Peter Keene

Raoul Hausmann revisited

Peter Keene 2004

0ptophonic installation. Optophonic projectors, analog synthesizers, photomultipliers, amplification system and 4 channel loudspeakers system.

Extrait du catalogue « Sons et Lumières », édition du Centre Pompidou :
The concept of the optophone was invented by Raoul Hausmann, in the early 1920's, a machine producing changing colored images generated from an external sound source. The projected image is scanned by a mechanical system using sensitive light sensors. The voltages derived being used to generate new sounds via a system of oscillators and voltage controlled filters, similar to those used in a modern sound synthesizer. This was very advaced for the early 1920's and needless to say was never built. It remained for almost 80 years or so just an idea.
I was contacted by the gallery Jacques Donguy in the late 1990's to research the eventual possibility of constructing an optophone. I built several prototypes using a mixture of hybrid techniques, eventually arriving at the present model, which in many aspects is still a work in progress.

Optophone,Raoul Hausmann by Peter Keene, 2004