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His mobile sound sculptures resemble futuristic vehicles designed to take far-off galaxies by storm. Their black membranes are the only clue to the loudspeaker systems that Nik Nowak has integrated seamlessly behind the angular surfaces. Music inspires the artist, driving him to push ahead and craft new sound sculptures in which art and music merge.
Nik Nowak created his first sound sculpture in 2005 – “Mobile Booster”, a bright green, wheeled object made of steel, wood and fibreglass. Even way back then, it naturally featured high-end audio equipment and loudspeakers.▼ Article continues below ▼
Boasting a far more forbidding look, Nowak’s matt-black trike is a creation that clears a path for itself and leaves booming soundscapes in its wake. His most famous sculpture is the “Soundtank”, a mini dumper weighing 1.5 tons that the artist transformed into a 4,000-watt sound system with a hydraulically-levered wall of sound. It consists of four tweeters, six 12-inch mid/bass woofers and three 18-inch subwoofers. Hidden away in the cockpit is a DJ station with integrated production studio.
Just like his sound sculptures, Nik Nowak doesn’t stand still, and his next project “Echo” is already under way. Right now he is working on ground drones, autonomous robots he will use to blast his audience with sound. Fitted out with directional microphones, they run on their own and use sensors to detect people. “Drohne 1” picks up the sounds its target makes and uses a parametric speaker to generate a directional echo that sends the sounds straight back to their source. “Drohne 2” amplifies the sounds or conversations of gallery visitors via a gigantic sound system attached to a mast. This creates background noise made of individual sources of sound that is audible to everyone. It’s an acoustic experiment at the interface between the private and public spheres.
Highly mobile and unstoppable – the drones’ drive is just like Nik Nowak’s own. Never resting, always searching for the next connection between man, sound and machine.
What’s your MOMENTUM?
Nik Nowak has MOMENTUM. Working with unique people like this, Sennheiser together with Spotify, is telling the stories of a hugely diverse yet 100% inspirational group of 100 people, following their journeys and learning more about their passion, their lives and their own personal MOMENTUM. They’re people with a passion and connection to sound that has taken form in many different ways. People who go further than others. People who know what others don‘t know. People who do things, that haven‘t been done before. People who push the world ahead. People with MOMENTUM. This spirit, this commitment to the core to create something that is special, unique and that has uncompromised authenticity and substance is what Sennheiser seeks to celebrate and discover over the course of the MOMENTUM project.
Along with those people, Sennheiser will be passing this inspiration forward asking others “What’s your MOMENTUM?” – inviting them to join the global MOMENTUM community by adding their own inspirational videos at www.sennheiser-momentum.com. People inspired in turn can add their videos to chains that link connected themes, bringing together ideas about art, music and what it means to live life one step ahead of the crowd.
Everything Sennheiser does and every product that is released is based on substance. It’s the quality of the work and the passion for sound, that pushes Sennheiser forward. This is why Sennheiser gave the name MOMENTUM to the premium range of headphones, which fuse uncompromising sound quality, with the highest quality materials and a minimalist design where form elegantly follows function. They capture this unity of purpose and spirit that drives Sennheiser forward. This is MOMENTUM.
About Nik Nowak
Nik Nowak was born in Mainz and now lives in Berlin. The 33-year-old artist studied in Berlin, New York and Shanghai and explores various artistic genres – from the visual arts, to music productions and drawing. He has exhibited his work in China, Germany, Hungary and Russia.
As a big fan of the ghetto blasters and dancehall sound systems of the 1980s, Nowak’s life work explores the themes of sound projection, the interaction of music in public and private spheres, and the interface between man and machine. His is best-known for its distinctive mechanical hybrids of sound systems and vehicles, most prominently “Soundtank.”