Fabian Winkler in collaboration with Wolfgang Käppner and the Karlsruhe Research Center

Noze is an interactive installation that explores and visualizes olfactory processes relating to humans and machines. It shows the similarities and differences between human and robotic perceptions of fragrances. In the process, noze translates invisible aroma information into novel images.

Installation Setup
Technically, the project is based on three challenging technologies developed at the Karlsruhe Research Center (FZK): an electronic nose (a smelling sensor), an artificial neural network (analyzing incoming odor data), and a fluidic actuator moving the nose.

Upon entering the exhibition space, visitors will first see 5 aroma terminals, each equipped with a bottle of scented oil (orange, rosemary, peppermint, lavender and litsea cubeba). Colored spotlights establish a color code for each scent and allow the visitor to distinguish aromas visually. Using a disperser, visitors are invited to create individual "fragrance cocktails", mixing different scented oils on a tree shaped paper card. In this process, nothing of the original color code is visible on the paper card. Individual fragrance cocktails can only be distinguished by their aroma. Exhibition visitors then present their aromatized paper card to the electronic nose, integrated into a bionic snout. The snout literally "sniffs" at the cards and analyzes each fragrance mixture in realtime. Based on a constantly evolving pattern recognition algorithm, the fragrance information is translated back into the original color code and dynamic three-dimensional structures. These ephemeral real-time computer-generated aroma architectures represent the result of the fragrance classification.

  • noze is part of the permanent collection of the Karlsruhe Research Center, Kalrsruhe, Germany
  • Erde 2.0, (Earth 2.0) 50 Jahre Land Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany, July 2002
  • SENSOR, international fair for sensor applications, Nürnberg, Germany, May 2001
  • Fiction and Science, lothringer13/halle gallery, Munich, Germany, March 2001