Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Sphere Packing: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’, 2014, Carroll / Fletcher

The piece consists of a sphere, modelled procedurally by a custom-made algorithm, printed in 3D in transparent polymer and stained. The sphere holds 105 loudspeakers that play all the compositions ever written by Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki simultaneously. As people are a couple metres away from the piece they hear a quiet cacophony of sounds, but as they approach the piece and put their ear close to individual speakers they can hone in on specific compositions. The sphere is suspended from a small playback box which may be hung from the ceiling or from a wall. The piece begins playback immediately upon powering the box with 110 or 220V power.
"Sphere Packing: Górecki" is part of a series of pieces designed to concentrate the entire musical production of composers in a single dense multi-channel device. The size of each sphere is directly proportional to how prolific the composer was, for example the sphere for Johann Sebastian Bach has 1100 loudspeakers and 48 cm diameter, while Hildegaard Von Bingen only has 69 loudspeakers and 11 cm diameter.
The piece is inspired by American composer Charles Ives' practice of simultaneity as a compositional tool. Technically, a set of custom-made circuit boards allow the simultaneous playback of thousands of separate sound channels, something quite difficult to achieve heretofore.

About Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's public art installations combine technology, architecture, and performance using devices like robotics, projections, and cell phones. He constructs "temporary anti-monuments for alien agency," as in Pulse Tank (2008), in which heart rate sensors send ripples across the surface of water, or the Guggenheim's 2009 installation Levels of Nothingness, which allowed people to speak into a computer that linked voice traits to colors that were projected across the room. His Vectorial Elevation (1999), in which 800,000 participants created searchlight sculptures above Mexico City, may well be the world's largest interactive artwork ever.

Mexican, b. 1967, Mexico City, Mexico, based in Mexico City, Mexico