realization 2012
The interactive audio-visual object ACUO [pronounce ah-khu-oh, from Latin, it means to sharpen sound] is an interesting technological reality-distorting experiment and, simultaneously, a piece of art, created by a team of young artists under the tutelage of Michal Šeba. ACUO is a part of BU2R urban projects. It is an almost four meters tall, sound-proofed object shaped as a triangular polygon, supported by steel pedestal and covered up with silver shield; it is definitely hard to be overlooked. “With its shapes and functionalities, ACUO resembles of a space module which has landed in the city and is observing what’s happening around it with its sensors. It transforms the surrounding sound and image with the help of the latest technologies, which work on a purely analogue basis,” the author and leader of the ACUO project Michal Šeba explains. ACUO sees and hears in a way different to ours. It scans the world around with six microphones and three cameras; it then transmits the environment thus captured to the inside, to emit a spatial audio experience and to screen it through a LED system onto all of its inner walls. A sound “periscope” fitted with a pair of headphones is a part of the gear. “Everyone who enters the ACUO board can experience the city differently; they can analyze the events happening outside while meditating over the endless variability of modifications of particular inputs,” Šeba gives a list of experiences which ACUO offers to the passers-by and sums up: “With a brand new perspective, the visitors encounter an audio map of a place they walk through every day while failing to perceive and listen carefully.” ACUO also transmits the sound around it through a terrestrial FM radio signal and streams it online, both audio and video, to its base where it is saved for future generations and where you can also play with it at the ACUO simulator. ACUO also broadcasts a stereo live broadcasting to its surroundings at a frequency of 88.6 FM. ACUO, being an art piece as such, creates a unique experience for its visitors. At the same time, it provides educational functionality connected with the so-called urban noise smog. It took its creators over eight months to develop ACUO; the object will be located at Náměstí Republiky for 14 days. During this time, on the 29th October, a “quiet” improvisation concert will take place there; it will be broadcasted in the headphones of the visitors at FM frequency. The performers involved in this unique musical experience will be Dan Bárta, Lenka Dusilová and the beat boxer En.dru. After leaving its temporary Prague base, ACUO is going to land in other towns and places in the Czech Republic. Michal Šeba, the author and leader of the ACUO project, is an artist. The triangular polygon, an ideal module shape to diffuse sound and to shoot through a galaxy, was created by Vítězslav Danda and his colleagues from the architecture design studio Edit!. The audio technologies were taken care by Stanislav Abrahám, a student of the Centre of Audiovisual Studies at the Prague Film and TV Academy and a lecturer of sound technologies of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, as well as by Michal Šeba (Data-Live). The LED system was developed by Michal Pustějovský, a student of the New Media studio of the Academy of Fine Arts. Acuo website, streaming and other internet affiliated projects are provided by the techno-optimist a cyber space pioneer Matěj Bacovský and his firm Bioport. The production of an independent module was handled by a former aircraft engineer Libor Štych in cooperation with Mirek Mareš. The shell was designed and made by the Sistersconspiracy fashion designers. ACUO’s main project partner is the BU2R, the production was handled by Studio Yinachi.