.
8 Game-Changing Film Soundtracks By The Polish Radio Experimental Studio
standardowy [760 px]
Sound generators used in PRES (1962-1971), photo: Andrzej Zborski /MSN and APPARATUM, photo: press materials
European Congress of Culture
Copernicus Science Center
museum of the history of the polish jews
poland at sxsw
The APPARATUM installation was created in 2018. The project was inspired by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (Studio Eksperymentalne Polskiego Radia, SEPR). The Adam Mickiewicz Institute commissioned APPARATUM for the Polska 100 project.
APPARATUM was meant to popularise and attract attention to the legacy of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. PanGenerator emphasised that it was inspired by the Experimental Studio’s Black Room designed by Oskar and Zofia Hansen, Bogusław Schaeffer’s Symphony – Electronic Music, and the heritage of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.
APPARATUM allows anyone to become an electro-acoustic music composer through a digital interface which can be used to compose music. The installation’s sound generator is based on optical generators constructed on spinning discs with graphical patterns. Created musical compositions could be printed as a musical score and downloaded as an mp3 file.
spiralalala is an installation connected to the spiral staircase of the Szczecin Philharmonic, which ties design, movement, and sound together. The construction itself is a 35-metre-long, 15-metre-tall 3D-printed architectural installation. At the top of the stairs is a microphone which can also launch black marbles. Recordings start with the insertion of a marble into the microphone. After recording a 5-second sample, the marble starts falling along a 35m long track, going through radio modules and sensors with the current speed and position of the ball. At the end of the track is a container for samples and tracks. This way the staircase is turned into an instrument that transforms voices of the event’s participants.
Author: Magda Grabowska, 17.02.2014, translated by WO, 2014, updated by OT, Sept 2019
Warsaw's Polish Radio Experimental Studio and MIAM Present Sonic Arts