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Anton Hasell
3D Printed Difference-Tone Bell

Djadjawurung Country
Mia MIa, VIC, Australia


“If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla.

This 3D Printed Difference Tone Bell pushes the boundaries of traditional bell fabrication and was developed after the artist was commissioned to invent, cast and tune 10 ‘difference tone’ bronze bells for the 10,000 year clock project in the USA. The artist achieved this innovation in design through research into bell acoustic effects of 3D printing in direct-metals in an ANAT Synapse residency with Dr Daniel East at CSRIRO’s Lab 22. The resulting ‘difference-tone’ bell generates a pitch an octave below the lowest frequency of the bell from which it is fabricated, and is therefore half the scale of other bell designs at every pitch.

In many cultures bells mark the beginning or ending of something. English speakers may be familiar with the phrase “for whom the bell tolls” penned in a poem written by the 17th century writer John Donne and popularised through the publication of Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 book whose title borrowed the phrase from Donne’s poem. The tolling refers to funeral bells, and Donne’s poem suggests that whatever affects one person affects us all. In this exhibition’s wider  examination of life, the striking of the bell asks us to consider, in the midst of the 6th great extinction, for whom does the bell toll and reminds us that all life forms are interdependent.

The bell also points to more recent scientific understandings of the makeup of the universe. Quantum physics reassesses the Newtonian universe of a world assembled of physical parts. Through the pioneering work of Albert Einstein, Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg, among others, the world of quantum entanglement containing photon, quark, lepton and boson particles has emerged. These discoveries have been expressed more recently through String Theory, the idea that everything in the universe, every particle of light and matter, is composed of miniscule vibrating strings.

At its core all matter shares this state of vibration, made perceptible by resonance and here given expression by this unique bell. This artwork invites us to contemplate the very foundations of life, beyond our human scale.

Anton Hasell acknowledges the support from: Australian Network Art and Technology (ANAT) Synapse Residency; CSIRO Lab 22

The Artist
Anton Hasell

Anton Hasell is an artist living in Central Victoria exploring the use of both traditional and digital tools in the design of bells, interactive public-space installation, sculpture and printmaking.