STROM (2021) 

Audiovisual Live Performance. 360 Dome Projection, Surround Sound.

STROM is part of Kurt Hentschläger's body of generative 3D animation and sound work, beginning with KARMA in 2004-2008, and continuing with CLUSTER, HIVE and CORE in 2009-2012.

Featuring humanoid bodies inside of a zero-gravity void, STROM depicts figures in relentless motion and interaction with one other. Seemingly trapped and surveyed by a virtual camera, in the weightless choreography of STROM, these virtual protagonists resemble anonymous particles: a pulsing, amorphous mass, a cloud of blurry matter composed of body parts and light. The work fluctuates between realism and abstraction. Its kinetic gestalt evokes the motion patterns of animals trapped in their cages, looping back and forth, in endless circles, limited by their confines. 

After a pandemic year of being stuck in place, reality uncannily seems to have caught up with these works, questioning any confidence we might have had in our ideas of individual agency and independence. In STROM, the personal control of one’s destiny is suspended, to be replaced by outside powers: shifting tidal forces that are impossible to evade or to escape.

Sonically, the work draws both from repetitive algorithmic patterns, as well as from more organic improvised ones. Most of the sound in STROM is generated by the events also driving the human figures, including the swarm’s motion and behavior, and changes in light and color. Each 3D character acts as one sounding voice in an abstract choir, together rendering a pulsing, dynamic, endlessly transforming drone soundscape.

The work premiered at the Zeiss Planetarium in Bochum, Germany in 2021.

Screenshots © Kurt Hentschläger

Production Credits

© Kurt Hentschläger 2021

Ogre/Bullet & Max Msp Programming - Rob Ramirez
Ableton Live & Max for Live Programming - Ian Brill
Management and Representation: Epidemic / Richard Castelli
Thanks to Florence Berthaud, Jason Fletcher, Pierre Laly, Shane Mecklenburger, Tobias Staab.

Still Images © Kurt Hentschläger

© Kurt Hentschläger 2022