Digital Recording for Heritage

Thomas Marks talks to Adam Lowe about thel role of by digital recording and reproduction in the conservation of world heritage, as well as in art-historical interpretation and the creation of contemporary art.

Traditional and Digital Artisans Meet

Adam Lowe presented a talk at Project Space in Art Jameel (Dubai), titled Traditional and Digital Artisans Meet, exploring the ways in which new technologies are being used in both architectural conservation and contemporary art.

Adam Lowe & Carlos Bayod Lucini in conversation with Jorge Otero-Pailos

Podcast Conversation #5 from the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation: Carlos Bayod Lucini & Adam Lowe with Jorge Otero-Pailos.

Spanish experts working in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Paula Duarte interviews Carlos Bayod about the scan job being performed in the tomb of Seti I, the largest Tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Interview with Adam at the Royal Academy of Arts

BBC Radio 4´s John Wilson discusses the function of Factum Arte´s Veronica Scanner and its relevance to the Art World in an interview with Factum´s director, Adam Lowe at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Listen the full programme here.

Nancy Durrant talks about her portrait taken with the Veronica Scanner

Nancy Durrant, commissioning arts editor for ‘The Times’ explains what it is like to have your portrait taken and bust 3D printed from data recorded in the Veronica Scanner with high resolution photogrammetry at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Listen the full programme here:

Adam Lowe, guest of the Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4

Adam Lowe was one of the guests of the Museum of Curiosity programme on BBC Radio 4!
The Museum of Curiosity, is a comedy panel game on BBC Radio 4 hosted by John Lloyd. He acts as the head of the (fictional) titular museum, while a panel of three guests – typically a comedian, an author and an academic – each donate to the museum an ‘object’ that fascinates them. The radio medium ensures that the suggested exhibits can be absolutely anything, limited only by the guests’ imaginations

Listen the full programme here:


Year: 2013
Diffusion: BBC Radio 4
Duration: 15'

Episode 1 "Using technology to save cultural heritage".

Roger Law meets Adam Lowe - the man who can recreate any object in perfect detail. His company Factum Arte has reproduced great works of art, such as Veronese'sThe Marriage at Cana which was taken by Napoleon's troops from Venice and now hangs in the Louvre. Adam created an exact replica which is now displayed in the original setting in the Palladian refectory in Venice. The next challenge was even more ambitious - a life size reproduction of Tutankamun' tomb. Roger Law travels to Madrid to discover the secrets behind these extraordinary creations.

View programme How did they do that?


Artist: Pedro Memmelsdorf for Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Year: 2011;
Diffusion: Mirrored Stereo
Duration: 10'13''

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

On Tuesday 14 June 2011, to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of celebrated Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (14 June 1986 – 14 June 2011), the Fundación Internacional Jorge Luis Borges and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini opened The Borges Labyrinth, a reconstruction of the maze that architect Randoll Coate designed in the writer’s honour. The opening ceremony will feature audio works which juxtaposed the roman chant Alleluia: O Pimenon ton Israhil against interviews with Randoll Coate and readings by Jorge Luis Borges. (Alleluia: O Pimenon ton Israhil was performed by Ensemble Organum).

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Artist: Dionisio González

Year: 2009
Diffusion: 10.2 Channel Audio
Duration: 19'28''

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

A massive audio installation that was the protagonist of Gonzalez's site specific sculpture in the restored chapel at the Museo Patio Herreriano.

The work sought to 'explode' Arnold Schönberg's seminal work Transfigured Night, and aimed to animate both the space and the sculpture by providing dynamics and a narrative to the looming frozen form. Source material was drawn from recordings of Schönberg's work and extracts from the Dehmel poem which originally inspired the composer’s work Verklärte Nacht. The sound pieced together used the natural acoustics of the space to filter and reverberate the sound and featured specially recorded string parts.

2009-10. Museo Patio Herreriano. Valladolid, Spain. Dionisio Gonzalez’s installation Transfigured Schönberg.

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Artist: Nathaniel Robin Mann

Year: 2009

Experiments with non-Newtonian fluid/speaker cones/signal generators.

By mixing cornflour with a heavy liquid it is possible to create three-dimensional manifestations like those Margaret Watts Hughes generated with her Eidophone. The frequency of the sound initially forms Chladni patterns in the thick mixture, but as the volume is increased these rise into finger-like protrusions that act like the Hydra, generating new fingers as they collapse.

2009. Anish Kapoor. Unconformity and Entropy. (p.246-247). Features the experiments into 3-Dimensional Sound as a reference in the Apophenic Appendix.
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Artist: Lara Baladi

Year: 2008
Duration: 19'
Diffusion: 4.1 Channel Audio
Composed in collaboration with Ángel López de la Llave

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended) of:
Movement One
Movement Two
Movement Three

The audio component of Lara Baladi’s ephemeral installation Borg El Amal, Winner of the ‘Grand Nile Award’ at the 2008 Cairo Biennale.

By examining the melodic shifts found naturally within donkeys’ braying, a sinfonietta in three movements was elaborated. Original recordings of brays were digitally processed, edited and otherwise ‘tuned’ to lead the composition as the principal singing voice.

Idea and Direction - Lara Baladi
Symphony inspired by Henryk Gorecki's symphony 3#, op36 1976
Composition: Nathaniel Robin Mann and Ángel López de la Llave
Arrangement, Processing and Production:
Nathaniel Robin Mann
Instruments recorded at:
Play Art Studios Madrid by Andy Dufill

Soprano: Mónica Muñoz
Flute, Reed & Wind Instruments: Jose Manuel Pizarro
Cello & Viola da Gamba: Ángel López de la Llave
Violin: Dacian Marin
Donkeys: Burrolandia, Tres Cantos Madrid

2008. Cairo Biennale. Afroplis, City, Media Art at the Rautenstrach-Joest Museum, Cologne, Germany.
Environment and Object in Recent African Art at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, New York, USA.
Audio CD published with the book HOPE by Lara Baladi.

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`ELEGÍA 1938´

Artist: Dionisio González

Year: 2008
Diffusion: 4.1 Channel Audio
Duration: 19'08''

See the video

Simulated audio of a slow-motion explosion to accompany the video.

2008 ARCO Madrid. Galeria Max Estrella.

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Artist: Nathaniel Robin Mann

Year: 2008
Duration: 15'
Format: 5.1 Channel installation

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

Fifteen minute context-specfic sound composition designed to accompany the work Islamic Mirror by Anish Kapoor.

To generate source material several experiments were designed to exploit the innate acoustic properties of the sculpture itself:
- The hexagon mirror dish was transformed into a huge microphone and subsequently induced to feed-back upon itself.
- The 4475 individual hexagons from the sculpture were cast against a concrete surface to create a cascading micro-tonal cacophony.
- The reflective properties of the concave dish were exploited to repeatedly reflect and re-record sounds: effectively using the dish as a giant acoustic filter.

The final work, which recreated aurally a spectator's exploration of the sculpture, also heavily referenced the presence of water in the writings of Sufi Philosopher Ibin Arabe.

Go to the Anish Kapoor project


Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Year: 2007
Duration: Variable
Diffusion: Stereo

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

Audio recordings of Factum Arte’s flatbed printer were made during the production of a 1:1 scale facsimile of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. The sound of the printer's mechanisms were ‘tuned’ to the notes of Leonardo's ‘secret requiem’ as theorised by Giovanni Maria Pala: his conjecture suggests that Leonardo encoded musical notes in his placement of the bread rolls within the painting.

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Artist: Marc Quinn

Year: 2006
Duration: 26'01''
Diffusion: Stereo
In collaboration with Alfonso Reverón, Adam Lowe and Marc Quinn.

See the video

Video Installation in the exhibition: Genesis: Life at the end of the information age at the Centraal Museum Utrecht.

This work examined the various states and processes in the creation of a large bronze sculpture: an exploded popcorn kernel, which had been digitally scanned and scaled in 3D.

Through the soundtrack we endeavored to transmit a sense of process, proportion, dimension, mass, force and texture that moving image alone is incapable of fully rendering. Diverse experimental techniques were developed during a two week residency at the bronze foundry; which included embedding microphones in the moulds and casts at various stages of the creation of the sculpture and re-interpreting the 3D data as audio.

2007. Centraal Museum Utrecht within the exhibition:Genesis: Life at the end of the information age.

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Artist: Lara Baladi

Year: 2008/2010
Format: 5.1 Channel Installation
Duration: 13'28''

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

Sound installation to provide an embracing backdrop to Lara Baladi's exhibition.

Readings from coffee cups weave a subtle and moving narrative in Arabic and French cultures upon a shifting strata of textural sounds sourced from coffee related paraphernalia.

2008. Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival. Bluecoat gallery. Liverpool. Lara Baladi’s installation Diary of the Future. Sound design.
2010. Århus Kunstbygning Aarhus Denmark. Lara Baladi’s installation: Diary of the Future. Sound design.

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Artist: Dionisio González

Year: 2010
Diffusion: Mirrored 2.1 Channel Installation
Duration: 10'16''

Listen to an extract (headphones recommended):

Soundtrack to accompany Gonzalez's Hanoi inspired installation of exhaust pipes and smoke. The work created a rhythmic and pulsating symphony of Vietnamese moped/motorcycle exhausts sounds, and contrasted them with the traditional Vietnamese instrument the “Khene”.

2010. Novalis Contemporary Art. Turin Italy. Dionisio Gonzalez’s installation Organogramas

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