Loops of cassette tape are moved through a transparent mechanical armature to create three dimensional line-drawn scenes of one ship's encounters with variously fantastical, formal, poetic, and personal obstacles. Each sculpture in the series depicts a single event in the ships journey through polar waters, such as One ship struck by lightning, twice, and One ship leaves the South Pole, all directions seem north. The soundtrack on the tape propels the loose narrative, and creates a tumultuous foil for the cool, calm, exterior of each piece. The video documentation cuts between the ambient sound of the gallery and excerpts of the sound heard in headphones attached to each piece.
This software randomly generates house music using the number pi. Pi is the ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference, a number with infinite digits in a random non-repeating sequence.
The software progressively calculates the sequence of digits in pi, starting at 3.14 and progressing towards infinity. As the program calculates the digits, it feeds the results into an algorithmic music generator containing my structural criteria for house music. The resulting piece of house music is infinitely long and static and never repeats itself.
The number of processor cycles required to calculate pi increase with the number of digits it is calculated to. After months or years of playing the song, any fixed computer hardware will be unable to calculate the digits fast enough for the song to play continuously.
The rate that the number of processor cycles increase per pi-digit is bound by the formula N*log(N). However based on Moore's Law, processor power per dollar increases at an exponential rate, doubling every two years. By upgrading computers regularly with market trends, the song can be played indefinitely.
I met with sisters Sarah and Lara Grant of Felted Signal Processing the other week at their Brooklyn apartment. Felted Signal Processing is an ongoing project, which came out of their individual research as graduate students in NYU’s ITP program. Sarah entered the program to further her skills in new media and Lara went to learn how to program, play with hardware and generally learn the electronic side to apply to her interactive fashion. Now graduated, they have teamed together up in their Felted Signal Processing project, which allows them to explore their joint passion for soft circuitry and wearable technology. Together, they build colorful, handmade felt interfaces that allow users to manipulate sound through physical interaction such as pulling, scrunching or stroking. Most of their interfaces are built to output sound, but they are also interested in the development of new materials and techniques for fabricating soft sensors for interfaces that can be hooked up to a variety of outputs. Lara has been felting for 7 years, and they explained that felt is their “dream medium.” Sarah was the first of the two to apply the medium to soft circuitry; the name “Felted Signal Processing” actually came from her thesis, where she hacked a guitar pedal and integrated conductive felt into the circuit, letting users squeeze and scrunch the material in order to literally shape sound. Once Lara embarked on her thesis, she chose to develop a skill set of techniques to create and control variable resistance in soft circuitry. Sarah, a programmer with a background in new media art and a long standing interest in sound, focuses on the software and hardware side of their projects while Lara, who spent years working in fashion and textiles with an emphasis in conceptual ...
With this latest work, the Texas-based artist duo breaks new ground in the development of their sophisticated "story-telling machines". Cliff Hanger's narrative is assembled from five separate scene-generating contraptions that output timed segments of a choreographed black and white "movie". The atmosphere of their work is akin to Ansel Adams and Hiroshi Sugimoto photography imbued with early David Lynch film noir.
The creation of these works is a collaborative process between the artists: Shore develops the mechanics and the set-scenes, while Fisher programs the microchips and composes the soundtracks using original compositions, digital audio samples and mechanically operated instruments. The combination of all these elements results in a poetic complexity that is both surreal and cinematic.
I'm in the Bay Area this week, and I stopped by Important Projects in the Rockridge area of Oakland. Started by SAIC grads and recent Chicago transplants Jason Benson, Sean Buckelew and Joel Dean, Important Projects is run out of the top floor of their house. It reminded me of some of New York's pocket-sized exhibition spaces I've discussed here on Rhizome, like Art Since the Summer of '69. All the exhibits at Important Projects last for four weeks, and so far, they've organized seven shows in total.
They are currently showing Michelle Ceja's M O M E N T U M until September 10th. A fully immersive installation accompanied by a continually building ambient sound loop, the work seemed to deliberately intensify one's sense of claustrophobia and confusion. In that sense, it felt like an enclosed physical version of Ceja's project Silicon Velocity for Jstchillin, while the use of black paint, lights and mirrors recalled Banks Violette's sculptures, but on a smaller scale. I took some shots of the show, see below.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator