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Cosmic Room – Inside the Trondur Patturson Art Installation

23 Sep

A few days ago, my bonus sister Nadia and I visited Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen, a cultural forum displaying art by North Atlantic artists. The location is probably more known for its Michelin starred restaurant Noma, however, those with an interest in Scandinavian art might also have heard of, or even visited, the neighboring Trondur Paursson art installation, Cosmic Room.

Glass wall and mirror floor.

Cosmic room is a large dome, not unlike an igloo, made from coloured glass plates and mirrors shaped in geometrical shapes and mounted on a metal frame. The dome is large enough for an adult to stand upright when inside it.

Kaleidoscopic Display

It’s colours are mainly kept in the colours characteristic of the North Atlantic ocean and sky, being white, blue and black with the occasional shimmer of dep red, green and yellow. The arrangement and shape of the mirrors and glass, with aid from the sun light penetrating the glass walls, create an kaleidoscopic visual display of colours, light and shadows. In effect the space inside the room is magnified resulting in an infinity of reflections when looking up and into the mirrors in the ceiling while lying on the mirror floor.

Traveling Through Space and Time

We felt ourselves floating away, disappearing into in the spectacular display of blues and whites. The many reflections makes it easy to detach oneself from being the observer, loosing touch with the ground for a moment, as when falling through the empty space in a near dream.

Disappearance of the Observer

If only the room had sound. The sounds of ice melting and breaking, the wind over the large flat icy planes, wooden houses or even light rain hitting snow. Had there been sounds like that, or a binaural recording that I could listen to in my very own favourite headphones, then I would indeed still be inside the Cosmic Room, making peace with the universe and all.

The Sound of Colours

I think Trondur hears some beautiful North Atlantic sounds when he sets up his Cosmic Room. I wouldn’t mind asking him one day. Generally, I find, that strong visual impressions, especially colourful ones, they never go alone. It is as if a colour has a sound, and perhaps even a slight smell and a tactile sensation too.

A Beautiful Experience

As there was no sound, this post will be photos only. One day, I hope to record some North Atlantic sounds to match the beautiful and spectacular experience that I had inside the Cosmic Room.

A Fun Experience

BTW Nadia is an asipring photographer and when she gets around to putting her photos online, then I will put up a link so that you can see her work too.

Nadia Taking Photographs

Bye for now – see you in another space and time I hope!

Documenting Dimensions


I used a Canon EOS 350D to capture the stills.

To save space I have left out the EXIF info on the photos. But please do write me if you are interested in knowing more about any of the photos.

Fremantle Port Binaural Recording

6 Mar

A good friend of mine, Cynthia White, is working on a documentary and an exhibition on the Fremantle Port here in Western Australia. I wanted to give her an impression of the “1st-person effect” that a binaural recording offers its listener. I made her this test recording of the atmospheric sounds of the Fremantle port early in the morning.

On March 5. 2010 at 04:15 in the morning Cynthia and I drove down to the water in Fremantle with the intention of recording video and sound of the  freight train as it passes over the river transporting containers to the port. However, the train passed us just as we arrived. We tried a 2 second setup resulting in Cyndi doing some shaky cam work and me attaching my mics to the line out on my MD player. After laughing at ourselves for missing the train by a minute we decided to go home and sleep out our disappointment.

After driving Cyndi home  I couldn’t sleep so I stopped by our spot again and sat  by the water next to some large black water pipes. I don’t know what the function of the pipes is but they reflect and amplify sounds from the port adding to the industrial atmosphere.  The still photograph and the binaural recording below are both captured during the 20 minutes I was there. I love sitting by the water under the bridge. It’s one of the few places that I can feel alone and anonymous in Perth.

I didn’t have a tripod so my photo is shaky and dark but it does capture the atmosphere well I think. The recording is my first binaural recording outdoors. I just built the mics and they don’t have wind screens so it’s a rough recording. I think you get an idea of the place anyways; the light, the sounds and perhaps with a bit of imagination, the smell of the air blowing in from the sea and crossing the port on its way inland.

Fremantle Port, Mach 5. 2010, 04:15 WST

Fremantle Port, Mach 5. 2010, 04:15 WST (Click to enlarge in a new window)

To experience the 3D effects of a binaural recording you need a pair of headphones with the left/right speaker matching your left/right ear. In order to fully appreciate this recording press play, turn up the volume, kick back and relax.


I used the following equipment to capture stills and audio:


Microphones: Homemade binaural mics. I built the mics from 2 small electret mic elements, a stereo jack and some shielded cable.

Recorder: Sony MZ-30 Minidisk recorder

Software: Audiocorder for Mac


Canon EOS 350D