The interactive audiovisual installation Piano — As Image Media (1995) Toshio Iwai created during his residency (1994—1995) at the Center for Art and Media Technology ZKM in Karlsruhe. It became one of his key works exploring relations between sound and image and utilizing aleatoric, generative and interactive sound composition and image production strategies. More ↓↑
The installation combines a grand piano connected with computer via MIDI protocol (Yamaha Disklavier) and a spatial fabric screen attached to the instrument. The audience interacts with the work by using a trackball to draw light dots on the moving grid that is projected on the screen. As soon as the dots reach the keybord of the piano, each of them touches and activates a key that plays the corresponding note. Simultanously, computer—generated visual objects appear on the upper part of the screen, suspended for the ceiling, giving the impression as if real—time generated visual representations of the real—time genreated music would fly out of the instrument. In such a playful way, the piano becomes a machine to produce images and the visitor becomes the creator of the each time individually produced sounds and images. In 1996—1997 the artist used the installation during audiovisual live performances staged in collaboration with musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. The installation is part of the ZKM collection.
Place and date of documentation: ZKM, Karlsruhe 1995