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.
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?
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.
Tech : 15 electromechanical modules (Plexiglas, wood, electrical engine, sphere, infrared sensor, customised PCB, UV lights, Electronic Development Platform)
κῦμα is a creation by Ohme and its lab team: François Bronchart, Florian Jehin, Teo Serra and 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
Exhibition Out Of Order, 2022 – Pilar
Exhibition Order of Operations, 2021 – Ohme x Bozar
I Love Science Festival, 2021 – Innoviris