Zikaden installation was introduced by Tonoptik in August 2016 in
Saint-Petersburg. Built into the city park it is an experimental audio-visual composition generated in real-time with
source of more than thirty device units. These devices operate according to
certain algorithms, with some probability defining the nature of sound and its
role in the overall rhythmic structure. Built-in LEDs generate light pulses
repeating sound intervals, thus accompanying its generation in details.

All devices are divided into three groups, and each of these groups has its
allowable band of quantitative sound characteristics and specific set of input
data for the algorithm, which describes the rhythmic pattern at the current
time interval. Together they form a polyrhythmic structure complicated by
random input data variable over time. This structure is distorted under the
influence of physical factors affecting the continued operation of
microcontrollers.

The basic rhythmic pattern of the installation makes up the Euclidean
rhythms. To generate rhythms, an Bjorklund algorithm is used. Initially this
algorithm was designed to solve the problem considered by Bjorklund in
connection with the operation of certain components of Spallation Neutron
Source (SNS) accelerators used in nuclear physics. Time is divided into
intervals and during some of these intervals a gate is to be enabled by a
timing system that generates pulses that accomplish this task.

This algorithm corresponds to one of the oldest known algorithms described
in the "elements" of Euclid. Today it is called the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common
divisor of two given integers. If these two numbers are equal respectively to
the number of ones and zeros in a binary sequence, then the structure of the
Euclidean algorithm is the same as the structure of the Bjorklund algorithm.

Such binary sequences may be represented as a family of rhythms called
Euclidean due to relations of structures of these elements. Thus, the algorithm
above allows to generate rhythms in a wide variety of styles, ranging from the
Persian rhythms of the thirteenth century to the Afro-Cuban pieces for
percussion or rhythms that are inherent in many modern performers.

To animate the generated composition and to vary, following the experiments
of the musician and architect Yanis Xenakis, used stochastic function. Xenakis
referred as an example to natural phenomena such as the sound of the knocking of the rain on the roof or the singing
of cicadas. Sound effects, considered as a whole, but composed of dozens of
individual sounds. These sounds together form a flexible holistic phenomenon, transforming
in time.

Each sound can be decomposed into: duration, frequency, interval, and
number of pulses. And each such component is defined by using probabilistic
algorithms. At the same time, the used microcontrollers allow to generate random numbers caused by
the analogue noise transmitted to one of the inputs. In contrast to the
generation of pseudo-random values that guarantees a non-repeatable sequence of
received values (unless such repetition is not an accident).

Considering the fact that each device works independently of the others,
the overall composition at different periods of time can be almost chaotic or,
vice versa, evolved in a graceful rhythmic structure by the action of probabilistic functions. Thus, due to
random coincidences generated using the Bjorklund algorithm rhythms sometimes
remind of some natural phenomena, intuitively unavailable for exact
systematization, but from time to time turning into complexly structured
polyrhythmic patterns.

**Equipment:**

30 devices with built in micro-controller, batteries, led
and speaker

**Exhibitions:**

·
Raster
Electric Campfire, 2018, QuartaRiata Residency of Arts
& Technology, St. Petersburg

·
Science Fest 2018,
Planetarium 1, St. Petersburg

·
Access Point festival 2016, the park area of St. Petersburg and Peter
the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University