Herman Kolgen’s high tech audiovisual installations render the invisible visible, through radiographic detection and data. Though his projects have conceptual concerns, they all remain physically tangible, pushing sonic boundaries into body vibrating territory and altering visual perceptions, playing on notions of physical, cerebral and emotional tension.
The internationally renowned, multifaceted artist has been modelling “audiocinetic” sculptures for over 20 years. His installation pieces boast a hybrid technical language and a singular, immaterial aesthetic, sitting at the juncture of many artistic practices. From 1996 to 2008, Kolgen dedicated the majority of his immersive practice to the Skoltz_Kolgen duo, performing at prestigious international events such as Berlin’s Transmediale, the Venice Biennale, Austria’s Ars Electronica, and multiple appearances at MUTEK. He’s also traveled the world with his work, including with ongoing projects Seismik, Dust, Inject, Train Fragments and Aftershock, landing at museums, festivals and less likely locales. His latest project, ISOTOPP, based on molecular abstraction and energy transfers, was two full years of residencies in the making. When Kolgen was offered a “dream” collaboration with the scientists at the Large National Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) in Caen, France, thoughts of a hypnotic, anxiety-inducing show inspired by the precise moment of an atomic collision immediately took hold of him. Working with corridors of light and radioactive data received in real time—French scientists gave him access to an incalculable number of recordings—the black-and-white ISOTOPP is a hard-hitting, sensorially adventurous bombardment of matter.
After being presented in world premiere at Caen’s ]Interstice[ Festival in May, Kolgen brings his sound, projection and science-melding opus back home to allow MUTEK patrons to marvel at shapes metastasizing and pulses of light detonating before their very eyes.