Tessel is a collaborative kinetic sound installation by French composer/artist David Letellier and Lab [au], an electronic arts studio. The suspended installation utilizes intricately folded Dibond aluminum composite sheets integrated with audio transducers. The Dibond was laser cut into 40 triangles, 12 of which were fit with motors and eight with the sound transducers.
Letellier explains, “Tessel combines influences that question the link between geometry, movement and chaos, thus continuing the quest for beauty in the synthetic perception of sound and spatial phenomena.”
The name “Tessel” has unique origins. In Latin, the word “tessella” refers to tiles or small cubes, often used in reference to mosaics. Additionally, the word has mathematical references as well which account for the pattern of the piece and the subdivision of the panel into plane units.
Suspended from the ceiling by a pulley system, Letellier further explains, “On eight triangles, the four corners and four in the middle, there are sound transducers; these are basically speakers without the cone, transmitting vibration to the surface itself. Sound is thus produced by the vibrating metallic triangles.”
Dibond, with its 0.012” aluminum facers and polyethylene core, was an easily manipulated substrate. Using a laser, the geometric design was cut into one side of the facer, allowing the material to be folded into its finalized triangular form.
The piece utilizes the folds in the Dibond to create movement, which allows the composition of different acoustical variations. As it is suspended overhead, the sound is stimulated by the alteration of the panels via a computer system, allowing an organic movement to be observed.
The piece was showcased in Brussels, in late 2010. It was co-produced by galleries MediaRuimte and Roger Tator, with financial backing from Arcadi.
all photography and information courtesy of David Letellier