Schlagwort-Archive: installation art

Forced Leisure

Interactive hammock, 100x400x100cm


Year: 2015

Christoph Gruber & Laura Skocek
Techniques: sewn conductive thread, Arduino + vvvv resp. adafruit Music Maker shield

idea & sound design: Christoph Gruber & Laura Skocek
textile sensor design and installation: Christoph Gruber
electronics and programming (based on Firmata, Arduino and VVVV): Laura Skocek

ArticulAction Interview with Christoph Gruber and Laura Skocek



Eine Hängematte, Symbol für Freizeit, Entspannung, und sogar Freiheit, wird mit Elementen einer Zwangsjacke konterkariert.
Eingewobene textile Sensoren messen den „Grad der Entspannung“. Bewegungen und Ausbruchsversuche werden an unterschiedlichen Stellen wahrgenommen und in störende Audiosignale umgewandelt, die den Probanden beschallen.

Zeitfenster der Mußemöglickeit werden in unserer Gesellschaft nach dem Vorbild unseres Erwerbslebens verplant und ausgenützt. Es wird dabei stets auf Produktivität abgezielt.
„Forced Leisure“ bietet einen safe space, einen Mußekokon zum Nichtstun. Die interaktive Installation spielt mit dem Imperativ „Entspann dich JETZT!“
Wer sich daran nicht halten kann und aktiv werden möchte, wird schnell und laut daran erinnert, dass jetzt die Zeit zum Entspannen ist.

Der Titel „Forced Leisure“ ist den sogenannten „Leisure Theories“* entlehnt und spielt auf die erzwungene Erwerbslosigkeit an, die vor allem Langzeitarbeitslose betrifft, die am Jobmarkt nur mehr schwer vermittelbar sind, als auch Personen, die von Vornherein vom Erwerbsleben ausgeschlossen werden (Asylsuchende, zum Teil Frauen) oder für die es nur unzureichende Inklusionsmaßnahmen gibt, die eine für sie sinnhafte Beschäftigung ermöglichen (Menschen mit Behinderung).


A hammock, a symbol of leisure, relaxation and even freedom, is combined with elements of a straitjacket.
Textile sensors are woven into the fabric and measure the “degree of relaxation”. Movement and attempts of escape are detected in different spots and transformed into audio glitches, which are used to treat the proband.

Time frames for leisure are premeditated in our society, imitating the way we live our work life, thoroughly planned and with the greatest possible efficiency in mind.
“Forced Leisure” offers a safe space, a leisure cocoon for doing nothing. The interactive installation plays with the imperative “Relax NOW!”
A person who does not want to abide to that and who wants to get active, is reminded loudly and immediately that now is the time to relax.

The title “forced leisure” is borrowed from “leisure theories”* and refers to forced unemployment, affecting mostly permanently unemployed persons as well as those that are excluded from working life in the first place (asylum seekers, partly women) or for whom only insufficient measures of inclusion in the job market exist, that would make a meaningful occupation possible for them (people with disabilities).

*Rojek, Chris: Capitalism and Leisure Theory. Routledge, 2013.


Christoph Gruber / Laura Skocek


Thanks to Schmiede Hallein and to the Federal Chancellery of Austria for supporting our participation at the Intersections symposium in 2018.  

noise pieces

Reactive sound sculptures

Year: 2015


Noise is transformed into the beginning of familiar tunes by pulling and stretching.
A mind map of auditive memory can be discovered beneath a textile surface, the user is acting as a trigger.
The characteristics of the material make the emerging layers of sound subject to constant change, even when the sensing parts of the objects are not touched at the moment.

This is a continuation of the work Noise Rag.






Installation sketch

Photos by Stephanie Paine

Noise Rag

dt.: Geräuschfetzen

Interactive object, 2015

Materials: Arduino UNO, Adafruit MP3 shield, conductive yarn, felted wool, speakers, custom made circuit boards, polymorph plastic


Developed during a residency in Reykjavik, the object is a result of research in interaction techniques and textile sensors.
People were invited to use the object made of felt, elastic and conductive yarn and change the preprogrammed rhythm of the piece.
The title refers to bits of sound that were discovered during the residency.
The piece can be reporgrammed by one or more persons, the resulting rhythms that occur after a while remind of drilling sounds, alarms and low hums and heavy machinery – a sound poem that is constantly reprocessed and subject to change through tearing and reconnecting.

Materials used in the stretch sensors have been inspired by this instructable of push_reset and KOBAKANT

Also see this tutorial on how to connect analog sensors


Experimental/participative documentary
Concept by Theresa Novotny

Role: Film editor, participant in exhibition

Year: 2015

Duration: 17’29“

„Rhizomnia“ was a 3-day-long „art film shoot“ that included performances, an exhibition and many creative encounters at the former „Jurassic Park“ in Traismauer, Lower Austria.
Visitors were invited to capture their experience with their cameras and phones, participating in the production of the film.


ephemeral patterns


In my artistic work I use physiological rhythms, brain activity measurements during non-tangible states of consciousness, as a basis for the movement of kinetic sculptures. Digital scan works revolve around the transformation of different kinds of movement produced by „natural“ rhythms like canvases moved by wind or sea waves.

During an artist-in-residence stay at Nida Art Colony, Lithuania (March, 2014) natural rhythms in the nearby National Park and in the village of Nida were discovered and used as artistic dataset.

“Ephemeral patterns” were collected, filtered and translated during the time in the colony. They were recorded during moments were perception was either heightened or in a contemplative mode.

Some of them can be sonified with electronic devices producing new patterns, referring to the difficulty or impossibility of measuring mental states or particular feelings and how we only approximate and are not able to depict phenomenons or the memory of them without modification.

Texts were collected from inhabitants and visitors, formed while being in the in-between-state of falling asleep, and meshed up to the sentence:

“In the name of the father this is the last thing you documented for the dogs.”

The collection of works is framed by a kinetic object, its form developed automatically.

In combination they can be seen as an ephemeral print of the location and the people residing there at the time of the stay.

Neringa, kinetic sculpture

_MG_9303 copy
photo by Natacha Paganelli


The sound accompanying the video is a „foley“-recording, produced in the studio in order to recreate the cracking sound of ice,  echoing the melt down in the lagoon in Nida.

This is a device to sonify patterns of movement, recorded during sunset at the beach near Nida Art Colony, during a windy day in Nida village and during a foggy day in the Parnidden Dunes.


Sunset at the beach, translation 1

canvas, translation 2

Sequence 02_cc

Parnidden Dune, translation 3



rhythmic study, waves 1

IMG_9436 IMG_9441



rhythmic study, waves 2



This is a device to sonify images painted or dripped shortly after waking up.

The circuit has been adapted from a noise maker tutorial via


This art project has been financed with the support of the Land of Lower Austria //
Gefördert durch das Land Niederösterreich


reconfigure(d) – object 2


September 2013, Schmiede, Hallein, Salzburg

The sculptures “reconfigure(d) – object 1” and “reconfigure(d) – object 2” are part of a series of kinetic objects dealing with elusive states of consciousness and the translation of brain activity measurements into rhythms.
The measurements were taken between sleep and wakefulness.
With this body of work I am studying the plasticity of human cognitive style in relation to artistic and scientific research practice, questioning the idea of predictability of human behavior.

Sponsored by subnet
Special Thanks to Schmiede, Tinkerlab, Lukas Raschendorfer (technical consulting) and many more!

reconfigure(d) – object 1

Kinetic Object, 100x200x40cm


Techniques: Spring steel wire and knitted copper wire, Nitinol-mechanism, Raschendorfer Shift-shield, Arduino-microcontroller, Ultrasonic Sensor

The sculptures “reconfigure(d) – object 1” and “reconfigure(d) – object 2” are part of a series of kinetic objects dealing with elusive states of consciousness and the translation of brain activity measurements into rhythms.
The measurements were taken between sleep and wakefulness.
With this body of work I am studying the plasticity of human cognitive style in relation to artistic and scientific research practice, questioning the idea of predictability of human behavior.

Laura Skocek, 2013

Sponsored by BMUKK for the participation at New Future (Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Italy), Bjcem – Association Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée



sentient (being) reconfigure(d)


Technik: Federstahldraht, gestrickter Kupferlackdraht, Nitinolmechanismus, Platine, Arduino, Kinect

2010 / 2012

Die Installation „sentient (being)“, hergestellt für den Schauraum der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien (Electric Avenue, Museumsquartier, 2010), wurde für die Ausstellung reconfigure(d) im November 2012 in den Räumlichkeiten des Yppenplatz 9 weiterentwickelt.

Laura Skocek, Raffaela Gras und Lena Schwentenwein haben eine Grammatik entwickelt, die es erlaubt, mit dem Objekt über Bewegungsmuster zu kommunizieren.
Die gegenseitige Beeinflussung von Performerin und Objekt ruft im jeweils anderen neue Verhaltensweisen hervor. Basis der Bewegungen des Objekts sind Rhyhtmen, die aus der Messung von Gehirnaktivität während des Einschlafens abgeleitet wurden.


Zusätzlich wurde der Poet Joshua Muyiwa (Bangalore, Indien) eingeladen ein Gedicht für die Ausstellung zu verfassen. Die Aufzeichnugn der Lesung wurde an zwei Abenden gespielt.

Idee, Konzept: Laura Skocek
Material und Raumkonzept in Kollaboration mit Lena Schwentenwein
Performance: Raffaela Gras
Lyrik: Joshua Muyiwa
Elektronik: Lukas Raschendorfer
Video: Christoph Gruber, Laura Russo, Jennifer Schwartze

sentient (being)

Installation, 2010


Photo by Peter Kainz


One barely notices the phase between sleep and wakefulness.

Experiences of the last dream may still have an effect, bits of information, still lingering from the hours before falling asleep, fade away.

For the installation sentient (being) a physiological rhythm measured during that phase is being transferred onto an object, seemingly bringing it to life.

– Laura Skocek, 2010


Material and room concept in cooperation with Lena Schwentenwein



We live in the age of the quantified self. Physiological data is recorded over periods of time, the evaluation and interpretation is done by machines.

Electroencephalography and imaging methods are used to measure patterns in brain activity during cognitive processes or affective states. Bionic limbs, deemed Science Fiction not so long ago, can be controlled via EEG-based technology.

The translation of thoughts into the physical world seems to be close at hand.

How does an object behave that is being fed with data derived from brain activity measurement results?

The installation sentient (being) is a result of artistic research delving into that question.

Knitted tubes in combination with modular parts made of steel wire shape an irregularly textured, dynamic body that is adapted to the Schauraum Angewandte. The motion dynamics are algorithmically arranged impulses, derived from measurements of a physiological rhythm.

Laura Skocek went to a sleep lab in order to identify her cognitive imprint during the phase between sleep and wakefulness.


August, 5th- September, 25th 2010, 10am – 10pm,

Angewandte Showroom, MQ Vienna, Electric Avenue

Finissage: Sept. 23rd, 19h


sponsored by TU Graz E-Power Racing



Flickr Set


Thanks to: Robert Brenn, Wolfgang Fiel, Christoph Gruber, Hedy Howe, Lydia Lindner, Christian Löw, Lukas Raschendorfer, Laura Russo, Ruth Schnell, Veronika Schnell, Senf TV, Robert Skocek, Doris Skocek, Verena Skocek and many more

Schauraum Digitale Kunst

Sleeping Bed – Rhythmic Study

Kinetic Object, 2009

photo by sue sellinger


An intricate web placed on a cot receives impulses from a network of Nitinol wire and cable ties passing through it.

The series of arrhythmic stimuli is derived from data recorded during the phases between sleep and wakefulness.


Sleeping Bed – Rhythmic Study


In our society the sleep and wake rhythm is to a large extent influenced by work schedules.
People should go to bed at a certain time, the period spent asleep should be held on a quiet place at night.
Sleep research is concentrated on the biological act of sleeping. Different sleep states and the physiological activities, even the moment where you fall asleep can be identified in the EEG data.

Ethnographic records conducted by Carol M. Worthman tap sleep behavior in different cultures:
There are mentions of hunter-gatherer societies whose members drift away during the day and apparantly lack a regulated sleep rhythm. Rites of initiation, held at night, self-induced states between sleep and wakefulness, in order to conjure visions, have been cited. (Carol M. Worthman, Melissa K. Melby; Toward a Comparative Developmental Ecology of Human Sleep, 2006)

While developing my work I researched my own sleep practices and kept records of the transition between being asleep and awake. Experienes during a half-aware state, images and bits of information that I discovered, where the inspiration for the object „Sleeping Bed“. The rhythm of falling asleep and drifting back again, measured during a session in a sleep lab, is controlling the movements of the kinetic sculpture.


German summary:

In unserer Gesellschaft wird der Schlaf- und Wachrhythmus von einer strikten Vorgabe unserer Arbeitszeiten beeinflusst. Aktuelle Schlafforschung ist weitestgehend auf den biologischen Vorgang während des Schlafens konzentriert. Schlafstadien und die darin ablaufenden physiologischen Vorgänge, sogar der Moment des Einschlafens werden in EEG-Daten erkannt.

In dieser Arbeit wurde die eigene Schlafpraxis untersucht und dokumentiert. Ein verschlungenes Gespinst auf einem Feldbett erhält Impulse von dem Netzwerk, das es durchzieht.
Es ergibt sich eine Abfolge von arhythmischen Impulsen, die von Aufzeichnungen während der Phasen zwischen Schlaf- und Wachzustand abgeleitet wurde.

Die Ergebnisse der Selbstbeobachtung während dieses Transitzustandes steuern ein „schlafendes Bett”.


Thanks to:

Virgil Widrich, Ruth Schnell

Philipp Tiefenbacher, Lukas Raschendorfer (technical support)

Dr. Bernd Kräftner, Dr. Martin Graf, SMZ Ost Wien (research support, sleep lab)

Veronika Schnell (beta-reading)

my parents, my boyfriend