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Carsten Nicolai: rota

By Ivo Wessel

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Carsten Nicolai: rota

The work rota could be considered an experimental construction that is supposed to unite scientific research and artistic production. The installation deals with the effects of audiovisual stimulation on human perception.

Referring to an existing room installation of the same name this application causes a stroboscopic visual effect, which, depending on the rotation speed produces changing frequencies of flickering light impulses that are also transformed into sound. According to scientific research these impulses may have a direct effect on the brain waves of the spectator causing a neural feedback that can simulate different types of mental conditions like trance, meditation, relaxation or stress.

Especially the dream and mind machines developed by Brion Gysin during the beatnik era since the 1950s were supposed to produce alpha waves to expand human consciousness and have been influential to the present work. rota therefore presents an experimental set-up that allows the viewers to experience in what way light impulses might influence their own brain activity and if special functions of the brain – like relaxation, attention, learning potential and hence creativity – might potentially be controllable.

Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin und PaceWildenstein

Set the backlight under "Settings" to maximum. Due to the stroboscopic effects people with disposition to epileptic seizures should not use this application.

A project by Ivo Wessel and Gerd Harry Lybke.

e-art-app no. 1:
Carsten Nicolai. rota. 2009

iPhone Screenshots

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Customer Reviews


This app is great for those who are interested in altering their brainwaves for desired states of consciousness. If you are familiar with binaural beats, it is much of the same concept only visual. To me this helps tremendously with my meditation, as binaural beats have little to no effect on me. Recently, I considered buying a dream machine, but after discovering this app I no longer need one as it performs the same tasks and is MUCH cheaper.
My only complaint is that you can't change the colors, but this really is irrelevant as I would probably stick with black/white.
This app works better than any binaural beat program I have ever used, and I have tried very many. It offers fine tune control over the frequency unlike other programs that may simply name their programs (creativity boost, etc.)
If you want to expand your mind, look no further. This app is revolutionary.

gysin's dreamachine remediated

Xlnt job adapting Gysin's Dreamachine for this medium. Thanks to the built-in slider variability w/ info. It worked great for years, but the most recent iOS 8.? has removed the slider bars. Wish I'd never updated my iPhone! Perhaps in an update this bug will be fixed. Maybe the option of manually entering a numerical value for the flicker rates would solve it? At any rate- I really enjoy the strobe in conjunction w/ isochronic tone generators & binaural beats apps. Thanks!

Minimal and beautiful

There's something really beautiful seeing an argubly high tech device rendering such simple patterns and yet resonating far beyond many of the more elaborate music/art/games developed for this media/form...
Carsten's aesthetic literally shines through this app.


Carsten Nicolai: rota
View in iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Category: Music
  • Released:
  • Version: 1.0
  • Size: 0.4 MB
  • Languages: English, German
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 2.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

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