Vector Synthesis Laser Workshop Helsinki

Posted in Announcement on February 14th, 2020 by admin

The Vector Synthesis workshop, led by sound and light artist Derek Holzer over three full days, investigates the direct relationship between sound and image. It draws inspiration from the media archaeology of computer graphics, and from obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor, combined with contemporary laser display techniques. This workshop is ideal for musicians, sound artists, and visual artists who want to work with laser imagery.

Participants will learn how to draw Lissajous figures, render simple two- and three-dimensional shapes, and process photographs and video into vector artwork which can be displayed on oscilloscopes and ILDA laser displays using audio signals. These vector shapes can also be further modified in real time using external audio sources such as voice, amplified instruments, or electronic synthesizers provided by the participants.

The core of the workshop will be ready-to-use examples written in the Pure Data programming language.

A presentation of pieces created in the workshop is planned for the final evening, where participants will show their creations on the laser with sound.

The language of this workshop is English. The fee for the participants is EUR 50. The maximum amount of participants is 12.


• Experience with Pure Data is not required to participate, beginners are welcome.
• Participants are required to attend all three days of the course
• Participants are required to bring their own laptops with software installed according to pre-event instructions sent by email.
• Participants should bring any external audio interface or MIDI controller they would like to use, however neither are required.


28.2–1.3.2020, 12–18 daily
The first day is devoted to a technical overview of possibilities, and the following two days to experimentation and development of a demo to be projected on the final evening.
1.3. 18–20 public presentation

How to apply?

The participants are chosen in order of enrollment. To apply, send mail (in Finnish or English) to, including your full name and phone number. The first applicants will get confirmation and instructions for paying the course fee. The fee must be paid in three days and is non-refundable.

There’s a quota of 50% for members of FLASH (the Finnish Light Art Society Helsinki). This only applies to members, whose membership fee has been paid. Please state your membership status, if you’re applying in this quota.

Workshop Supervisor

Derek Holzer (USA 1972) is a sound + light artist based in Helsinki & Berlin, whose current interests include DIY electronics, audiovisual instrument building, the relationship between sound and space, media archaeology, and participatory art forms. He has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations since 2002 across Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.

Holzer will be assisted in this workshop by sound and visual artist Jani Hietanen, who is also a student of Sound in New Media at Aalto University.

Further Information

You can see examples of what you might do here:

You can view the Vector Synthesis code here:

FLASH is most grateful to AVEK, The Governing Body of Suomenlinna and JT-Laser for supporting the workshop.
FLASH website

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