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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Das plastische Licht
Friedrich Förster

The core of the project 'Das plastische Licht' ('The plastic light') is an educational model on the neuron level: the tracing and consolidation of neural connections through an activity-dependent associative synapsic mechanism.

The input-output medium is provided by a 'sensitive' and intelligence-controlled laser installation which makes use of several new technologies: a new crystal-based technique by which the brightness and colour of a laser light can de modulated at hitherto unattainable speed, as well as a sensor which has been registered for a patent. This sensor perceives the location, direction and speed of an object diving into a laser light carpet and makes these parameters available for an intelligent analysis by computer.
The visitor enters the 10 m x 5 m room through a gate of light. The ceiling of the room consists of a bluish carpet of light suspended at a height of 2.5 meters. When the visitor moves his or her hand or an object into the light surface, it curves upwards at the point of contact for about 2 seconds and then flattens again. Along the previously shaded area, a colour shift takes place which also eventually disappears.
Depending on the point of 'stimulation', a sound is released, of which the intensity is determined by the 'diving speed'. Its pitch can be modulated by lateral movement within the laser surface. Together with the colour change, the sound gradually disappears.
Stimulations of the laser surface within a certain time interval are 'learned' as being associated in some way. If, for example, hands are plunged in at various places simultaneously or in close succession, a striped pattern emerges. Then, when just one of the gradually fading stripes is touched again, the whole pattern is recalled/recreated.
In time this creates complex patterns and sound sequences, generated not only by the activity of the visitors, but also by their reactions to the engrams which have become visible. (Friedrich Förster)