Maia Urstad & Hilde Hauan Johnsen (NO)

Maia Urstad / Hilde Hauan Johnsen - 0100102 A fibre optic sound installation for Bryne Railway Station

This site specific installation work for Bryne Railway Station deals with the invisible universe of information circulating in our global telecommunication systems: airwaves, broadband, telephone signals and digital radio/TV transmissions. Invisible waves of voices and noise are constantly flowing through us without our being aware of anything other than the concrete events – e.g. when our mobile phone rings or websites appear on the computer screen. The installation is influenced by unpredictable elements such as noise and light from uncontrolled sources, and transforms them into a sonic web using fibre optics.

When sound frequencies activate the fibres’ luminescent properties, the light and sound interact and meld together to form a pulsating object. The invisible becomes visible.

The installation’s sound is composed using multiple channels, and filtered through a specially designed interface that interprets the sound and translates it into light. This transformer works with the light’s energy, the frequency spectrum, sonic dynamics and phases in the sound design and holography, i.e. the space created by the sound’s multiple channels. It utilizes these parameters to create a new and exciting landscape of light in the processed fibres present in the installation.

With light sources connected to both ends of the fibres, the sound can create many different fields of light. The audio frequency range activates the light and produces many subtle nuances in “color” and intensity. By using slightly different lamp voltages in the two light sources we can enrich the visual element. These variations in light are created by similar variations in the sound composition. Different types of sound material also generate a wide range of intensity, broadening the parameters of the visual and auditory composition.


Norwegian Arts Council, New Technology Fund
Time Municipality


Maia Urstad - - is a sound artist based in Bergen, Norway. Her works include sound art projects, installations, site specific performances, films etc. in Norway and internationally. She also commissions and produces sound-related art projects, exhibitions and seminars through her production company Maur Prosjekter. Urstad is a member of Lydgalleriet (the Sound Gallery) in Bergen,, and freq_out, a collective curated by CM von Hausswolff,

Hilde Hauan Johnsen is a visual artist and professor at Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Johnsen is based in Bergen and Tromsø. She works with light, transparency and textiles. Her most recent solo exhibition, Transparent, has been shown at a number of art museums and galleries.

She is also involved in a research programme: