Networked art non profit Turbulence announced two new (sound-related) commissions yesterday - WWW-Enabled Noise Toy by Loud Objects and Moments of Inertia by R. Luke DuBois, with Todd Reynolds. Be sure to check them out - you can read a bit about the works below.
Loud Objects (Kunal Gupta, Tristan Perich and Katie Shima), NYC-based circuit sorcerers, present a wacky way to learn hardware audio programming. The WWW-Enabled Noise Toy invites anyone with a web browser to write their own audio code, program it remotely onto a Noise Toy, and play it live via webcam. In the spirit of “try it yourself” software demos, the website provides a simple environment for experimenting with low-level microchip-generated audio. Load code from the Loud Objects’ own library of performance algorithms, hone your own noise techniques, and add your work to the online archive to share it with other microchip coders and create an open source noise community.
Moments of Inertia is an evening-length performance based on a teleological study of gesture in musical performance and how it relates to gesture in intimate social interaction. The work is written for solo violin with real-time computer accompaniment and video. Moments consists of twelve violin études written for Todd Reynolds - ranging from 1-10 minutes in length - each of which uses a different violin performance gesture as a control input for manipulating a short piece of high-speed film (300 frames-per-second) - of objects and people in motion. Taking its cue from principles in physics that determine an object’s resistance to change, the violinist’s gestures time-remap and scrub the video clip to explore the intricacies of the performed action.
I had the opportunity to drop by LoVid's (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) studio at Smack Mellon in DUMBO this week, where they were awarded space for the 2009 cycle of their Artist Studio Program. In their work, LoVid hack and manipulate video in a myriad of ways -- sewing it into quilts, melding it with resin and foam core to make 3D sculptures, integrating live video feeds into the body of other sculptures, altering it in live performance, or weaving the electric wires that transmit video signals into large textiles. Their practice brings the elemental technologies behind video to the fore, while also emphasizing the interactive systems that trigger them. The below photo essay provides a small preview to some of their recent and older works. To see everything they've been up to, be sure to stop by Smack Mellon's Open Studios on Saturday March 20th from 12-6pm, when LoVid will open up their workspace to the public.
Many scholars within the field of media archaeology opt to focus on the backstory behind an influential medium or technology and map out how its inception and organizational logic (re)shaped the world. An alternative approach is the excavation and arrangement of fringe/forgotten prototypes into an array to problematize dominant historical narratives regarding technological progress. Caleb Kelly's recent text Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction uses two consumer technologies, the phonograph and the compact disc, to survey 20th century musical and artistic production. The book catalogs a broad range of experimentation with these playback technologies to create detailed timelines of misuse and critical engagement. In bracketing this realm of sound-producing practice, Kelly proposes "cracked media," a subversion of technological devices whereby "...tools of media playback are expanded beyond their original function as a simple playback device for prerecorded sound or image." Given the prominence of the glitch and lo-fi malformed digital artifacts everywhere from media art to pop music to web video, it is easy to take the aesthetics of failure for granted. The investigation executed within Cracked Media prefigures many of the discussions that underpin generative and glitch aesthetics by focusing on work that foregrounds and interrogates the materiality of two specific mediums. Kelly methodically tracks projects that subvert the CD and phonograph over the entire 20th century and in doing so he builds a fascinating discourse about musical performance and reproduction that is equally comfortable referencing Friedrich Kittler as DJ Qbert.
Nick Hasty is Rhizome's Director of Technology
Here's my top 5 list of DIY audio art kits to keep you busy in 2010.
Open source, Arduino-based version of the monome controller interface that utilizes usb midi and open sound control. Great for controlling instruments, installations, and performances.
Peter Edwards' Drone Lab is a 4 voice analog drone synth, rhythm generator and FX processor. A great kit from one of the kings of circuit bending.
Simple but powerful kit from the Loud Objects performance group. You can easily integrate your own code to write new low-bit jams.
4ms has been making a wide variety of wonderful and novel instruments for nearly 15 years. These guys are pros and extremely nice to boot.
Open-source version of the Roland TB-303. What more could you ask for?
printed circuit board, wire, components, LEDs (4.5" x 14.5")
"I found a way to translate bitmap images into the circuit design program I was using, and converted actual and recreated images that I made when I was a toddler and a rebellious youth. The drawings are rendered in tin-plated copper on standard circuit board material, and were produced at a professional circuit board manufacturing shop using the same process as any electronic prototype board. The lines in the images are integrated with very simple circuits that illuminate LEDs and a neon lamp."
Technically, the work is executed as an add-on for the Web browser Firefox (v. 2.0.0.*); its execution involves the use of a number of Internet or computer technologies. I myself have executed the program in its entirety, which I emphasize because I consider the idea of the work and the execution of it as an indivisible whole that emerged over a period of development in which these two aspects were constantly interacting....
The image of any give Web page (or the visible part of the Web page if it is bigger than the computer screen) is understood as a matrix that reproduces itself. The size, height, and width of the reproduction are transformed depending on the matrix. The reproduction is placed in a selected section of the matrix and becomes part of it. The process repeats several times. The result is an unrepeatable visual structure that is based on manipulations of the particular Web page.
With recent mistakes by companies and organizations not knowing how to properly censor online documents, its easy to see why people believe the text they can’t see can’t be read. And with computer illiterate people like Rush Limbaugh, it is easy to befuddle them with the apperance of censored text on the web pages they commonly visit.
A playful experiment in “censoring” a web page by hiding text and images behind blocks.
Tumbarumba is a frolic of intrusions—a conceptual artwork in the form of a Firefox extension. Tumbarumba hides stories—twelve new stories by outstanding authors—where you least expect to find them, turning your everyday web browsing into a strange journey.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator