Welcome to the website of artist, multi-disciplinary technologist, director, hacker, and composer Martin Backes

Interactive audiovisual installation ’Gedankenscherz’

I did a collaboration project with Daniel Franke from We Are Chopchop & Focus + Echo for this interactive audiovisual installation called ’Gedankenscherz’. I composed all the music and was also responsible for the sound interaction design.

Gedankenscherz – Interactive (gesture controlled) audiovisual installation. A detailed video documentation will follow soon!


The museum of the future must be alive! This was the most important insight that Gottfried Wilhlem Leibniz gained from his research trips through Europe. The utopia that he described in his 1675 essay, Drôle de Pensée (Funny Thought = Gedankenscherz), combines a collector’s seriousness with entertaining spectacles, and research laboratories with gaming lounges. His basic idea of breaking with traditional viewing habits and communicating knowledge playfully comes very close to the approach of the Humboldt-Forum as a contemporary art and cultural center that gets involved with the world and its questions.

Together with »Focus + Echo« and »We Are Chopchop«, I have interpreted the fantasies of Leibniz anew. The digital homage to »Gedankenscherz«, in which the visual and aural worlds of the 17th Century are explored interactively and intuitively, refers to the erstwhile cabinet of wonders of the Berlin Palace and could become part of the entrance installation at the Humboldt-Forum. Text by Humboldt Lab Dahlem


The visitors are captured by an infrared camera (kinect) in front of the installation. Through gesture control, visitors are able to navigate through 5 different worlds. My task was to transfer the each world and its elements into sound. With the help of infrared camera, computer, and software, the visitors’ movements are translated in realtime to the corresponding world and its elements.

Here are three audio excerpts of the installation, the navigation world and two of the five themes

Exhibition Probebühne 1

The exhibition »Probebühne 1« including the »Gedankenscherz-Installation« is open to the public. Everyone is more than welcome to come by and experience this unique installation.

Dates: March 14th – May 12th 2013
More information here: Kulturstiftung des Bundes