Absolut Black Box – "Frequency"

  • Jen Haugan
"A black box in science, computing, or engineering is a device, system or object with inputs and outputs that do not communicate any knowledge of its internal workings. Contemporary computers, phones, algorithms, even the human brain, and many other things can be considered black boxes."

During May and June 2016 I worked on a project along with my classmate Robert Thorpe that was offered to the Information Experience Design MA programme at the Royal College of Art. The project, which was kindly sponsored by Absolut, was then showcased at the Sonar+D festival in Barcelona in June 2016.

Our brief involved creating a specific atmosphere within a 3x3 meter black cube and we chose to look into sonic and colour therapy by mapping colours to specific audio frequencies. We created a grid of 16 plinths for the floor structure with a speaker inside each plinth that was being sent a specific frequency, thus creating a floorspace where each plinth vibrated slightly differently, inviting you to walk across the floor and explore the different vibrations whilst being immersed in colours that changed as you walked across the tiles.

We used Max MSP to control both our lighting set-up as well as controlling the specific frequencies being sent out to each speaker, and used a modified Maxuino patch to get the pressure sensor values from the Arduino Mega into Max MSP.

Royal College of Art — Information Experience Design: ied.rca.ac.uk/

Thanks to: Absolut & Pelonio
Mentoring: Laura Ferrarello & Matt Clark

El País: cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2016/06/16/actualidad/1466105687_503989.html
Oci Magazine: ocimagazine.es/the-black-box-by-absolut/
25gramos: 25gramos.com/the-black-box-by-absolut-se-estrena-en-sonard-para-jugar-con-nuestros-sentidos/
Tiu Magazine: tiumag.com/features/columns/absolutamente-relativo-lo-inevitable-de-una-caja-negra/
Sonar+D: sonarplusd.com/activity/the-black-box-by-absolut/
Cultura Inquieta: culturainquieta.com/es/inspiring/item/9909-a-experiencias-sensoriales-que-nos-esperan-black-box-by-absolut-en-el-sonar.html
Artlyst: artlyst.com/articles/british-creative-flair-celebrated-at-two-sonar-festivals-in-barcelona