Soxels - The Auditive Media-Facade

Workshop by Felix Hardmood Beck (Art+Com) & Simon Schiessl13.04. – 14.04. 2013
11:00 – 20:00 (1h lunch break)
PRICE: 50 EUR (2 days – 8 hours/day)

Imagine every speaker playing an instrument of an orchestra. Now imagine every musician starting to move around while playing – that’s Soxels.In this workshop the participants will work with the Soxel Media Facade and generate audiovisual content for it. The goal is to create a composition out of moving images and associated sounds that will be displayed by the Soxels Wall.

Soxels is a large scale array of speakers that transforms visuals into auditory images. The soundscape and the visual reference are directly superimposed on each other by using transparent speakers. Image content projected onto the back side of the Soxels wall, either by using video projectors, or natural light sources such as shadows of people walking by, generate the visuals that are on the very same place transformed into an acoustic collage assembled out of hundreds or thousands of individual sound sources. The speakers function as light waves into sound waves transformers. Thus each speaker becomes equally a visual and a sound pixel. This visual to sound transformation is performed by sophisticated sound processing technology that provides each speaker with an individual sound stream relating to the respective local picture content. DSP technology opens the spectrum from processing natural sounds, transforming them, or generating complex artificial sounds.



– Introduction to Soxels Hard- and Software (incl. examples)
– Generate audiovisual content using the software of your choice (e.g. After Effects, Processing, vvvv…)
– The works of the workshop participants will be presented on the Soxels wall on the evening of the April 14th and before the event >>P5_Berlin<< on April 16th at LEAP.

– Laptop
– Headphones
– A song or audio-file that you want to design visuals for OR visuals that you want to generate sounds for OR both if you want to merge it.

(* if you want the full experience)
About Soxels

Background Information

In 2010 Felix Hardmood Beck and Simon Schießl developed an auditive media facade. The key components are the sound pixels, or Soxels, a scalable array of speakers, and a feed-in point for streaming an endless number of audio channels to provide each speaker with an individual sound stream.

The Soxels project was presented during the DMY International Design Festival 2010 in Berlin for the first time. It was developed and prototyped with a matrix of approx. 1000 speakers.

For the workshop at LEAP in April 2013 the existing Soxels hardware will be modi- and simplified: approx. 400 translucent speakers in combination with back-projection will be used. The installation in that way will combine video and audio artworks by the participants.

Technical Background

Each speaker is driven by an individual power amplifier, which is in turn connected as an end node to an audio DSP matrix. This DSP system processes the incoming audio streams, mixes and manipulates them individually for each speaker. The latest IC technology makes it possible to do this enormous processing power within reasonable hardware efforts.

DSP technology opens the spectrum from processing natural sounds, transforming them, or generating complex artificial sounds. The developed software is able to mix all integrated sound layers on any speaker anywhere on the wall and perform individual sound manipulation.

For the workshop the technical constraints of the Soxels hard- and software will be simplified: If light is projected onto a speaker, the same speaker will open the affiliated audiotrack and play a predefined sound layer – depending on the brightness of the projection the volume will be automatically controlled.

Felix Hardmood Beck

Born into the pre-internet-era, Felix Hartmut Beck early on found his interests in analog structures (LEGO, paper airplanes), amplified music and disasembling electronics. He studies New Media Design at the University of the Arts Berlin, where he wrote his thesis summa cum laude in the form of a digital pilgrimage.

He is the founding member of the charity organisation Pratham e.V that promotes education of slim dwelling children in India.  Parallel to his fulltime job as Art Director at the design studio ART+COM he graduated with a Masters in 2011 under the patronage of Prof Joachim Sauter.

He works on (self-) commissioned Design, (reactive/interactive) Architecture and Media Art projects.  He loves to find on intentional uses for technical equipment and wants to find the limits of technology, to then cross those borders and design specific needs from it.

Simon Schiessl

Simon Schiessl is an engineer and artist. With a strong background in physics, engineering, media sciences and art practice he has been active in the techno-art scene for several years, two of which he spent as a researcher at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge/USA.

Coming from an engineering background, Schiessl is an artist whose material is technology, which he explores to achieve new forms of aesthetic experiences. His main focus has been technically innovative interactive installations that integrate various forms of active electronics, media elements, and artifacts from the non-digital world. His work has shown in galleries such as Location One (NYC), and the Gandhi Museum (New Delhi), and at major festivals, including Transmediale (Berlin), Sonar (Barcelona), and Ars Electronica (Linz).


Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance
(Berlin Carré 1. Stock)
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13
10178 Berlin


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