Residency: Ildikó Horváth

STEIM provides support for various types of residencies. Our focus is very much on Sound Art and we support work in development of music technologies, hardware/software for new sound artwork or, for example, development, refinement or modification of personal electronic instruments for music performance.

Currently Ildikó Horváth is one of STEIM’s residents. She is working on her project ‘Sub/liminal soundscapes II’.

Sub/liminal soundscapes II is an interactive sound installation with ceramic cones that are receiving and transmitting sound. The eight ceramic cones have the same base shape but with altered openings and different materials (wood, metal, latex, epoxy, PU, candle wax, glass, wool), applied onto the surface that change the sound accordingly. In other words, they function as mechanical audio filters.

Each object is equipped with a sound transducer and a contact microphone. Sound waves (sine) are conducted into them randomly throughout time, with the specific frequencies of each material and form composition. The objects react to the sine waves with the matching frequencies that results in an amplified oscillation: the material shakes its own “voice”.

The audience is invited to touch the objects to feel their vibration, and to influence the sound composition. By holding their hands on the objects, they can suppress the volume and the sound of their touch on the material travels through the cones. This way the visitors can create their own sound composition. Besides, the installation echoes the sounds and noises of the space around.


Conceptually, the installation focuses on the dynamics of liminal surfaces and the space within and around – inside and outside – to discover how boundaries affect the area they surround. By questioning the origins of the division of space, the installation aims to raise the awareness of an ambivalent state of in-between-ness.

The work is an extension of Ildikó’s earlier work, Sub/liminal soundscapes I, where she worked with the recorded sounds of each object. In Sub/liminal soundscapes II she aimed to improve the sonic aspect of the work to touch upon the physicality of sound. During the residency at STEIM, she has been guided by Fedde ten Berge, Frank Baldé, and former interns Okke van Breemen and Yannick Adriaansen in developing the hardware and software used within the work. Fedde and Okke have built a patch in Pure Data for the installation to control the multiple audio channels and the interaction with the audience. At the moment, the work is in the last development stage through fine tuning the random connections between the microphones and the transducers.

More information about the work of Ildikó can be found on her website: https://ildikohorvath.com/.