Valery Vermeulen & Hiroshi Matoba :: Artists in Residency


Mikromedas is a data-driven musical project initiated by Belgian electronic musician and mathematician dr. Valery Vermeulen. The project originally started as a commissioned work by the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF Festival, Rotterdam (NL)). With Mikromedas compositions are elaborated using data stemming from space, deep space and astrophysical simulation models.

For the realisation of the project totally new approaches and visions are being developed how to use astrophysical data and models as new tools for artistic creation and live performance.

The project is presented under various thematic performance series. Each series is hereby realised in collaboration with several artists and be presented in various formats.

The first performance series, entitled OGLE2005BLG390Lb, was launched in2014. In this series focus is set on a sonic and musical representation of a possible voyage from earth to the exoplanet OGLE2005BLG390Lb situated near the center of our Milky Way, Sagittarius A*.

For this series music compositions are produced using sampled radio astronomical data coming from various sources (e.g. data stemming from several spacecrafts such as Voyager1 and Voyager2 or data originating from various astrophysical objects such as pulsar stars). Other sources that are used in this series include synthesized sounds as well as data feeds originating from our solar system turned into sound and music using newly developed sonification techniques. During live performances with this series the compositions are remixed as well as combined with the sonified live data feeds coming from various satellites revolving earth.


Ads/CFT #001 Series:

With this new series focus is set on the ultimate quest in today’s field of theoretical physics, namely the search for a theory that would unite both worlds of quantum physics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. In the scientific community this quest gave rise to the fields of Quantum Gravity and the search for GUT’s (Grand Unified Theories). Both of these fields are at the heart of this Mikromedas performance series. The practical elaboration of this series aims at the realisation of a audiovisual experience where various mathematical simulation models coming from Quantum Gravity and GUT and the data they produce are used as composition instruments. New ways will be explored to integrate various new emerging paradigms and phenomena. A key role will hereby be played by black hole astrophysics,and the associated numerical simulation models of regions of extreme gravitational fields. But also other objects such as white holes, neutron stars or ideas coming from various quantum gravity theories such as loop quantum gravity or the holography will be used for the realisation of the AdS/CFT performance series.

On a conceptual level the Ads/CFT #001 series deliberately balances on the edge where scientific knowledge ends and a speculative vision of reality starts to emerge.

This highly inspiring paradigm becomes more and more apparent in current state of the field of theoretical physic. Researchers working on quantum gravity provide a growing amount of mind bending models of reality that might never be tested by human endeavour. In this way a fictional reality is being created where scientific and artistic creativity seem more and more to collide.

For the visual component of this series a collaboration is set up with the Japanese multi media artist Hiroshi Matoba, currently based in Berlin.

Having worked on similar projects (Unfold, studio Ryoichi Kurokawa, 2016; Entropy, 2016) Matoba has developed a fascinating intriguing immersive and powerful visual language related to the scientific world of physics.

Open Studio visit TBA

About the artists:

Dr. Valery Vermeulen is an electronic musician, mathematician, music producer, new media artist, author and visiting professor at the Art & Technology department at Erasmus University College in Brussels (BE). He holds a Phd in pure mathematics with strong connection to superstring theory from Ghent University (BE) as well as a masters degree in Music Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent (BE). Since 2003 Vermeulen has been working on various multimedia projects where the interaction between man, machine and mathematics plays a central role. Topics in his work cover a broad range of disciplines including algorithmic music composition, (generative) sound synthesis, affective computing, artificial intelligence, biofeedback, psychofysiology, creative evolutionary systems design, astrophysics, theoretical physics, econometrics and data sonification. Besides his activities as a multimedia artist Vermeulen currently also works as a statistical expert and consultant. Recent works of Vermeulen include EMO-Synth project, Mikromedas and Krystal Ball. With the EMO-Synth project Vermeulen’s work is situated in the area of interactive multimedia systems where automatically generated sound and music systems are directed by the emotional responses of the user. With Mikromedas focus is set on the innovative uses of data from space and deep space as new tools form music composition and performance. In the Krystal Ball project, an interactive multimedia system where the mechanisms that caused the financial credit crisis, stochastic and algorithmic music generation.

Hiroshi Matoba is a freelance artist/programmer, born in Japan in 1983. He studied product design and acoustic design in kyushu university and started making a handmade sequence system for unknown rhythm research. In 2007 he made a software sequencer “Overbug” which implements a circular notation system and was invited to Transmediale and other media art festival in Italy, Argentina, Taiwan, etc. He also made installations with hardware devices such as “light valve (installation for diy transparent display)” or “denki domino (light and sound domino)”. Currently based in Berlin.