Variation 5 is a multimedia artwork by Ben McDonnell and Nemo Nonnenmacher as a part of Breathing Spaces.
Drawing on themes of temporary support, rhythm and instability, and the malleability of digital space, McDonnell and Nonnenmacher have created six variations of the Breathing Spaces theme. Each artwork constructs a relationship between sound and image, questioning how they play a part in bridging the gap between virtual and ‘IRL’ (In Real Life).
Variation 5 positions a scan of a rotating ‘Leslie’ speaker (a device that makes a unique swirling sound used originally by church and jazz organ players and later adopted by rock guitarists in the 1960s) in a virtual space, allowing the artists to play with the scan according to the variances in volume and pitch of the music.
The sound combines new and remixes of earlier compositions by Ben McDonnell. Recordings of breathing, Korean flute, violin, guitar and bass clarinet have been digitally reworked and focus on the shifting forms, breath and space already inherent in the work. Each work comprises over 120,000 individual points which make congruent forms that contract and expand over time or respond directly to sound in the work.