Soap and light visualise sound vibrations
in Dagny Rewera's installation

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Light projected through a soap bubble throws patterns generated by the tiny vibrations of a speaker onto the ceiling in this installation by Royal College of Art graduate Dagny Rewera (+ movie).

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

For the Invisible Acoustics project, Dagny Rewera set up three speakers with lights attached on brass armatures. To visualise the sound emitted, the designer developed an automated system that dips a hoop into a soap solution and holds it directly above the speaker.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

When switched on, the sound waves cause the soap bubble to vibrate, but these tiny aberrations aren't visible to the naked eye, so a lens is suspended above the soap to magnify the microscopic changes in the surface of the bubble. The results are then projected onto the ceiling to create kaleidoscopic images that change with the music.

"The aim of the project was to change the perception of the everyday," explained Rewera. "The project tries to enhance the greater understanding of the world we are surrounded by and [suggests] there might be parallel worlds unnoticed in our mundane lives."

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

As the water evaporates from the solution, the concentration of soap reveals a range of hues that intensify over time.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

The soap film is designed to last up to an hour. If the bubble bursts, the automated system re-dips the hoop into the solution, starting the whole process again.

Each of the three speakers plays tones in a variety of different frequency ranges, meaning each visualisation is different.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

"My role as a designer is choreographing these invisible worlds, revealing their beauty and importance and guiding the users from the mundane into the spectacle," explained Rewera.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

Rewara completed Invisible Acoustics for the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art in London. It was inspired by cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration first studied by English philosopher Robert Hooke in 1680.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

Here's some information from Dagny Rewera:


Invisible Acoustics

The project titled Invisible Acoustics is a project that slips suggestively into a different world - one that requires different means for its explorations as well as its interpretations.

The world of the invisible

The project is an audio-visual installation of three sound and light units, which visualise the normally invisible form of sound. Based on the scientific study of Cimatics, the units reveal the true, organic form of sound and vibration.

Using the surface tension of a soap film, the vibration created by the sounds source transforms the soap into a flexible three-dimensional sculpture, unseen with the naked eye. By bouncing light of the film through a lens, the microscopic transformations of the soap membrane are enlarged and projected on the ceiling, creating a hypnotising light performance.

RCA graduate Dagny Rewera uses soap and light to visualise sound

The soap film , designed to last up to an hour, through time transforms the image into an explosion of hues, as the water in the soap lens evaporates. When it finally bursts, the automated mechanism re-dips the soap wand in the solution and starts the performance again.

Each designed device plays different tones in a frequency range. These differences in frequencies are translated real time into individual light projections. At the same time, creating a sound and light spectacle when experienced as a whole.

The aim of the project was to change the perception of the everyday. By choreographing a smaller detail, the project tries to enhance the greater understanding of the world we are surrounded by and put to light that there might be more parallel works unnoticed in our mundane lives.