Wiretap 6.07 - Time-Based Space

A program on the relation of space in time: architecture as movement, interactions between virtual and real spaces, and the transformation of space through sound. With Maja Kuzmanovic, Lars Spuybroek/NOX and Sabine Schäfer, moderated by Andreas Broeckmann.

Wiretap 6.07 - Time-Based Space


Jul 2000
12:00 to 15:00
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

Modern physics has forged a wide-spread understanding of the interdependency of time and space. Space is not a given but is created in time by the movement of bodies and sound waves. Space is an unstable, time-based concept that has to be established by our perceptual and cognitive apparatus through continuous looking, listening and moving. Thus we construct our spatial environment through perception (especially seeing and listening) and proprioception (the intuitive spatial 'knowledge' of our body, for instance in eye-hand-coordination). Digital technologies are particularly relevant in this context, because they are themselves time-based and allow for a transformation and representation of virtual objects and virtual structures in real-time. The manipulation of space in time can be simulated and projected by digital media, offering images and experiences of unexpected space-time configurations.


The insight into the interrelation between space and time has interesting ramifications in the arts. Digital artists and designers are developing interfaces which serve to extend the human body into its virtual environment, allowing the body to manipulate the surrounding space and its perception.

Maja Kuzmanovic presented an artistic research project in progress, TGarden, which she was developing together with the Californian art and research collective Sponge. TGarden is a responsive environment where visitors can put on sound, dance with images and play with media together in a tangible way. As visitors enter the performance, they can put on special clothing which is embedded with wearable sensing devices as well as small audio speakers. The actions and interactions between visitors then trigger polymorphous and liquid sound and video textures which seem to turn the space into a responsive organism. Similarly, architects have come to rethink the relationship between human behaviour and built space by conceiving an architecture that is not static and fixed, but fluid and temporal.

Lars Spuybroek of NOX insists that space must be conceived from the perspective of the moving body: Bodies try to transgress themselves in time, that is: connected to other bodies, other rhythms, other actions. In this sense, you can really only talk about 'space' as a result of an experiential body timing its actions. Space is never a given.

Music and sound art are fundamentally time-based and are therefore particularly effective in spatial representation and manipulation. In the project series TopoPhonien, the composer and sound artist Sabine Schäfer researches the possibilities of a spatial sound art. Her installations and performances deal with the construction of spaces through sound, building on the inner 'architecture' of sound. In different collaborations with the composer Joachim Krebs and the software developer Sukandar Kartadinata she has created programmes for composing 'area-sound-movements' which define virtual sound spaces within and against the built architecture. Sabine Schäfer presented her projects and demonstrated the principles of TopoPhonien in a live performance.



Sabine Schäfer: http://www.sabineschaefer.de/

sponge: http://sponge.org

f0AM: TGarden: http://fo.am/tgarden

The Water Pavilions by Lars Spuybroek and Kaas Oosterhuis: http://synworld.t0.or.at/level3/text_archive/testing_ground.htm

TopoPhonien: http://www.topophonien.de/

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