Photo : The Woodpeckers © Anna Anderegg
The Woodpeckers
Marco Barotti
Electromagnetic detection robotic woodpeckers
For everyone
Italian performer, musician, artist and DIY technician Marco Barotti explores the waves generated by our smart phones and wireless technology, and the increasing scarcity of birds in our countrysides and cities. He has developed these surprising robotic woodpeckers that transform electromagnetic frequencies into movements and beats on urban architecture, creating a strange public orchestral symphony that materialises the invisible waves that have invaded our living spaces. The Woodpeckers combines nature and technology to create a beautiful and disturbing visible and audio urban intrusion that raises our awareness of environmental problems.

First there’s the unexpected encounter with these little metal birds – funny looking woodpeckers that tap their beaks on a rain gutter, railing, traffic light or other urban architecture. The tapping sounds like ever-changing Morse code signals, a robotic noise with constant variations, or a new kind of random moving and beating concerto that infiltrates our sound environment. Once you’ve got past the fascination with the acoustic composition created by these little technological wonders, you start to realise that it is the waves generated by our phones and surrounding Wi-Fi that trigger these birds’ movements, materialised into real-time sound signals.

These Woodpeckers make our day-to-day electromagnetic spectrum audible, providing a visible representation of the waves created by mobile communication that now follows us everywhere. These beautiful robotic woodpeckers are musical instruments, technological hybrids, urban disturbers, and educational indicators that move us and speak to us through their aesthetic appeal, acoustic grace and unique beating harmonies. They also have a lot to say about our modern world, quietly, without any grand claims or statements, simply with the elegance and poetry of a beautiful sound installation.


Marco Barotti is a Tuscan-born artist and performer based in Berlin. After studying music at the Sienna Jazz Academy, he began his career as a jazz drummer. He gradually began focusing on sound applied to architecture, design and visual and performing arts, merging the music world with poetic and kinetic sound interventions in natural and urban environments. His installations combine audio technologies, consumer goods and waste that he transforms into mobile sculptures driven entirely by sound. He creates futuristic bubbles and other well-crafted visual and post-technological sound structures, including his strange robotic swans from Swans (2015). He also collaborates regularly with the collectives Asphalt Piloten (Switzerland) and Plastique Fantastique (Berlin).


Concept, réalisation et mise en scène : Marco Barotti.
Regard extérieur : Anna Anderegg.
Assistant : Pim Boreel


Co-produit par : In Situ, Lieux Public, Festival Bildstörung, La Strada Graz, Festival Oerol, Institut des Arts et du Théâtre.
Fondé par : Ministère de la Culture et de la Science du Land de Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie, ville de Detmold, SACD / Auteurs d’Espaces.
Supporté par : Phoenix Contact, Audio Ag, RME, Solutions Gigahertz, Dayton Audio.

Friday 05 July 2019
14:30 > 18:30
Centre ville de Rennes
Saturday 06 July 2019
14:30 > 18:30
Centre ville de Rennes
Sunday 07 July 2019
14:30 > 18:30
Centre ville de Rennes

Station de Métro : République • Lignes de Bus : Toutes les lignes desservant le centre-ville, arrêt République • Station Vélo : République
moteur def_visuel
Skip to content
The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

© TDN 2024