LFO Spectrum


Hidden in plain view, LFO Spectrum sits at the top of one of the Park's electricity tunnel head stations.

Reaching 2.5 metres high, LFO Spectrum enlivens a security fence close to the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome. The artwork is an alternative representation of the Olympic Rings. German artist Carsten Nicolai converted the five rings into an image of a low-frequency oscillation (LFO) sound wave. Using the colours of the sunset, the wave was digitally printed onto the fence, with five cycles of intensity that seem to pulse across the artwork.

This was a highly unusual commission – the first known example of artwork on a security fence. The most complex issue was how to print the colours onto the fence so that it could be robust enough for security purposes as well as weather resistant. The team tried numerous methods of applying colour to the fence before discovering a printer in the north of England with facilities large enough to accommodate the vast panels.

Like other installations by Carsten Nicolai, LFO Spectrum questions the certainty of what we see. Here, the different shades of colour alter our perception of the artwork depending on where we stand and the time of day. The varying intensity of the colours means that the fence sometimes appears to be very solid, while at other points, it may seem more transparent.

'“LFO Spectrum is an alternative representation of the Olympic Emblem with the five Olympic Rings transformed into an image of a low-frequency oscillation sound wave.”' Carsten Nicolai