How This Art Installation Illuminated Marina Bay Without Wasting Energy

With help from Martin by HARMAN energy-conserving LEDS, sound media artist ZUL’s SONICtower art and sound structure stood out as a striking art piece at i Light Marina Bay, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival in Singapore.

CI Staff

When it comes to making an impact through art, Sound Media Artist Zulkifle Mahmod (also known as ZUL) knows the ropes.

ZUL has earned a reputation for integrating 3D forms with “sound constructions” and “soundscapes,” often crossing genres and featuring collaborations with other artists.

Marked by diversity, the artist has adopted a multi-disciplinary/multi-genre approach that includes drawings, prints, sculptures and ready-mades.

Recently, ZUL’s outdoor SONICtower installation stood out as an impressive art and sound piece at i Light Marina Bay, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival in Singapore.

Not only was the SONICtower visually impressive, it also fulfilled the festival’s energy efficient criteria thanks to its use of Martin by HARMAN’s energy-conserving LEDs.

According to a press release, the Martin product array showcased in the SONICtower included a mix of VDO Sceptron 10 outdoor rated LED video fixtures (30 each in 320 mm and 1000 mm), powered by a P3 PowerPort 1500 integrated power and data processor, all coordinated with a P3-200 System Controller.

The outdoor lighting system included a Martin Exterior Wash 310 quad color LED (RGBW) programmed with a M2GO controller.

The SONICtower comprised “four zones with a total of 320 solenoids and LED lights to create a rhythmic sound and lightscape” within the confines of a four-story scaffold, inviting visitors to “listen and discover unique compositions as they explore different pockets of the artwork,” according to ZUL.

Each zone uses 64 solenoids controlled by one microcontroller. The solenoids hit on the surface of the scaffoldings and the LED lights glow by programming them in a composition format.

Each composition lasts about 10–15 minutes and then continues on a loop. The structure, as described by in the press release, becomes “alive and playful.”

ZUL’s SONICtower installation was an expansion of “Alice, Did You Hear That?” – a sound installation commissioned for Singapore: Inside Out in 2015 and inspired by Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland and Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?, a book by Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter that explores soundscapes in the urban environment.

“I had a great time working with the Martin lighting equipment,” said ZUL. “There are a lot of possibilities to explore further in the future!”

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