Neurons

Martin Neukom, Marcus Maeder

In our contribution for ICST’s Aggregat, we created an imaginary, sounding neuron model. The loudspeakers of the system behave like integrate-and-fire-neurons. Starting from a neutral mode, their excitation increases constantly until it reaches a threshold: They fire then to a selected other neuron. The excitation of the neurons is realized with sonic spikes that emerge from colored noise, as well as the tilt position of the loudspeakers. Each loudspeaker (each neutron) shows an individual behavior with an individual frequency band and individual speed parameters within the accumulation of its excitation, as well as the character of the sonic spikes. During firing, the excitation of each neuron decreases to a minimum value and a certain amount of the excitation and the frequencies of the band are being trans- ferred to the chosen partner neuron, which reduces the amount of frequency bands within the system. Such (possible) chain reactions lead to a quietening of certain parts or the whole system. Our work Neurons can be interpreted as a simple network of neurons or a small population of entities, where certain properties spread (i. e. diseases, aggressions, opinions etc.).

Neukom, Maeder: Neurons 1
Neukom, Maeder: Neurons 2
Neukom, Maeder: Neurons 3
Neukom, Maeder: Neurons 4
Neukom, Maeder: Neurons 5


This is a stereo-downmix of the composition visualised in a simulated view of the movements across the speaker array. Please refer to the gallery videos for a more natural impression. However, neither of these videos can properly represent the enveloping and spatial character of the composition and the installation.