Noise (‘Radau’ in German) is the raw material of sound artist Nika Schmitt. Perception of sound is highly subjective, and everyone experiences noise differently. In Schmitt’s latest work, Radau Radar, sound reflections in interior spaces are reshaped by moving physical surfaces and made audible for visitors. The idea for this work arose in 2020 during the artist’s sonic explores residency in Dakar, Senegal, and forms part of her ongoing research into cyclical and repetitive phenomena. More specifically, in her kinetic installations, Schmitt examines the effects of rhythmic stimuli on our spatial orientation and our ability to estimate time.
Here, a feedback noise is made audible through several loudspeakers and microphones distributed across the exhibition space. The frequency is continuously reflected and realigned by a rotating parabolic dish suspended in the centre of the room. As a result of this set-up, the reverberation encounters changing conditions as it travels through the exhibition space, prompting a constant change of the pitch and the rhythmic structure of the frequency. Different types of microphones record the changing acoustic conditions over time and feed the signals separately to the individual loudspeakers in real time. Visitors perceive a murmuring sound reminiscent of the popular children’s game ‘Chinese whispers’. Changing sound sources, dynamic light reflections and moving elements combine into a three-dimensional composition that reinvents the acoustic and visual experience of the space.
Schmitt experiments with sound, light and mechanically animated materials. Combining complexity and subtleness, her installations are teeming with creative allusions to the everyday, which is the focus of her artistic work.
Nika Schmitt (b. 1992 in Luxembourg), lives and works in Rotterdam (NL).
Working as a freelance audio-/visual artist since 2017, she is currently completing a Master of Music at the ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague (NL). After graduating from high school in 2012, she travelled and gained work experience before starting a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Maastricht (NL) in 2013. Various site-specific projects as well as her research for the 2016 Dak’Art Contemporary Art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal, helped her to define her own artistic orientation. In the same year she joined the experimental music group ‘Otomax’ as a vocalist and founded the clothing line ‘Dominik’ together with two other artists, Mike Moonen and Don Possen. In July 2017 she completed her BFA and received the Gilbert de Bontridder Prijs, which was followed by exhibitions including Artspotting in the DNB Amsterdam and Fresh Cacao in De Cacaofabriek in Helmont (NL). In 2018 she received the Sonotopia Prize for sound installations and presented her work in the solo exhibition locus motus at Fabrik 45 in Bonn (DE). In 2019 she exhibited the sound installation Echotrope in the Philharmonie Luxembourg and in the Safe & Sorry Pavilion on Kirchberg as part of the Rainy Days festival. She is currently participating in the group exhibition Bâtiment 4 in Esch-Alzette, organised by the artist collective CUEVA, a project exhibition by the collective Dominik in Maastricht (NL) and a group exhibition at Automat in Saarbrücken (DE).
Place de la Résistance (Brillplaz)
From 05.12.2020 to 09.01.2021
Thu/Fri : 2pm – 6pm
Sat/Sun: 11am – 6pm
Closed on public holidays