chemical sound installation

Artists: Robertina Šebjanič, Aleš Hieng – Zergon, Ida Hiršenfelder
Premiere performance: Tuesday, 5 March 2019, at 7:00 p.m.
Premiere performance: Saturday, 9 March 2019, at noon
Venue: STEKLENIK – Gallery for Sound, Bioacoustics, and Art

An artist attunes to what things are, which means sort of listening to the future, which is just how things are – I think time is a sort of liquid that pours out of hatpins, underground trains, salt crystals. So, a work of art is also listening to itself, because what it is never quite coincides with how it appears, too.” — Timothy Morton.

Sound Disposition / Crystal Gardens is a meditation on coincidence and precision, two unresolvable questions posed when observing crystal shapes in time. It speaks of the tension between the mathematical constant and unexpected inventiveness that might lead to singularity or remain eternally quasi-random.

The growth of crystals is expressed as a tendency of individual atoms in chemical substances to select certain points in space at given physical conditions and form crystal lattices in layers that compose the crystal shape together. In spite of this, it is impossible to predict the crystal’s final shape as every substance also contains its own will and is exposed to a spectrum of coincidence. Science has researched the stability of crystals for over a century. It was one of the decisive factors at the beginning of the information revolution when the ability of crystals to transform radio waves into sound waves was discovered, or the property to emit a constant frequency in the case of quartz used for precision time measurement.

In the sound composition of the installation, the precise structure is entwined with randomness. It follows the changeability of crystals that form a Voronoi mosaic. The sound is broken and compressed; it crackles and builds up into unpredictable growths. At the same time it projects the resonance spectrum of the crystals that form a constant soundscape beyond time variables.

With quantum computers, crystals are once again the harbingers of technological revolution, they are used by scientists with the aim to solve the most elaborate enigma of qubits: to decipher the instability in time. One of the most puzzling properties of qubits is the possibility to influence information with a human mind, which is a fascinating fact with extremely unusable consequences. In the physical conditions near absolute zero, crystals with inner oscillation cause quantum entanglement of electrons without using any inner energy and behave synchronously not only when selecting certain points in space but also in selecting different points in time and could be the constant that will be able to support the stability of quantum information in the future.

Produced by: CONA | Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing
Co-production: Botanical Gardens, University of Ljubljana
Producers: Irena Pivka, Brane Zorman, Jasmina Založnik
Translation, proofreading: Urban Belina
Support: City Municipality of Ljubljana

Group exhibitions:
Danube dialogues 2019. Perception of Contemporaneity – The Universal Sea group exhibition of Foreign Art Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad (SR), 17 September – 30 September 2019
MFRU – International Festival for Computer Art, konS Platform selection, group exhibition, Pristan, Maribor (SI), 11 – 20 October 2019


SOUND EVENT, 5 March 2019

KONS Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art @ MFRU International Computer Festival Maribor, Pristan/Staninvest, Maribor (SI) 11 – 20 October 2019



Growing Rochelle Salt crystals | Protocol documentation