Michael Schweiger - development and exchange blog - sonic thinking - sonic practices - sonification - visonics --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


activities / projects

sonification / augmenting “Robot, Doing Nothing”

“Robot, Doing Nothing”, is a project of Emanuel Gollob (Austria), presented at CyberArts / Ars Electronica Festival 2017, augmented by my electroacoustic – digital sonification of the robots moves – and further realtime visuals done by Chris Noelle aka TOFA.


Robot, Doing Nothing accuses our modern society of being incessantly busy even beyond the confines of everyday life in the workplace. What’s now demanded of us—above all due to the proliferation of digital technologies—is our permanent presence, readiness to communicate and receptivity to information. In response, Emanuel Gollob has created a fictitious scenario: the results of studies demonstrate that the efficiency of our society is enhanced by doing nothing. Based on these studies, Austria’s Ministry of Commerce and Labor decides to remunerate members of the country’s workforce for their inactivity with a minimum wage. To encourage people to get started as professional idlers, robotic installations in public spaces are purveyed to the citizenry, whereby observing the changes the machinery’s form constantly undergoes is meant to facilitate the segue into a meditative state of indolence. In this relaxed frame of mind and body, it’s possible to focus on one’s self and open up to sweet stasis.

Robot Doing Nothing was developed by Emanuel Gollob (emanuelgollob.com) together with Johannes Braumann (UFG, Laboratory for Creative Robotic) and is based on studies that show improved ability of concentration, empathy and creativity when spending time doing nothing (Turkle, Sherry (2015): Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Penguin Press). Gollob ponders a post-industrial future when robots are already part of several aspects in our daily life. At this time the conscious activity of “Doing Nothing” might be encouraged by meditative robotic installations in public space.

New directions tested on exhibition last day

The installation is augmented by an electroacoustic, digital sonification by Michael Schweiger (UFG Soundlab)

and real-time visuals by Chris Noelle (metofa.com).
Sound: Michael Schweiger, UFG Soundlabor. Visuals: Chris Noelle, metofa.com. Supported by COPA-DATA GmbH, KUKA Roboter CEE Gmbh and Robots in Architecture.

Robot Doing Nothing uses a KUKA robotic arm Quantec ultra with a range of 3.1m. The robot is controlled in real time by the new KUKA mxAutomation interface andallows a direct interaction between the audience and the robot. COPA-DATA zenon HMI enables us to merge
the datastreams coming from the robot and laser scanner, visualize it and make it accessible globally through the Microsoft Azure Cloud.


visonic garden /


Space time matter relations

visonic garden is a concept for installation works, combining different approaches developed over the last about three years in search for sound – visuals in term of the sound is not interpreted to create visuals, but material transformed, transmediated. Lightspeaker, Ephemeral AV sculpting and other approaches rose from SoniLunatrice project, the counter entity of Sonifer.

SoniLumatrice AV Playground 10/2015










While Sonifer ever had curiousity for audiovisuals, SoniLumatrice emerged as developing from experience, a need to work different on sound and visuals  arose, mainly concerning different mix, of same sources, for sound and waveprojection or cymatic – lissajous – projections, both into Haze, seemed helpful.

So two seperate mixes and then, one step further, one mix, working for both, meaning to start from beginning, with the visual audio and shaoing sound to interesting sound-sculptures in the speakers.










Distributed speakers in a room, act as holders for and shapers of liquid bodies, following the analog generated signals, exciting the speaker, causing density-waves travelling through both, near air body and contained liqid body.










The speakers, mounted for diffferent positions, form a topography, which is to respond to detected spatial conditions, concerning low frequencies and phenomena of modes of low frequency energy in air, which result from the structural design of the location, while the topography is about to shape a sound – space – experience area, where diving for the audio-visual – indvidual perception, of the small scale sound – matter relations, in the lively waterbody, sculpted by sound, invites to detect the larger scale sound – space interaction, revealed by a low frequency speaker provoke the „modes“, which will cause position related situations of mixes between the more faint distributed sources and the space filling low end.

The whole installation is yet an audio-visual, or as I would call, visonic, approach, as he relations between positionings, are connected with the invitation to go on a search, for an individual approach , like one wanders through a garden, a park, an unknown place.

Therefor the water filled speakers reveal its mediated ephemeral ever changing sound sculpture, by carring one’s own small – light source, to dive into the soundwise troubled waters, what will put upfront the visual perception sensitivity, which is yet univetably connected with the audio perceptional system, which is vital for the creation / perception of now, while ever had been importantly connected to check the overall situation, of security, orientation etc and still is.

All sonic and visual are deriving from analog synthesizer and sound transducers, like pickups, piezo, etc, searching for resonance, and feedback, to activate the spatial structure and yet meet the inherent differences of sounds behaviour in different media, like air or solids and liquids

relations matter


sonic Degrees of Freedom / ARS Electronica 2016

analog modular synthesizer meets collaborative / sensitive robot


an iiwa lbr robot as control interface … a big joystick with 7 degrees of freedom, 7 joints and axis which offer information on position, direction of movement, velocity etc. and all of that as analog control voltages, in a very similar rule like analog modular synthesizers need for voltage controled operation.

the great thing is, the iiwa lbr is defintely collaborative and sensitive, it awaits your moves, yet anticipating it and following your directed pressure and enganges the servos to make it easy and gently movable, with very little power needed.

















main projects in permanent develpoment


ephemeral AV sculpturing


permanent electronic-music project



the twilight z0ne: