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  • Rory Conder

Chladni Plate


"One of Chladni’s inventions was a technique to study the motions of vibrating plates. Starting with a metal plate whose surface had been lightly sprinkled with sand, he found that bowing it produced characteristic patterns that could be related to the physical dimensions of the plate. “Chladni’s Plates”, as they came to be called, provided an early way to visualize the effects of vibrations on mechanical surfaces. Chladni was even able to produce a formula that successfully predicted the patterns found on vibrating circular plates. The success of Chladni’s research, combined with the popularity of his many public demonstrations, did much to improve the standing of acoustics during his lifetime, and inspired many of the acoustic researchers who later extended his work."



By building a resonator "cork speaker" using a simple jack, speaker cone removed from driver, driver powered by input, connected to a cork which then sits in contact with the surface, one can control vibratory outputs in the form of a frequency sine wave tone. The HZ selected will control the physical manifestation of geometric imagery on the plate.


The idea here is to simulate the ambient experience in "Dark Retreat" by playing the frequency content, after isolating the fundamental tones, in order to represent the overtone series in real time, as the music plays.


This will then be captured and played back through the audio-visual setup in venue, so that sound and vibration and connected visually to form and space. The space between the images is what creates the overall impression.


As SPACE is the primary theme in the "Dark Retreat" work, utilising this visual component will emphasise the importance of space in creating form, that our reality is comprised of innumerable components but they all have space as a commonality.




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