Published on 26.04.2023
Kling Klang Klong
The Berlin artist collective "kling klang klong" consists of composers, sound designers, creative thinkers, scientists and technologists. What they have in common is the passion to discover new ways and to move people through the effect of sound. They are known, among other things, for productions at the Semperoper in Dresden or the Elbphilarmonie in Hamburg. For the exploration and expansion of sound and new media art, they use new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). In a collaboration with "Künstler ohne Namen", they are an essential part of the exhibition "Marionette", on the theme of Deep Fake, at POP KUDAMM with a space-consuming light and sound installation.
Pop Kudamm:When was the Studio for Sound Research founded?
kling klang klong:In 2013, although we are not a studio for sound research in the classical sense. In search of aesthetic and artistic expression, we like to work with science(s) to design our experiences. But we are first and foremost a studio for sound experiences and we like to be inspired by science and research when designing the experiences.
Pop Kudamm:How did you find each other?
kling klang klong:The founders met as freelancers in the fields of music, scenography and sound design and quickly realised that they had largely the same expectations, attitudes and dreams.
Pop Kudamm:What is it about your work that excites you?
kling klang klong:We are curious, we are doers, we are multidisciplinary. We are a team of nerds who are first and foremost interested in the work itself. For us, it's passion and we are always looking for new experiences, new ways to satisfy our curiosity and share what we think is important with our audience in our own way and in our own language. What we all have in common is a passion for sound, but we all approach the subject from different directions... socially, philosophically, scientifically, technologically, aesthetically, etc.
Pop Kudamm: You partly use AI to explore and expand your sound-light installations, how did you get into this and what is special about it?
kling klang klong: Since our foundation, we have always used new technologies to expand our work. So it was with 3D cameras and VR, sensor technology and so on. Meanwhile, another band-breaking technology is on everyone's lips, and we've been following it closely for a bit longer: A.I is a game changer and we can look back on a number of successful works made using it. Our first encounter with it was in 2018, when we created our first A.I. composition for our collab "Meandering River" with Onformative. At that time, we immediately noticed the huge potential and also touched on many of the technical-philosophical questions raised by creative AI. Of course, we are not only concerned with the creative possibilities, but also with the social consequences that such technologies bring with them.
Pop Kudamm: What work do you still remember today?
kling klang klong:That's not a very easy question to answer. We try to find an aspect in each work that inspires us and makes the work unique and new. With this process-oriented approach, it is not only the result that fascinates us in the end, but also the collaboration with our clients, collaboration partners or friends. Work is remembered for different reasons: doing an 80-channel mix on the 40th floor of a skyscraper or writing an opera for generative AI, working with large orchestras and getting to know the external specialists in the team, learning from them, having fun: All this makes projects unforgettable. However, we don't like to commit ourselves to that. Our project is kling klang klong.
Pop Kudamm:You are part of the exhibition Marionette at POP KUDAMM with a light and sound installation that deals with the theme of Deep Fake on several levels. How did you deal with this topic, or rather, what was your confrontation with it?
kling klang klong:This is a topic we deal with all the time. The influence and social role of the media is always a central idea for us. We are aware that we are not only consumers but as creators of media we also communicate ideas and feelings that we want to share with our audience. We are also aware of the power of the media and think a lot about the role and responsibility we have in this whole apparatus. On a sonic level, Deep Fake is not so obvious, it's usually reduced to the voice. But precisely because it's not so obvious, it also has the potential to be very dangerous. For "Marionette" we approached the subject on an emotional level, we wanted to create a work that creates a subtle unease, a feeling that something is not right. Something initially beautiful, with a hidden dark side. Inspired by the partly fake images and sounds news from the Russian-Ukrainian war, we made a piece that deals with the calm before the storm and invites people to put themselves in this emotional state soaked in ambivalence.
Pop Kudamm: Is it more difficult to surprise or touch people in a media age like the present?
kling klang klong: To surprise, perhaps, but not to touch. That is the magic of sound. Sound and music are emotional media and in combination with technology our work feels like magic to many people. Sound is abstract and above all to be understood "with the heart", which is why music is still probably the most popular means of "putting something in people's hearts", i.e. emotionalising content or moments.
Pop Kudamm:What do you think the future musical possibilities will be? What have you always wanted to realise?
kling klang klong:Right now, the topic of AI is so central and unpredictable that it is very difficult to say where this journey will lead. It feels a bit like everything will be possible in the future and nothing at the same time. Will we be replaced by AI? Will music only be produced by AI? Probably not completely at first, but AI will definitely become our new, constant companion. But with all the changes, one thing will remain the same: Our need to make our voice heard. With or without technology, we do what we do because we have something to say, because we want to say something, to share our experiences and feelings. No AI will ever be able to do that for us. In the future, we want to create work that deals with timeless content beyond tech or media theory hypes. We want to use our language - sound science and social issues and create emotional, unique - and peculiar work from it. Whether this is done with a quantum computer or a piano is irrelevant. What is important is the content and what we achieve with it.
Header Trailer: “Touch me not
TOUCH ME NOT is an interactive sound sculpture, a reflective sphere with a constant, organic movement. The sculpture floats peacefully in the air in its solitude, while the sound of its gentle, breath-like movements creates a unique atmosphere.
As a visitor approaches and invades its private space, the sculpture shrinks, closes itself and remains still. The work reflects the nature of interaction with our environment, where the act of observation changes the being observed. What one sees is always a projection of one’s own interpretation, a reflection of oneself.
1st Picture: Meandering River A.I. music composition
MEANDERING RIVER is an audio-visual installation created in collaboration with onformative. The piece consists of images generated by an algorithm and music composed by an artificial intelligence. The piece spans multiple screens and reinterprets the changing behaviour of rivers by visualising and setting to music their impact on the earth’s surface.
2nd Picture: Fireflies light and sound sculpture
Fireflies is a large-scale sound and light sculpture that simulates the emergent behaviour of synchronous fireflies. Everywhere in nature, masses of relatively simple elements can self-organise into behaviours that appear unexpectedly complex.
The unison flashing of fireflies is a fascinating manifestation of the order that emerges without the instructions of a leader. Fireflies creates a stunning experience by using an algorithm to mimic this natural phenomenon for the first time, not only visually but sonically.
link to the exhibition "Marionette"