Performance Art Group Translates Touch and Friction into Sound

Performance Art Group Translates Touch and Friction into Sound


The performance art group Quimera Rosa has created devices that allow performers to play one another like musical instruments. They use these musical inventions to explore the cybernetic relationships between human bodies and technology.

As stated on their website, “We are specially interested in the articulations between art, science, and technology, and their function in the production of subjectivities.” (Note: Some material on their site has adult themes.)

Quimera Rosa uses their unique devices to connect performers with prosthetics, cyber tech, touch, and sound. In an effort to combine touching and technology, they have built two unique creations; the BodyNoiseAMP and the Friction Synth. These devices allow the performers to unite the spaces between art and science.

The BodyNoiseAmp translates touch into sound. It’s essentially a simple circuit running through a performer’s body and amplifies sound manipulated through the touch of another performer. Quimera based its design on the LM386 chip and has explained its development at more than 20 workshops in Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Check out these photos to see the progression of development from breadboard to printed chip.

The Friction Synth generates sounds by friction between bodies and the device through touching, squeezing, even licking. The sound is generated with a 40106 integrated circuit and a Schmitt-based 6 trigger. The Friction Synth isn’t just played, it’s interacted with to create a performance of movement, light, and sound, culminating in a mesmerizing cyber synesthesia.

Quimera’s devices create a cybernetic confluence of music, technology, and touch that beckons the audience to explore the frontiers between human senses and enhanced machine sensuality.

Check out this video to see a Quimera Rosa performance using the Friction Synth.

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Theron is an educator, business owner, writer, and consultant working within Springfield, MO and the Ozarks community. He enjoys making and building with his 11 year old son and likes to read and write about science, technology, education, sci fi, martial arts, and philosophy.

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