neodym cycle

neodym cycle – published on the DEGEM CD Seltene Erden Rare Earths

Neodym belongs to the group of rare earths.
Special property: Strongly magnetizing.
Application: Design of super-strong magnets like Neodym-Iron-Bor-Magnets, strong magnet fields for small volumes: Turbines or highly effective electro motors, microphones or loudspeakers in smartphones, operators (hybrid- und electro-motors), enamel colours, blue porzelain colour, glas colours, sun protection glas, laser.
Specific weight: 6,8 g/cm3
Melting point: 1.024 °C
Mass fraction/Geosphere: 22 ppm.

The exploitation of rare earths is complex, never sustainable and extremely lucrative. Behind the high economical endeavours stands an idiology that parallel to political, sociological and global considerations is deduced from a simple equation: a growing demand is served while consumption is promoted at the same time to increase demand again.

This process is irreversible and omits any thoughts (form, law) outside its function. It starts somewhere in time and proceeds until resources dry up or the costs of exploitation exceed the profits. This autarkic and autistic process has no awareness of being the product of a second deduction at the same time: It destroys the conditions that have benefited it: Environment (“nature”), society (as a coded complex of norms e.g. right/wrong) and identities (local entities become globally transformed and generalised). We are contemporary witnesses, without voices or votes, however part of the problem, as we are the system’s prerequisites. As consumers we are starting point and objective of the process almost independently from our believes, our political persuasions or even philosophical approaches. A group of circuit breakers, convicted deniers, that could add up to a relevant critical mass is imaginable locally but globally less realistic than the capacity of unleashed and uncontrollable capitalism. Or are we gonig to give our laptops back? In no way, not on any account! Even the beauty of the thought will not alter the fact.

A neodym-microphone and a neodym-speaker where placed at a distance of 100 cm to create a feedback. The loop was fed by a computer that scans three samples. An algorithm dissects the incoming signal again and again and gives the grains out as an almost continous new signal. The feedback is accompanied by new material until the speaker cannot transmit the signal properly anymore because of his design, the membrane deforms, distorts and breaks. The acoustic occurences in space have been recorded with a stereo microphone and a fullsphere microphone (Shoeps KFM 6) as technical quasi-witnesses.

Software patch: Thomas Musil

The piece will be listened to quite likely with neodym headphones or speakers.


More Projects