Artist Visualizes Sound with Neon, Disco Balls, and Architecture

Katinka Theis’ geometric constructions are inspired by monumental architecture and the movement of sound through space.
August 11, 2016, 4:00pm
Katinka Theis, Resonating of Space, installation shot. All photos courtesy of the artist and Scotty Enterprises.

Visualizing the way that sound moves through space, German artist Katinka Theis’ installation, Resonating of Space, at Berlin’s Scotty Enterprises, is an exploration into sound by means of monumental architecture. The exhibition is given the aforementioned English title, but its German name, Raumschall, is perhaps more fitting: in English, it means “room sound,” and while there’s no actual sound in the exhibition, it is sound waves that inspired the three works that comprise the show.


In the fore of the storefront gallery is a geometric installation in black and shades of blue, in the vein of Thies' previous works in painted cardboard, but of a larger scale, creeping up the corner of the gallery and onto the windowsill. In the center of the room is a white linear installation, illuminated in pink from a glowing neon light hanging on the back wall. The piece is made of hundreds of square wooden rods cut to different sizes, and has the effect of multiple Soundcloud song visualizations smashed together in different directions. Finally, on another wall is a projection of a slowly-rotating disco ball, halfway covered in black, as if dipped in paint. Together, the works offer three visual interpretations of the immaterial resonation of sound: in one sense, sound can slowly yet bulkily overtake a room; in another sense, irregular sine waves can translate sound into vision; while the disco ball represents, besides the go-to decoration of a nightclub, the way that sound reflects off objects and back into the space around it.

Scotty Enterprises is an artist-run project space that promotes contemporary art and experimental media. The gallery is a Kunstverein, a registered art association that has no explicit connection to the art market. It is run by 15 artists whose work is regularly shown there, but they also invite unassociated artists, like Theis, to show their work.

Resonating of Space is on view at Scotty Enterprises until August 13, 2016. Find out more information on the gallery’s website.


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