SAP Berlin 2004

The centerpiece of the medial mise en scène is The Hidden World of Noise and Voice, an installation by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman. The New York media artists have created software that depicts sounds and voices in virtual space.


After sundown, the new SAP regional headquarters in Berlin will begin to delight city residents and visitors with an imaginative play of color and form. Foto: Pascal Maresch
After sundown, the new SAP regional headquarters in Berlin will begin to delight city residents and visitors with an imaginative play of color and form. Credit: Pascal Maresch


Everything that the installation’s microphones pick up is interpreted by the system and translated into corresponding dynamic forms that subsequently populate the environment as virtual creatures. For example, a continuous tone, depending on its pitch, is represented as a thin snake or a fat worm slithering from the position of the microphone at which it originated out into three dimensional space. A sonorous “blob”, on the other hand, generates a compact shape that sluggishly moves forth from its source. And this is how the previously empty space is transformed into a world full of formal variety, a domain of computer graphics whose diversity and dynamics suggest the speciesrichness of the oceans. The windows offering glimpses into this hidden world are rear projection display units (Mit- subishi DLPs) that are capable of providing clear images in daylight conditions. Then, when night falls, the building’s architecture is saturated by a series of large-scale projections. The architecture of the lobby and the ceilings of each upper level are visually dissolved by projections. This opens up a view through the exterior shell of the hidden world and makes it possible to follow the paths of the generated objects through the building from their point of origin to their vanishing point in the heavens above Berlin.


Foto: Ars Electronica Futurelab
Transferring the visitor’s pulse to the visualization-process via touchpad. Credit: Ars Electronica Futurelab



Sensor-equipped surfaces installed immediately adjacent to the main entrance invite visitors to engage in direct physical contact with the building. The sensors set up there register the pulse of anyone who places his/her hand on the surface; after sundown, the beat is transmitted throughout the building. For a short time thereafter, the projections in the lobby and the levels above it pulse to the rhythm of the measured heartbeat. This interaction opportunity enables everyone to make their own very personal contribution to Berlin’s cityscape by night.


Interactive advertisment. Foto: Ars Electronica Futurelab
Credit: Ars Electronica Futurelab


Interactive Advertising

Interactive advertising is a new way to call attention to commercial messages by means of interaction. At SAP’s Berlin regional headquarters, rear-projection display units (Mitsubishi DLPs) arranged facing the sidewalk along the facility’s Rosenthalerstraße façade show commercial messages throughout the day. Subtle graphic attention- getters prompt passers-by to take notice of the content being displayed on these DLPs that deliver a sharp image under daylight conditions. Just by walking past, pedestrians leave behind traces on the display—ripples that resemble the waves made by the bow of a ship. Whenever someone remains stationary in front of the DLPs, his/her gestures are registered by cameras, interpreted in real time, and transformed into wave action on the screens. The result in this case is a series of concentric waves flowing out from a central point across the display. This enables passers-by—depending on the intensity of their gesticulations or movements in front of the DLPs—to produce scenarios ranging from the romantic ripples produced by a pebble tossed into a pond to the wild surf of an angry sea.


Golan Levi & Zachary Lieberman

Senior Executive Developer:

Horst Hörtner

Project Management:

Martin Honzik

Keyresearcher / Digital Surfaces:

Helmut Höllerl

Keyresearcher / Virtual Environments:

Christopher Lindinger

Keyresearcher / Interactive Spaces:

Dietmar Offenhuber


Robert Abt, Florian Berger, Peter Brandl, Reinhold Bidner, Martin Bruner, Stefan Feldler, Peter Freudling, Roland Haring, Andreas Jalsovec, Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth-Fohringer, Christian Naglhofer, Erwin Reitböck, Stefan Schilcher