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ACT Center in Korea opens with RGB|CMYK Kinetic

November 24, 2015, ART+COM Studios

The Arts and Creative Technology Center (ACT) in Gwangju, South Korea starts its program on November 25 with the first edition of ACT Festival – Tektonics, a four-day event that combines a symposium, a performance, a workshop program and an extensive exhibition. The show presents the installation RGB|CMYK Kinetic which will be on display for six month after the festival.

RGB|CMYK Kinetic is a poetic experience of colour, movement and sound. Simultaneously a suspended sculpture and a choreography of light and music, it has roots in two important twentieth-century avant-garde traditions: kinetic art and light art. The inspiration for the work stems from the nature of light, particularly from the duality of additive and subtractive colours.

Five flat, disc-shaped mirrors move through space, seemingly floating, illuminated by four lights in the three primary colours, red, green and blue (RGB), and in white. The discs reflect the light and cast black and coloured shadows onto the floor and walls. This set-up provides the basis for a poetic choreography and the immersive, spatial experience of colourful, synchronised lights and shadows moving in unison with the computative and apparently weightless motion of the discs. The choreography is complemented by a musical score that unfolds in dialogue with the discs’ movements.

The choreography consists of three parts. The first is pure white light shining on the mirrors to create an intense play of black (the ‘K’ in CMYK stands for ‘black’) and white geometric forms in space.

In the second part, it is primary-coloured light that produces the abstract play of colour and shadow. Where the RGB colours combine, white light is produced. The coloured ellipses on the ground are generated by the three primary colours through addition and subtraction. The mirror discs cast shadows behind them on the ground, and in these shadows the primary-coloured light subtracts into cyan, magenta and yellow (CMY). In front, the discs reflect the RGB light as individual colours onto the ground.

White light from a fourth lamp is added, increasing the complexity again, as the third part of the choreography. Then all of the light, shadow and colour elements from the previous parts come together and combine into a spatial interplay.

The three-part sound composition for RGB|CMYK Kinetic was made by Icelandic musician, Ólafur Arnalds. The first part of the composition is based on the movements of the mirror discs: the varying heights of the discs in space modulates the five digital instruments. The following two sections of the composition interpret the computatively designed choreography more freely.

The work draws on earlier kinetic sculptures and computational reflectives by ART+COM Studios, and, at the same time, explores the poetic potential of a minimal, yet large-scale, mechatronic installation.

More concretely, RGB|CMYK Kinetic is a derivative of RGB|CMY Kinetic, an installation commissioned by Sónar and the Sorigué Foundation which premiered at SónarPLANTA in June 2015. RGB|CMYK Kinetic was manufactured and installed by MKT.