Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU
The building of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) at Gløshaugen in Trondheim was opened by King Harald on 30 May 2000. It has a surface area of 60,000 square meters and can accommodate 3000 students.
Arne Nordheim and Carl Nesjar, together with other artists, were invited to decorate the interior with art. They chose to create the installation Gilde på Gløshaugen [The feast at Gløshaugen], running across the whole building. They combined electronic music with a light installation. Nesjar's Uten tittel [Untitled] consists of perspex layered cubes with neon tubes of various colour and intensity pulsating light in accordance with sounds generated after an idea by Nordheim. The installation reacts with light and sound to various factors: temperature, wind speed, daylight, rain and even the number of people present in the building. The pulsation of the neon and the sounds are combined and controlled by a single computer. The software for the installation was written by Sigurd Suae from the Telecommunications Institute. The computer's selections are dependent on data provided by the meteorological station on the roof of the Natural Sciences Faculty. The speed at which the sound material is sequenced depends on the indications of infrared sensors on counters by doors in various parts of the building. The more passers-by are recorded by a counter over a set time period, the quicker are the sequences. The sound material is divided into three layers, with separate space distribution, combined with a specific shade of colour in Nesjar’s cubes. Thirty-two speakers transmit the sound into three atriums and the building's concourse. As a result of all this, many years may pass before the same sequence is heard for a second time.
Interestingly, the computer is programmed in such a way that on the birthdays of seven composers one of the sequences will dominate in the sound image. Bach (21 March) is celebrated by the sound of a rolling stream I, Mozart (27 January) by the sound of dripping water II (in the sun), Beethoven (16 December) by the bubbling of a stream II (in the rain), Bruckner (4 September) by the noise of an exploding primer in a shotgun, Mahler (7 July) by the calling of cattle in a mountain meadow, Schönberg (13 September) by the hum of a thin tape 2 (in the sun) and Nordheim (20 June) by a sunray. A singularity occurs at 8 a.m. on 2 June, when, for reasons unknown, all seven sequences are played simultaneously.
Alfa Alfa is a musical work simulating a possible sequence in this installation.