Encounters 2015

Encounters are the starting points as well as the results in the work of María Ignacia Edwards that she has finished under the aegis of the Art & Science Networks. Since September 2015, the installation “Encounters” can be looked at and listened to in the foyer of the Ars Electronica Center.


Credit. Tom Mesic
Credit. Tom Mesic


It comprises a soundbox in the shape of a piano which gets triggered by a swing. The harmony you hear is composed of several piano strings, set in oscillation by e-bows, an electromagnetic device. There are eleven additional swings which are hanging above the visitor’s heads like a mobile, envisaged for later transport to various destinations. They too will produce sounds via seesawing. The tonal encounters of rocking visitors will produce different harmonies at various places. Thus, the piano-shaped soundbox does not only play back the locally produced sounds, but also the ones which are “rocked” everywhere else. Therefore, there’ll always be random compositions – just like encounters happen randomly.


Credit: Tom Mesic
Credit: Tom Mesic


During her residency at ESO and Ars Electronica Futurelab, María Ignacia Edwards developed her idea, which is guided by the relation from the individual to the whole. Inspired by the world of natural sciences, the new array of telescopes ALMA in the Chilean Atacama desert and the vibes at the observatory La Silla, both ignited “Encounters”. A translation of those experiences into a comprehensive concept for a project and the integration of new media and the tonal interpretation succeeded in the Ars Electronica Futurelab, where the operational software for the e-bows was developed as well as the hardware and the mechanical solution.


Building the swing at Ars Electronica Futurelab: Maria Ignacia Edwards and Stefan Mittelböck. Credit: Magdalena leitner
Building the swing at Ars Electronica Futurelab: Maria Ignacia Edwards and Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth-Fohringer. Foto: Magdalena Leitner


Artist in Residence:

María Ignacia Edwards

Ars Electronica Futurelab Collaborators & Support:

Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth-Fohringer, Martin Gösweiner, Erwin Reitböck, Claudia Schnugg