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Exploring Inner Space at SCI-Arc

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In Out of Memory, currently on view at SCI-Arc's gallery in Los Angeles, architect Patrick Tighe transports visitors to another plane with an experiential installation that combines light, sound, material and form. Rather than create the customary art object, Tighe collaborated with Berlin and Rome Prize-winning composer Ken Ueno to produce a sound installation that first took shape from the ambient noises heard within SCI-Arc's walls. Reworking the recorded ambient sound, Ueno produced a composition that is the aural equivalent of a seeing Hokusai’s Great Wave forming and rushing toward you. The auditory groundswell is peppered by sharp clickety-clacks, as if attempting to snap you out of an enforced meditation; listen to a portion of the piece in this video. A six-axis robotic arm from Machineous programmed with a 3-D mapping of Ueno’s composition milled the structure on-site, giving the installation its unique parabolic shape. Have a look at the exhibition in the slideshow that follows.

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  In collaboration with many groups, Tighe created an immersive installation that is pure form. His cave-like exhibition features undulating bas reliefs milled on-site by a robotic arm. LED lights give off a soft glow and sound streams from speakers outside of the structure. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    In collaboration with many groups, Tighe created an immersive installation that is pure form. His cave-like exhibition features undulating bas reliefs milled on-site by a robotic arm. LED lights give off a soft glow and sound streams from speakers outside of the structure. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  “Out of Memory” uses patterns that were inspired by the frequencies of Ken Ueno’s composition. The interior is made is twelve-inch-thick open cell foam that was sprayed onto the wall assembly. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    “Out of Memory” uses patterns that were inspired by the frequencies of Ken Ueno’s composition. The interior is made is twelve-inch-thick open cell foam that was sprayed onto the wall assembly. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  One enters the exhibition through a long narrow corridor. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    One enters the exhibition through a long narrow corridor. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  The hardest part of the installation was the programming of the robot, admits Tighe. Tighe’s team provided 25 different “sound paths” that Machineous founder Andreas Froech translated into a programming language the six-axis robotic arm could understand. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    The hardest part of the installation was the programming of the robot, admits Tighe. Tighe’s team provided 25 different “sound paths” that Machineous founder Andreas Froech translated into a programming language the six-axis robotic arm could understand. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  A softly glowing orifice above draws the eye upwards, a movement that evokes a certain sense of religiosity. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    A softly glowing orifice above draws the eye upwards, a movement that evokes a certain sense of religiosity. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  A glowing red orifice at the bottom of the parabolic chamber is inset with a mirror at the far end. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    A glowing red orifice at the bottom of the parabolic chamber is inset with a mirror at the far end. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  Drawings by Tighe Architects show various representations of the built space. One features the spectogram from which the structure was created. Another shows the structure from below and an elevation. They are meant to help visitors understand the process of building the structure without overtly revealing the intricacies behind the construction. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    Drawings by Tighe Architects show various representations of the built space. One features the spectogram from which the structure was created. Another shows the structure from below and an elevation. They are meant to help visitors understand the process of building the structure without overtly revealing the intricacies behind the construction. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  A six-axis robot milled the polyurethane foam on site. The robot was placed in various points inside the parabolic chamber to achieve the final effect. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
    A six-axis robot milled the polyurethane foam on site. The robot was placed in various points inside the parabolic chamber to achieve the final effect. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.
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  “The memory aspect is the construction process itself,” says Tighe. Lots of temporary formwork was erected so that the foam could be sprayed inside. The robot that originally did the milling is also not a part of exhibition but its marks are evident inside the chamber’s walls. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    “The memory aspect is the construction process itself,” says Tighe. Lots of temporary formwork was erected so that the foam could be sprayed inside. The robot that originally did the milling is also not a part of exhibition but its marks are evident inside the chamber’s walls. Photo by Joshua White/Courtesy of SCI-Arc.

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