ORF #1 is, at the first glance, an interactive space in which music is produced according to the relative positions of the users.
A grid of letters (A,T,C,G) is projected on the floor and sequences are activated when the users enter the space. These sequences of letters correspond to sequences of sounds and the users are permanently redefining the beginning and the end of the messages, and hence the length, timbre, rhythm, pitch and tempo of musical phrases.
The positions of the users define the beginning and the end of each sequence. So if there are two users in space a sequence is generated between them, if there are three users two sequences are generated, and so on. If there is only one user the sequence starts in the user position and ends at the end of the grid. A code of colors identifies each different sequence.
The environment invites the user to explore the space but above all it creates a playful atmosphere where the interaction between users produces musical results and enhances non-verbal communication.
On a metaphorical level, ORF#1 proposes a voyage to the “roots of happiness”. The letters projected on the floor are the sequence of 5-HTT, the so-called “happiness gene”, a gene that encodes a protein involved in the transport of serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain. The users are creating new messages using the original gene sequence as a matrix, but redefining them according to the way they relate to each other. The project proposes, therefore, a poetic reconciliation of nature and nurture, raising the awareness of ourselves through the merging of science and art.
November 23-24, 2011, audiovisual studio, DeCA, UA, Portugal
by Paulo Maria Rodrigues in colaboration with Rodrigo Carvalho at Artshare