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Dark Matter Wins German Systems Integration Award

dark matter german systems integration

SCALE: A household ladder becomes a scale when sensors transform it into a real musical instrument. Step on a rung (or touch it with your hand) and you get a sound or rhythm that varies from step to step.

Not all Dark Matter is found in outer space.

This Dark Matter can be found in an industrial area in southeast Berlin, Germany. In the pitch-black rooms of a former factory site, visitors embark on a journey through seven immersive rooms brought to life with elaborate light installations, kinetic elements, projection mapping and 3D sound.

With a large footprint of 1000 m², 25,000 light sources, and more than 2000 loudspeakers, Dark Matter presents multimedia installations from intimate, small light compositions to room-filling audiovisual shows with 3D sound systems. Each room unfolds its own individual atmosphere and, at the same time, is part of a holistic experience merging light, movement and sound into emotional choreographies of luminous shapes and colors.

DarkMatter layout (1)

The Dark Matter installations in the converted factory site in Berlin.

This AV installation won the Sinus – Systems Integration Award 2023 for “outstandingly creative and artistic achievements and solutions for the use of technology in audio-visual installations.” The jury and the trustees of this German award include representatives of the German Media and Event Technology Association (VPLT), the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and other experts from the sector, as well as representatives of the trade press and Messe Frankfurt.

Light artist Christopher Bauder and his design studio WHITEvoid are behind Dark Matter.

The WHITEvoid studio works at the interface of design, technology and emotion. The 30+ team consists of specialists in lighting design, media and product design, as well as interior design, electrical engineering and mechatronics. The focus of the work is on the translation of bits and bytes into real space. Light, object, sound and interaction are the key elements working together to create complex visual worlds. Computer-aided design and computer-generated algorithms in combination with the latest technical possibilities are part of their repertoire.

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Bauder is also the founder and managing director of one of the Dark Matter technology partners, the innovative lighting technology manufacturer Kinetic Lights. Kinetic Lights produces kinetic lighting, lighting elements in a wide variety of shapes that hang artfully and can be synchronously set in motion with the help of computer-controlled motor winches. Many hundreds to thousands of individual units can form large-format floating light sculptures in any space.

Dark Matter uses the computer-controlled Kinetic Lights motor winches and the Holoplot 3D sound system to make Dark Matter a globally unique high-tech location for audiovisual spatial experiences.

Currently its seven rooms include:

  1. The initial exhibit, “Liquid Sky,” immerses visitors in a night sky filled with numerous points of light that, through their star-like reflection in the room, convey the feeling of a never-ending horizon.
  2. The next room, “Inverse,” features kinetic elements and makes 169 black spherical elements appear to come alive against a bright background.
  3. The journey continues to the “Circular” installation where three light rings create an interplay of unity and individuality.
  4. A contemplative atmosphere is created in the fourth room, a “Bonfire” exhibit that is a virtual campfire simulation using state-of-the-art technology.
  5. The fifth room, “Polygon Playground,” presents a seamless, interactive 360° projection onto a central object that reacts to the visitors’ movements via sensors.
  6. In the “Grid” room, an impressive spatial sculpture floats and symbolises the fusion of the digital and the physical with kinetics, light and music.
  7. Finally, at the “Tone Ladder,” visitors can intuitively create their own worlds of sound by movement and touch. Enabled by sensors, step by step the physical ladder becomes an interactive musical scale.

Opened in 2021, Dark Matter is not a new exhibition, but conceived as a “living organism,” developing constantly in cooperation with other technology partners and integrating new experiences in light, sound and interactivity. Developed enough by 2023 to win this German AV installation award, Dark Matter (like the universe) is always expanding.

More information about “Dark Matter:” https://www.darkmatter.berlin/

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