Wave Harmonies engages the audience - individual interactor or group of participants - in the creation and manipulation of waveforms displayed as Lissajous figures. Lissajous figures are graphic representations of the interaction of two periodic waveforms. A figure is constructed on the screen by modulating the position of a point in space both horizontally and vertically. If frequencies are equal to or multiples of one another, they produce visual harmonics resulting in organized patterns. In our interpretation of this principle, the audience uses colored cards to control the horizontal and vertical motion of a point moving on a screen.
A secondary but no less interesting characteristic of the work is its social aspect. Depending upon one's distance from the camera/screen, a single participant may be able to fill the screen with a color, and thus assume full responsibility for the patterns created, or participants may work together to achieve the same level of control (exerted by amount of each color in the camera's view), thus interacting with one another.
Wave Harmonies was originally commissioned (under the title Waiting in Line) by the Museum of Science and Industry for their summer 2003 performance/installation series Experiments in Science and Art.
It was exhibited at Northwestern University, 5/04, in the Performing the Imagination festival.