Resonance, Revenant

Bells ring out in the darkness, calling attention to unseen struggles, calling for us to understand.

This piece was produced in collaboration with Vignesh Venkataraman, a PHD student, as part of a larger, cooperative project in conjunction with Imperial College. Vignesh’s research concerns Open Quantum systems and simulates the dynamics of these systems, it is this research that Resonance, Revenant is based on. I was interested particularly in his work on systems that exhibit non-markovian behaviour, that is systems with memory, whereby states further back than the one immediately previous have an effect on the current output.

Resonance, Revenant takes the transferal of energy, as simulated in Vignesh’s research, and its overall dissipation within the system and presents it through sound and light. Through an underlying model, the dynamics of a system are tracked and displayed as sound and light. As a reflection of the system’s memory, the energy lost from one speaker to another will eventually return, to some extent.


The project runs repeatedly, each time the system’s energy is fully dissipated it sets up the simulation again, picking frequencies for each item and coupling strengths between them, this leads to a new outcome for each run of the system and a new experience for the viewer who is able to move around the system in space, hearing and feeling the different sounds from varying points of view, looking for patterns.

Exhibited as part of ‘Physics Happens in a Dark Place’ at Shoreditch Town Hall, May 2014.

[Video by Delmar Mavignier]
[Photo by Carl Bigmore]