Chris Salter
Source: Chris Salter

Christopher Salter

n-Polytope ,
Co-workers & Funding
Concept and Direction: Chris Salter
Production: LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial and LabXModal, Montreal
Collaborating Board Member: Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC)
Composition: Chris Salter and Adam Basanta
Architectural Design: Thomas Spier
Lighting and Laser
System Design: Elio Bidinost
Embedded Systems, Micro Light and Sound Design, Media Composition
Programming: Marije Baalman
Media Behaviour Modelling and Programming: Sofian Audry
Structural Consultant: Schlaich Bergermann and Partner/David Sommer
Electronics Assembly: Rene Wassenburg (Schrikdraad Ontwerp) and Stan Verberkt
OpenFrameworks Laser Mirror Control Software: Samuel Tissot-Jobin
With the Support of: Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et culture (FQRSC), Canada; Hexagram Concocordia, Canada; Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, Germany; and STEIM, the Netherlands
  • Vitra Installation View
    1500 × 1000
  • chris salter_n-polytope_1
    400 × 266
  • chris salter_polytope_2
    400 × 266
n-Polytope. Behaviours in Light and Sound after Iannis Xenakis is a spectacular light and sound environment combining cutting edge lighting, lasers, sound, sensing and artificial intelligence software technologies inspired by composer Iannis Xenakis’ radical installations named “Polytopes” (from Greek poly, many and topos, space), the first of which premiered at Expo ‘67 in Montreal. Far ahead of their time and little known outside of artistic circles, Xenakis’ Polytopes are, however, a major landmark in the history of the audio-visual arts: large scale, immersive architectural environments that make the indeterminate and chaotic behaviour of nature (rivers, clouds, waves and cosmological phenomena) experiential through the temporal dynamics of light and the spatial dynamics of sound.

The installation created by Chris Salter has been developed during a production residency at LABoral’s Plataforma 0. Centro de Producción since the end of last month (June) in collaboration with his team: Sofian Audry, Marije Baalman, Adam Basanta, Elio Bidinost and Thomas Spier. Hundreds of LED’s that function as powerful bursts of light and hundreds of tiny speakers are suspended through the space on thin wires, constructing a walk-through performance environment. While the LED’s create a changing space of bursting points, coloured lasers that bounce off the surface of fixed and changing mirrors generate virtual architectures that appear, flicker and disappear before the visitors’ eyes.

Counterpointing the intense visual scenography, multi-channel audio fills the space, shifting between sparse natural and dense electronic textures – noisy bursts, clangourous lines and percussive explosions of sound.

n-Polytope goes far beyond a simple historical exercise. Xenakis’s creation of these dense artistic experiences that fundamentally examine and model the behaviour and patterns of nature and the cosmos in their exquisite fluctuations between order and disorder powerfully resonates with our historical moment of extreme instability in natural and artificial systems.

  • aesthetics
    • immersive
    • time-based
  • genres
    • installations
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • algorithms
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • architecture
      • art history
      • expanded cinema
    • Body and Psychology
      • senses
    • Nature and Environment
      • environment
      • physical laws
      • weather
    • Technology and Innovation
      • artificial life
Technology & Material
Custom designed architectural structure of steel and aluminum
LED's and custom electronics
Lasers and custom electronics
Photoelectric sensors
Custom designed control software
wireless Xbee modules and custom wireless sensor network software (http://sensestage.eu)