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ROBERT HENKE
DESTRUCTIVE OBSERVATION FIELD

Thursday August 21st, 2014
Kunstwerke, Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin
Doors: 19h, Concert: 20h, Tickets: 10€
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ROBERT HENKE
DESTRUCTIVE OBSERVATION FIELD

A bright multicolor laser beam points at a black plate of plastic. Most of the light is absorbed by the plate, turned into heat. A small part is reflected to a projection surface. The heat creates slight deformations of the plate that lead to complex reflections. Since the laser beam scans the plate in slow random movements the surface is constantly modified.

The projected light patterns make the process visible. The same intensive ray of light that allows to observe these spatial decompositions also destroys them. There is no strict separation between 'writing' the deformations to the plate or 'reading' the landscape. The observation process is destructive.

The installation creates expanding and contracting forms that have a semi-organic appearance. During the exhibition, the deformations add up resulting in a progressively complex surface structure. The visible shapes become more detailed and fragmented. The density of the stored information on the black plate increases.

"Elements of chance infiltrate all of Henke’s work, an awareness and interaction with his surroundings opening them up to alternate possibilities with each performance" Louise Benson, POST, 03/2014

The software that determines the movements of the laser beam and the slight changes in intensity also creates a sonic layer, informed by the beam position and its momentary speed. A stream of sonic particles forms a surrounding aural counterpart of the colorful visual appearance.


Destructive Observation Field was originally conceived for
Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Lille, France.


Robert Henke builds and operates machines that create sounds, shapes and structures. He is fascinated by the beauty of technical objects, and developing his own instruments and algorithms is an integral part of his creative process.

His material is computer generated sound and images, field recordings, photography and light; transformed, re-arranged and modulated by mathematical rules, real time interaction and controlled random operations. Robert Henke's work has a particular focus on the exploration of spaces, both virtual and physical. Many of his works use multiple channels of audio or are specifically conceived for unique locations and their individual spatial properties.

He writes and lectures about sound and the creative use of computers, and held teaching positions at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, and the Studio National des Arts Contemporains - Le Fresnoy in Lille, France.

His work has been presented at Tate Modern London, the Centre Pompidou Paris, Le Lieu Unique Nantes, PS-1 New York, MUDAM Luxembourg, MAK Vienna, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, and on countless festivals.

roberthenke.com