Nika Schmitt - coin-cidence

‘coin-cidence’ is a kinetic sculpture that searches its path on uneven surfaces.

‘coin-cidence’ is a kinetic sound sculpture that consists of two motor-driven cymbals that roll around uncontrollably. Continuously rolling left and right, forwards and then backwards, the cymbals roll around, bumping into walls, corners and into each other. Thereby the cymbal-robots encounter the limitation and characteristics of the interior space. A playful sound intervention that makes little cracks, stones or stand on the floor audible through subtle noises and rattle sounds of cymbals.

This sound intervention is part of a series called ‘rolling things’. The first edition emerged during the art residency ‘sonic explorers’ in 2020 in Dakar (SE). Nika Schmitt analysed the traffic and shifting sound dynamics of markets and other public spaces and decided to create a performative moving unit, built of two calabash-halves (‘calabasse’: multipurpose fruit of Senegal). This moving object was then placed in the midst of the encountered traffic situation of Dakar. The calabashes are joined back to back by a battery-powered motor and move autonomously from one side to the other to find their way on the pavement and soils. Occasionally, pedestrians stopped and watched, while others ignored and passed by. It became a spontaneous intervention that showed a somewhat familiar object exhibiting an unknown and unpredictable movement. The sounds of the environment are merged with the buzzing noise of the motor and the crunching sound of sand and stones under the rolling “calebasses”. The calabash performance was shown in the form of a video at the open studios.

The second edition is ‘Con-tainers’, two coupled water gallons exhibited at the Künsterforum Bonn in 2021. Comparable to tumble weeds, this version is an expression of objects without apparent purpose that roll around aimlessly. The motorised gallon bottle-halves are moving through space, bumping into each other and thereby changing the direction. Bored but restless, both engage with the floor and the walls of the physical space.

‘coin-cidence’ is the latest version and was shown during ‘Raar- sound series’ at ‘Een Kunstcentrum Charlois’ in Rotterdam (NL). Representing a type of kinetic fortune fountain, the visitors were invited to throw coins on the floor for the connected cymbals to roll over them. Occasionally a ‘tss’ sound could be heard whenever a cymbal-robot coincidentally rolled over a coin.


Nika Schmitt, born in Luxembourg, is an independent sound artist. Currently based in Rotterdam, she makes site specific electromechanical installations and kinetic sculptures.

In 2017 Nika completed her "Bachelor of Fine Arts" cum laude and received the ‘Gilbert de Bontridder Prijs 2017’ award. Subsequently, Nika Schmitt received the ‘Sonotopia ’award for sound installations in 2018. In 2021 Nika graduated from the master program at the 'Interfaculty ArtScience’ in the Hague(NL) with the work ‘LOOP’ and received the ‘ArtScience Master Prize’.

The goal of Nika Schmitt’s recent work is to demonstrate fundamental processes in the physical world through energy transductions, material wear and tear or self-destruction in machines. Combined with elementary principles of physics the works mimic complex dynamics of the universe through slapstick-alike mechanic performances.

A project developed by, and is part of the National Cultural Program "Timișoara - European Capital of Culture in 2023" funded by Timișoara's Municipality through the Projects Center and the Center for Culture and Art of Timiș County fom public funds allocated by the Ministry of Culture.

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Sonic Narratives

Sonic Narratives