Isocenter

Isocenter | Frederik Vanhoutte

Isocenter is a research project by artist Frederik Vanhoutte based on his work as a radiotherapy physicist at the University Hospital in Gent (BE). 

Isocenter seeks to explore the apparent paradox inherent in modern medicine – a fusion of individualised, compassionate care with the cutting-edge precision of technology, all aimed at healing and preserving the sanctity of life.

Drawing from the choreography made by the radiotherapy machine during the treatments, Frederik shift the medium to using a plotter drawing machine with ink on paper. Treatment is replaced by expression, radiation delivery machine replaced by a mechanical drawing device. Care and art, two very human activities, envisioned by people, entrusted to machines. 

The project gets its name from the context of radiotherapy. The isocenter is a precisely defined point within the patient’s body, determined by imaging and treatment planning goals. It serves as the reference point where multiple radiation beams intersect with high accuracy during the delivery of radiation therapy. This intersection ensures that the maximum radiation dose is concentrated precisely at the intended target, typically a tumor, while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. The isocenter’s precise coordinates are essential for treatment planning and the accurate administration of therapeutic radiation.

The medium and materiality of the work is intentionally chosen to extend beyond a mere technical representation of motion and intensity. Although the precision and clarity of technical pens have their place, brush and ink add a greater quality to the otherwise cold data. Sensitive to the fiber and the warp of the paper, responding to each minor disturbance, the process of expression now incorporates material interaction, reality and humanity.

Exhibition ISOCENTER

A point in space. A focus, a center around which it all spins: the attention, the care, the time, the knowledge, the technology.

There are places, sealed rooms hidden at the end of long corridors, where this point in space is called isocenter, the precise spot through which a beam of radiation passes in an accurate choreography of machine movements. At the center is the human body, in its complexity and in its fragility, to be taken care of, to be healed, to be respected.

It is from these places, physical and conceptual, that this exhibition borrows its title.

ISOCENTER is composed of plotter drawings by Frederik Vanhoutte based on his work as a radiotherapy physicist at Ghent University Hospital, and developed as part of Ohme’s programme of support to artistic research, along with Philippe Braquenier’s photographs, taken during a series of visits to the hospital’s radiotherapy centre.

The plotter drawings are based on data from patient radiotherapy treatments, reinterpreted and transposed on paper intentionally chosen to extend beyond the mere technical representation of motion and intensity. By applying the ink with fine brushes, the precise movements of the machine creates soft blurs among otherwise meticulous lines. Sensitive to the fiber and the warp of the paper, responding to each minor disturbance, the process of expression incorporates unexpected material interactions.

At the frontiers between documentary and conceptual, the photographs punctuate the exhibition bringing in unique views of the physical space in which radiotherapy is performed. The gaze lands upon a suspended atmosphere, almost out of time, where objects turn unrecognisable, and cutting-edge machines stand dormants recalling the sophistication of man made technology.

The lingering light pulls the images in a swing between the sculptural and the architectural, the factual and the imaginative, almost as a guide through an inaccessible space.

In a dialogue between art and science, abstract representation and photography, this exhibition aims at offering a sensitive glimpse into a practice, the one of oncological radiotherapy, that pushes the boundaries of technology at the service of personalised healthcare.

 

Opening Hours

3 – 19 November 2023
Wednesday to Friday, from 2pm to 7pm
Saturday & Sunday, from 11am to 7pm

Free entry

PUBLIC EVENT – Thursday 9.11.2023

– 18:00 Kult XL Ateliers – Rue Wiertz 23, 1050 Ixelles
Guided visit of the exhibition
with artist Frederik Vanhoutte and Philippe Braquenier, and curator Camilla Colombo.

– 19:00 Espace Lumen – Chaussée de Boondael 36, 1050 Ixelles
Talks & Drinks
Frederik Vanhoutte, artist and radiotherapy physicist: “Materiality, the connection between patient, data and expression” 
Prof. Dr. Yolande Lievens, head of the department of radiotherapy-oncology UZ Gent : “Art in radiotherapy”

CREDITS :

Plotter drawings : Frederik Vanhoutte
Research : Frederik Vanhoutte
Photos: Philippe Braquenier

Produced by OHME

Presented at: Kult XL Ateliers, 3 – 19 November 2023

Vernissage: Thursday 2 November 2023, 18:00 – 21:00
Symposium : Thursday 9 November 2023 19:00 – 22:00

Curation: Camilla Colombo
Production: Ohme
Art Handling: Jean Pierre Bertrand
Photo printing: Laboriver, Jo & Z Lab
Framing: Bernard Wéber
Construction: Aiko Design
Exhibition views: Silvia Cappellari

Isocenter has been produced thanks to the support the Digital Arts Commission of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.

It is produced by Ohme in the framework of Ohme’s artistic residencies programme, supported by Innoviris and Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles 

κῦμα

κῦμα

The Ancient Greek term κῦμα (pronounced Kima) means wave, the physical movement on the surface of a liquid layer.

In physics, a wave describes dynamic disturbances of a physical quantity around a position of equilibrium. By controlling the vertical position of each of the twenty-five spheres, κῦμα produces a discrete 3D levitating choreography. Randomly activated fans interact with the spheres, disturbing their movements by blowing from above: the choreography patterns are broken, becoming unstable or even chaotic. A control loop feedback mechanism counteracts this tendency towards chaos; its efficiency varies over time, highlighting the impact of its action.

This artwork allows to introduce and explain basics of control system design and automation science which deal with the modelling, analysis, identification and control of dynamic systems. It focuses on controlling a system to comply with precise requirements such as execution time, precision and stability.

Thanks to the mathematical equations defining the physical laws of the system, κῦμα controls itself through the real-time processing of multiple signals from sensors and motors. The analogue signals of the physical system are used as raw data to generate digital visuals reinterpreting the movements, disturbances and deviations of the spheres and airflows.

Midway between kinetic art, digital technology and creative coding, κῦμα sheds light on two hidden sciences that permeate our daily lives: automation and control theory. Dealing with the modelling, analysis and control of dynamical systems, they allow to reduce human intervention in engineered processes and machines, assuring levels of precision and stability beyond our reach. Are these complex technologies, with their far-reaching potential, revealing the desire to control our surroundings? How much power holds in their hands, they who can emerge patterns and structures out of chaos?

CREDITS :

κῦμα is a creation by Ohme and its lab team: François Bronchart, Florian Jehin, Teo Serra, Raoul Sommeillier.

Visuals by Frederik Vanhoutte. 

With the precious help of: Laurent Catoire (SAAS – ULB), Christophe Mertens (SAAS – MobiDaLab – ULB), Geoffrey Vanbienne (BEAMS – ULB)

And the support of Brussels School of Engineering – ULB

Presentations:

Exhibition Muables (Exporama) by Electroni[k] at Théâtre du Vieux St-Étienne (Rennes), 23/06/23-30/07/23
Exhibition Out Of Order, 2022 – Pilar
Exhibition Order of Operations, 2021 – Ohme x Bozar
I Love Science Festival, 2021 – Innoviris

Ιρις/Iris

Ιρις/Iris

Exploiting the physical characteristics of thermocromatic crystals, Ιρις/Iris is an installation playing on the principle of the non-existence of colours outside the interaction of matter and light.

The inner surface of the installation is traversed by hot and cold air flows, which heat and cool the liquid crystals. This change in temperature physically intervenes at the structural level of the material, modifying the arrangement of the molecules, thus creating the colour shifts. The changing colours then become traces of the air itself, visualising flows of heat and cold invisible to the naked eye. 

As the greek Greek goddess and messenger of the gods Iris, who, descending from Mount Olympus to bring a message to earth, was leaving rainbows as a sign of her passage, Ιρις/Iris makes visible in her everchanging colours the traces of the changing air fluxes that invest the installation.

 

CREDITS:

Conception and realisation (thermochromic crystals): Nicolas Klimis, Guillaume Schweicher
Conception and realisation (thermodynamic system): François Bronchart, Raoul Sommeillier
Design: Francois Bronchart, Raoul Sommeillier
Woodwork: Thomas Raa (Aiko Design)

Presented at:
COULEUR/LUMIÈRE exhibition, La Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek | 16 September – 6 November 2022
Opening I Love Science Festival by Innoviris, Tour & Taxi, Brussels | 14 October 2022

PRESS:

Couleur/Lumière, Ohme à la Maison des Arts à Schaerbeek – A la croisée des arts et des sciences // Interview // RTBF – MUSIQ3 – Culture / 17.09.22

La couleur n’existe pas en soi // Guy Duplat – La Libre // 18.09.22

Ιρις/Iris is conceived and produced by Ohme

Partner: Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères (ULB)

Supported by: Innoviris, Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, La Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek

Spotlies

Spotlies

Spotlies is conceived as a warning against oversimplifications, lack of knowledge, bad faith or misinterpretation that can transform statistical visualisations, to the point of radically changing their meaning.

Data is essential information to objectivise situations, communicate scientific facts, support our opinions and guide our decisions. Numbers do not lie. But the ways they are collected, represented and interpreted introduce an element of subjectivity that can distort the reality of the facts, alter our reasoning and mislead our judgement.

Through a series of three recognisable situations, reminiscents of animation films sets, short stories come to life thanks to a layer of microprojections animating the scenes. 

These scenarios tell short stories we all know: the evening news, a politician’s speech, a youtuber’s video content. They all support their arguments with graphic representations that can deceive their audience. A heterodiegetic character then comments on the scenes to point out errors in data visualisation and share some tips on how to spot the lies.  

In a post-pandemic world, data, infographics and numbers have entered our daily lives. Faced with this information overload, how can we all develop mental tools to sharpen our critical thinking skills?

CREDITS:

Yannick Jacquet (1980) is a video artist, scenographer and visual artist whose practice puts technologies at the service of the human being.

Bots Conspiracy is a Brussels-based artists collective composed of the brothers Manu and Laurent Talbot, working across a variety of disciplines including film, dance, theatre and digital arts.

Original concept & scientific direction: Raoul Sommeillier (Ohme)
Artistic direction: Camilla Colombo (Ohme) & Yannick Jacquet
Visuals: Yannick Jacquet
Videomapping: Yannick Jacquet & Manu Talbot (Bots Conspiracy)
Animation, mechanics, electronics & coding: Manu Talbot (Bots Conspiracy)
Video editing, Sound design, 3D design & scenery : Laurent Talbot (Bots Conspiracy)
Voices: David Scarpuzza & Alice D’Hauwe
Video recording: Estefania Huygen (LaRégieTV)
Special thanks to Crafteke

Presented at:
Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant —, Face B | 25 May – 9 July 2023

Spotlies is produced by Ohme

Supported by Innoviris

Rotifer (a)live

Rotifers are fascinating multicellular animals evolving on Earth for more than sixty million years. Though smaller than a millimeter, they represent a scandal in evolutionary biology: asexual females clone themselves without any intervention of males.

Moreover, these small organisms are extremely stress tolerant. They can resist to various stresses such as desiccation, radiation and freezing. Recently, scientists were able to revive rotifers that had been slumbering in the Arctic permafrost for 24,000 years. These microscopic superwomen raise challenging and inspiring questions for science.

Rotifer (a)live provides insight into the fascinating experiments and findings that researchers conduct on this matter on a daily basis. Shaped as an oversized scientific set-up, this installation takes the visitor on a journey into the world of research labs. Displayed in a retro futuristic arrangement, Rotifer (a)live combines scientific instruments and artworks. Omnipresent in this lab-like organized mess, the green leaf color provides a visual contrast that echoes the rotifers’ favorite food: salad juice.

This installation also shows the high-tech aerospace modules that transported rotifers back and forth to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the Rotifer In SpacE (RISE), which studies rotifers to develop new models in space research. In addition to colorful microscopic photographs, lab pipettes, hand-drawn illustrations and Erlenmeyer flasks, this set–up mainly contains the rotifers themselves. So feel free to take a look at the microscope and projected lab footage to see live how rotifers come alive, how they behave, how they evolve.

Ohme & Aiko Design in collaboration with Karine Van Doninck and her research team (ULB/UNamur) – BE

Rotifer (a)live, 2022
Installation, wood, acrylic glass, tulle fabrics, diverse materials.
Projection, video, microscopy, rhodoid & paper prints, 3D print, laboratory glassware & equipment.

CREDITS:

Installation: Aiko Design, Ohme, Karine Van Doninck of ULB/UNamur
Microscopic footage: Live filmed alive rotifers (monitor), Video recordings by Boris Hespeels (projection), Video edition & effects by Raoul Sommeillier
Rotifer hand-drawn illustration: Ophélie Lhuire
Microscopic photography & scanning electron micrographs: Irina Arkhipova, Diego Fontaneto, Boris Hespeels
3D conception & design: Thomas Raa, Alizée Rubino, Raoul Sommeillier
3D printed rotifer: Patricia Van Doninck of Jaspers-Eyers Architects
Project coordination: Raoul Sommeillier, Karine Van Doninck
With the help of: Emilie Berns, Jérémy Berthe, François Bronchart, Laurent Grumiau, Boris Hespeels, Léa Mellini, Scientists of Molecular Biology & Evolution (MBE) research unit at ULB

Scientific publications:
– Donner, J., 1965. Ordnung Bdelloidea (Rotatoria, Rädertiere). Akademie Verlag: 297 pp
– Simion, P. et al., 2021. Chromosome-level genome assembly reveals homologous chromosomes and recombination 586 in asexual rotifer Adineta vaga. Science Advances 7

With the support of: Innoviris, Jaspers-Eyers Architects, Kikk, La Pavillon de Namur, Inforsciences, Université de Namur (UNamur), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Presented at:
Manned Flight – Rotifers in Action, Pilar in Brussels, from 12 April to 12 June 2022
Biotopia, le pavillon in Namur, from 18 June to 27 November 2022

Tales of Entropy

Tales of Entropy

Tales of Entropy with Roméo Poirier is an audiovisual performance based on generative music production, polarised light microscopy and computer vision. This 30 min show merges analog and digital creation tools, proposing a sensitive exploration of the structures of organic matter, under the prism of bold musical expressionism.

A microscope on stage visualises a series of laboratory samples and takes the audience for a stroll in an hypnotic visual landscape, exploring different states of matter. As the temperature of the different samples change in a thermal oven, the matter transforms and passes from liquid, to liquid crystal, to crystal, displaying striking color patterns under polarised light.

This live scientific experiment is recorded by an UHD camera and choreographies of colourful structures are projected on stage, creating profound visuals with a powerful abstract narration.

The use of computer vision tools allows to extract different data from the microscope feed (colours, textures, motions) and transform them into meaningful signals, which are sent to Roméo Poirier and used on the go to produce generative music.

Roméo Poirier works in an hybrid analog and digital music production environment, choosing the depth of the impact of the signals on different musical tools, thus creating a personal musical interpretation of the transformations of matter as they happen. The music of the performance aims at reflecting the contrasts and the textures of the different samples, oscillating between atmospheric landscapes, broken vocal samples, warm ambient cocoons and thunderstorms.

Production of the visuals
Guillaume Schweicher (Ohme Academia) & Nicolas Klimis (Ohme Studio)

Tales of Entropy uses a polarised light microscope and a UHD camera combined with a thermal oven to be able to follow the emergence of crystals and to control phase transitions and liquid crystal orientations in a creative way. The image comes from a physical area of the samples of only 1 mm length.

This leads to dynamic scientific visuals, which are not encoded on a computer, but are evolving, analogue live images of organic compounds under thermodynamic transitions.

Due to the physics of the system, theses moving images vary from one performance to the other creating each time unique patterns, that are partially deterministic and partially stochastic.

The visuals captured by the camera (4K) are projected on a screen in front projection, depending on the possibilities of the venue.

Different molecules in the performance Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry (ULB)

Thanks to a close collaboration with the Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry (LCP-ULB), we have access to a rich series of organic compounds presenting different crystal and liquid crystal phases, presenting different colours and patterns under polarised light. This allows to produce a large diversity of visual abstractions and powerful transformations.

For Tales of Entropy with Roméo Poirier, we work with 3 to 4 molecules that have very different behaviours upon heating and cooling and which features are reflected in the dramaturgy of the generative music produced.

The performance is then logically divided in different chapters presenting different abstract languages in connection with the music of Roméo Poirier.

Computer Vision 
François Bronchart (Ohme Lab)

The use of computer vision tools allows us to process the data from the microscope video stream and transforms it into meaningful signals.

Different algorithms (shape and event detection, fourier transform, statistical analysis, etc.) allow us to extract data on colours, textures, motion or the presence and position of certain patterns happening live inside the thermal oven.

The signals are then sent via an OSC protocol to Roméo Poirier and are used for the generative production of the music.

Some of these computations are shown as they happen to the audience on side screens to raise their interest on specific features of the image and on the general functioning of the performances.

Generative Music Production
Roméo Poirier

Roméo Poirier works in an hybrid analog and digital music production environment, choosing the depth of the impact of the signals on different musical tools, thus creating a personal musical interpretation of the transformations of matter as they happen.

The music of performance aims at reflecting the contrasts and the textures of the different samples, oscillating between atmospheric landscapes, heavily processed vocal samples, warm orchestral fragments, thunderstorms and passing shadows of dissonance.

The artistic intention is providing a counterpoint with the sound from the images, while being dictated by them, elaborating a parallel narration.

His set-up is made of an analog modular system and a computer processing multifarious digital signals.

Tales of Entropy – photographic series
Tales of Entropy – Live AV show

This recording of the first iteration at Pilar brings together live microscopic images from Guillaume Schweicher with the deep and emotional ambient soundscapes of Brussels-based artist Juanita, under the artistic direction of Nicolas Klimis.

Tales of Entropy is an ongoing project that has been presented in live AV show with different musicians and composers, such as LB Marszalek (fka Juanita), Boho Strings, La Reine Seule, and Romeo Poirier

Credits:

Conception and realisation: Guillaume Schweicher, Nicolas Klimis

Computer vision: François Bronchart

Music : First iteration, Juanita | Second iteration, Boho Strings | Third iteration, La Reine Seule | Fourth iteration, Romeo Poirier

Coproduced by the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères (ULB)

Presentations:

First iteration: Pilar ASAP – OHME Unframed: Fluidity Edition | 23 October 2020 

Second iteration: La Vallée, Brussels | 15th May 2021

Third iteration: I Love Science Festival, Brussels | 16 – 17 October 2021  • Museum Night Fever, Halles St Géry, Brussels | 23 October 2021  •  Atelier 210, Brussels | 23 November 2023

Sine

Sine is an interactive audiovisual lecture-performance illustrating, from the point of view of the physicist and the musician, the way in which electronic music producers envision sound and compose music.
Starting from a simple sine, the lecture performance elaborates on sound physics, synthesis and electronic music production. Four members of the public, randomly picked, are invited on stage to interact and play along during the whole performance. 

Sine articulates in three main parts. In the first part, starting from a simple sine wave, we explain step by step how we could sum these waves, filter them, manipulate them in order to achieve the 3 main sounds used in the composition of electronic music: kick, the snare and hi-hat. The explanations are carried out step by step, and each time are illustrated by examples where the public can take control of a sound parameter to illustrate its properties in the genesis of sound.

Once the different sounds and basic effects are illustrated and presented, the show enters a more musical phase, culminating in a guitar hero style game leading to final composition during which the public has the opportunity to apply effects and create music together.

Sine is a creation by François Gaspard, engineer and musician, and Boris Wilmot, motion graphic designer and digital artist.

Concept: François Gaspard & Boris Wilmot
Visuals: Boris Wilmot
Music: François Gaspard
Educational content: François Gaspard
Controller design and production: Shakmat & Aiko Design
Lighting design: KMCréations
Consultant in writing and directing: David Scarpuzza

Presentations:

Nuits Sonores Brussels | Pilar | 16 October 2022
Perspectives Satellite Programme | Halles St Géry | 3 December 2021
Order of Operations | Bozar | June-July 2021
Les Garages Numériques Festival | La Bourse / De Beurs | 9 November 2019
Printemps des Science 2019 | 22 March 2019
MTC Music & Technology Corner | Brussels Electronic Marathon BEM 2018 | 13 October 2018
Bozar Lab | 21 – 25 March 2018 (Première)

Follow Sine on Facebook.

Check out the live tracks composed by participants during previous events on Youtube.

Produced by Ohme with the support of Innoviris, Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles, Bozar Lab and Pilar.

Hack a factory

Hack a factory | Mekanika

An interaction performance about our daily objects

Hacking, the practice of dissecting (or cutting – to hack) a system to better understand it and possibly modify it, is at the centre of new DIY (Do It Yourself), maker and prototyping movements in general. Hacking is also a way of thinking, of designing, used frequently in industrial design.

Hack a Factory is an interactive performance inviting the participants to be at the centre of an active experience reproducing the manufacturing processes of a factory.

How do materials are processed to become objects? How does an industrial chain work, from molding to packaging? By breaking down industrial processes, Hack a Factory is a ludic experience that unveils the behind the scenes of production while informing about chemistry, technology and the impact of mass production.

Hack a Factory is the product of an artistic-scientific residency between Maxime Gravet, engineer in mechatronics and Martin Duchêne, industrial designer.

 

Credits:
Conception and realisation: Maxime Gravet & Martin Duchene
Engineering & narrative: Maxime Gravet
Design & narrative: Martin Duchene
Stage assistant: Audrey Gravet

Presentation: Printemps des Science (ULB) 21-25 March 2018

abscisse

Abscisse

Abscisse is an installation by the artist duo Bots Conspiracy. This responsive installation produces holographic visuals from information captured on a member of the public using an electroencephalogram.

This allows to illustrate alpha rhythms and brain synchronisation as the participant enters a state of calm and meditation.

 

Our brain is subject to a constant electrical activity, coming from the thousands of neurons that compose it. The activation of each neuron generates a localised individual electrical potential. When they operate in sync, the sum of these potentials causes a measurable electrical potential on the surface of the skull, which can be measured through electrodes. This is what we call electroencephalography (EEG).

When performing a task, an exercise, or even when sleeping, the neuronal population tends to synchronise, which means they generate an electrical activity at certain frequencies. On the EEG, this results in a cyclic signal that then represents our brain rhythms, commonly called brain waves.

These brain waves are each characterised by their own frequency band, corresponding to different levels of awakening, sleep and activity. These are named after Greek letters: alpha waves, beta, gamma, … Abscisse highlights the alpha cerebral rhythms (located between 8.5 Hz and 12 Hz), which characterise a state of appeased consciousness, and which are namely generated when you close your eyes.

Here, the synchronisation of a population of neurons is artistically represented when alpha pulses are detected on the participant using an electroencephalogram. In order to favour the appearance of these rhythms, the subject is invited to close the eyes and to slowly dive into a state of meditation.

 

Credits:
Conception and realisation: Bots Conspiracy 
Scientific direction: Charline Urbain, Neuroscientist, Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences, ULB
Scientific mediation: Anna Peiffer, PhD Candidate, Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences, ULB

Co-produced by Les Garages Numériques

Presentations:
Le Printemps Numérique Bruxelles 2019
Les Garages Numériques Festival 2019
Maker Faire Bruxelles 2019

Argumenter en démocratie

Rhetoric in democracy

Rhetoric as a citizenship exercise

Presented at the Brass’Art Digitaal Café in Molenbeek, this educational and artistic performance highlights a scientific discipline that is too rarely presented as such: rhetoric and the science of language.

Participants get to know each other by learning storytelling techniques through the sharing of anecdotes. They then practice the greatest challenge of rhetoric: paradoxical praise. It is about making beautiful and desirable what is generally considered ugly and shameful. By practicing this exercise, they develop a technical perspective on how the media make and break reputations, with a look of attention on the Molenbeek district and its media representation.

The objective of this workshop is to refine our democratic skills by providing everyone with a toolbox for public speaking but also to develop a more critical view of major social issues. The challenges of the workshop also allow participants to gain confidence in expressing their points of view.

The performance is the product of an experimental artistic-scientific residency between the GRAL (Research Group in Rhetoric and Linguistic Argumentation of the ULB) and David Scarpuzza, actor and director from Brussels.

Credits:
– Conception and realisation: Group GRAL ULB & David Scarpuzza
– Direction & acting: David Scarpuzza
– Scientific Direction: Group GRAL ULB

Presentation:
Printemps des Science at Brass’Art Digitaal Café  21-25 March 2018