Current Residencies



Tim Otto Roth
Sub-sub-Microbiological Art Research & Technology goes to Self-Organizing Synthesizer
Tim Otto Roth

Born 1974 in Oppenau/Black Forest, is a conceptual artist and composer known for his large installations in public space–often realized in collaboration with leading scientific institutions around the world. The question about space is the golden thread running through his oeuvre, which is expressed by the projective translation of objects into shadows by the medium of light, his fascination with the nocturnal firmament, or the creation of sound environments using space as a synthesizer. Most of Roth’s works can be considered as a plea for a “physics of art”, as they demonstrate the physical dimension of phenomena that also affects the body.


SMART>SOS is a sound and video installation translating the process of sub-sub-microbiological nano-computation into a pending light and sound sculpture and two video projections. The star like structure (Ø = 400cm) of 30 illuminated speakers hanging over the visitors echoes visually the nano structure especially designed for the project but also acoustically: The flux of agents in the nano structure you see projected onto the floor is translated into modifications of filtered noise oscillating between TV noise and whispering wind at varying pitches. Every speaker is linked to a certain area of the nano structure. If agents pass that area the related loudspeaker lights up in a pastel like colour corresponding to the played frequency.

The image series projected on the floor is a sequence of fluorescence microscope images scaled by the factor of 20.000. Here you can follow the flux of the yellow coloured worm like organic molecules meandering over the bluish ground of the nano structure. The pixelated image projection vis a vis on the wall shows the corresponding difference image, which is used for the image analysis. This image series driving the activity of the loudspeakers is rendered with a particular colour-map. Wearing red-cyan glasses the red noise changes to the background and separates the blue active zones. The floor projection remains more or less unchanged with the glasses.

This image noise inspired conceptually the translation of the data into sound. The basis of the composition is white noise, which everybody knows from old TVs. This noise is filtered in a certain frequency range, which is varied by the base frequency and the width of the frequency band. The base frequency changes according to the activity in the corresponding area.

About this residency

    Lund, Sweden
    Sub-sub-Microbiological Art Research & Technology goes to Self-Organizing Synthesizer
From Sept. 22, 2017 to April 30, 2018

Localization: Lund, SE


    The idea of the project is that biomolecular machines, each only a few billionth of a meter (nanometers) in size, can solve problems by moving through a nanofabricated network of channels designed to represent a mathematical algorithm; an approach we termed “network-based biocomputation”. Whenever the biomolecules reach a junction in the network, they either add a number to the sum they are calculating or leave it out. That way, each biomolecule acts as a tiny computer with processor and memory. While an individual biomolecule is much slower than a current computer, they are self-assembling so that they can be used in large numbers, quickly adding up their computing power. Specific challenges are (1) to design error-free junctions, (2) to multiply the number of biomolecules to adapt to the difficulty of the problem, (3) to tag the biomolecules to know which path they have taken through the network.

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