Touched by Sound – a workshop with Boris Shershenkov

BEK 16.03.2024 11.00


BEK invites artists to participate in a workshop in building tactile instruments, led by Boris Shershenkov.

“Touched by Sound” is based on Sonic Acts’ project taking up the legacy of pioneering artist and instrument maker Michel Waisvisz (1949-2008). The project recently debuted at Sonic Acts Biennial 2024, initiated by Tarek Atoui and in collaboration with Kristina Andersen, exploring Waisvisz’s archives as a catalyst for new forms of experimentation. Within this process, Tarek Atoui relates to the process of ‘orality’, or the tradition of passing down knowledge through spoken communication, and the fluid, malleable, ever-adapting quality this endows it with. Waisvisz gained particular recognition for his instruments that were activated by bodily movements, were pressure-sensitive or touchable.

Shershenkov participates in Sonic Acts’ “Touched by Sound” with a new instrument called AudioPuller created with inspiration from Waisvisz’s archive. Coming to Bergen only a couple of weeks later, he will propose to workshop participants to make their own musical interfaces based on the ideas of the TapePuller (1970), the Crackle Box (1974) and Tarek Atoui’s Sub-Ink.

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn how to utilize various sonic materialities in the instrument design and building process, and discuss the inherent tactility of the sound as a medium within electronic music. The instruments will remain at BEK, to be played on during the family day as part of Borealis the following day.

The workshop takes place at BEK on Saturday 16 March from 11:00–16:00. It’s held in English and it is free to participate. Limited spots available. The workshop is now fully booked, send an e-mail to resources(a) to be on the waiting list.

Boris Shershenkov

Boris Shershenkov is an independent artist and researcher, Ph.D. (candidate of technical sciences), educator and musical instrument designer. Focusing on projects that develop new methodologies in technological and sound art, he investigates the relationship between humans and technology combining modern techniques with media archaeological research. Shershenkov did a studio residency at BEK in spring 2023 which ended in a night walk where participants could create a light and sound map of the area around Nordnes. 

Michel Waisvisz

A pioneer in the international world of technological art, electronic sound art, and performance Michel Waisvisz (1949–2008) was a Dutch composer, performer, and inventor of experimental electronic musical instruments. Based on his experiences of playing with shortwave radios as a child, he developed electronic, then later on, digital instruments and software that transform bodily movements into sound. Works including the Crackle Box (1974) and Crackle Synth (1974), both pressure-sensitive, touchable devices, and The Hands (1984), twin MIDI controllers that can be attached to the player’s palms, garnered him international acclaim. These inventions are emblematic of Waisvisz’ passionate dedication to a physical approach to electronic music.His influence only increased after becoming the artistic director of the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam from the 1980s onwards.


BEK’s space unfortunately is not wheelchair accessible. Please send us an email at if you’re using a wheelchair, and we’ll do our best to facilitate your needs. Our space has all gender toilet facilities. Service dogs are welcome. We also provide the option of a quiet room.

The workshop is part of New Perspectives for action, a project by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by The European Union.

Images: 1-2) Prototypes, by Boris Shershenkov 3) Boris Shershenkov. Photo: Rajah Art Foundation