Versus, sounding dialogues

David Letellier

Versus is a kinetic sound installation by David Letellier. Its functioning is characterized by an interactive dialogic mechanism. There are two kinetic sculptures that are interdependent and they have to be face to face to make sense. Each sculpture is made out of 12 triangular panels, joining at the center in a flower-like shape with actuators to allow slow movement. In the center of this singular “corolla” there’s a microphone and a speaker. At fixed timing each sculpture “dialogues” with the other one producing a sound which is recorded and whose frequencies are analyzed by the opposite sculpture. The sculptures then move accordingly, with a pulsating conceptual attitude, before playing back a modified sound. In fact, the original sound emitted by the first kinetic flower is modified by sounds and presence of the visitors and by the reverberations of the room. By their presence these external agents become active actors in the installation, making the continuous loop always unpredictable. An alien communication is established, but one grounded in the obscure grammar coded by the artist. The spectators are the “noise” in this communication, but are also the agents of variation and evolution of the dialogue. It’s a classic ecosystem for the transmission of sense, and the kinetic movements are not only functional (changing the shape changes the emission of sounds as well), but they are also shown to be alive and reactive, which in a communication environment is simply essential.

Chiara Ciociola