The Blackbox Project (with Stef van der Poel) (2008-2011)

  • Installations, Interactive Installations, Music, Sound Installations
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The Blackbox Project is an interactive sound installation which is built into a 2 x 2 x 2 meter box. It is the end result of extensive research into the workings of sound and the effects on the mental state of the listener.

Together with Stef van der Poel who is a social psychologist as as well as a musician, we have transformed our findings and conclusions into five-minute-audio compositions, that can be experienced in total darkness by a single person at a time.

The goal of this setup is to minimize the input of all senses except for hearing, to be able to maximize the effects of the sound experience. Another aspect of The Blackbox that is worth mentioning, is that the functions in the box are made fully automatic, and are controlled by the built-in computer. Because of this, all the user has to do, is go into the room, sit in the comfortable chair, choose one of the program buttons on the keypad, relax, and let the room do the work.

The lights in the room will slowly fade to black, while a voice counts down from ‘10’ to ‘0’, while the chair automatically slides into its laying position, and an electromagnet in the door becomes active so that no light from outside can enter the room. All these functions are controlled by a computer that is specially configured to do these tasks in the right order, and reverse them after the experience.

The Blackbox also has a special soundsystem that is designed to manipulate spatial characteristics of the room. Six speakers that are carefully placed in the right positions in the room make it possible to virtually redefine the space and fully direct the experience of the user. Usually fixated circumstances, such as the size of the room, can in this way be manipulated through sound, and because the user can not see a thing, his complete reality can be redefined and manipulated.

A 3D movie experience without the image, that can go much deeper than a movie because the imagination of the user is required to create a custom made experience. It is like auditive virtual reality.