Installation w/ sound
Being woven exclusively out of glass fibres, Toke Højby Lorentzen’s Strategic
Opacity approximates the infrastructure of present-day communication technology where data is transmitted via fiber-optic cables. At the same time, the industrially manufactured fiberglass woven fabric points back to the history of technology, referencing the automated loom and the use of punched cards to store and transfer data. Such technology made use of the fact that the absence of a given thing can provide as much information as its presence.
Strategic Opacity takes its title from the literary historian Stephen Greenblatt, who uses the term to describe how the omission or absence of key explanatory elements in a narrative can create a more intense experience for the reader, thereby ultimately giving the narrative deeper meaning. To further process the data found in the fiberglass fabric, Lorentzen scanned it and had two composers read the patterns found there as a musical score, each setting up an individual system for their reading.
Simon Brinck turned a picture of the fabric into sound using specialized software. This sound is played back in the room and picked up by a live microphone. The sound picked up by the microphone is by a different piece of software being translated into a graphic visualisation shown on the monitor on the floor with the added feature that any other sound in the room, e. g. from the audience is painted onto the visualisation of the fabric.