Alex Posada – The Particle

As a matter of fact, Planet Earth was long a ball made up of various materials and surrounded by all kinds of gasses and other unsorted delicacies. Then, one fine day, happenstance or some god or other motive force determined that it was high time to make something useful out of this sphere, and thus began the process that took this elemental chaos and created what we know today. This was truly an arduous procedure. New elements were constantly appearing, only to sink back into oblivion because they just didn’t have what it takes to make a go of it in this world. Others were stronger, formed interconnections, split up and went their separate ways. And so on and so forth.

The Particle @ The City

credit: Alex Posada, The Particle

A Spaniard named Alex Posada was fascinated and inspired by this development. He studied communications technology and has used some of the knowledge he acquired as an undergrad to construct a modern electronic sculpture: The Particle. What especially appeals to him is the interplay of chaos and apparent order, of genesis and decomposition. He attempts to physically depict the reciprocal interactions among these forces and does so in quite a powerful way.

The sculpture weighs about 150 kg and consists of several rings studded with variously colored LEDs. When these rings start to spin, they are a dynamic sight to behold. The Particle is controlled wirelessly by computer in its various operating modes. In one, the artist can precisely orchestrate the sound & light elements—he defines the parameters according to which his sculpture flashes and swirls. Another option is to let The Particle be influenced by external sensors that react to all sorts of phenomena in its immediate proximity like sounds or changes in brightness, and then transform this information into input to which the sculpture can react. A third possibility is to use a touchscreen to let installation visitors actively intervene in the process and intentionally determine how the rotating rings do their things.

The Particle, developed by MID with the support of and Strobe festival

This is a truly fascinating contrivance—its striking physical form no less than its impressive capabilities. But watch out: don’t let any of your particles get caught up in these orbits. They’re as elemental and wild as the chaos of our origins!

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