Program

Installations and performances are presented at Aalborg University Copenhagen, A. C. Meyers Vænge 15, DK-2450 Copenhagen SV, while the urban projects are accessed through this website.

Download the location overview and the short guide work introductions, as well as abstracts for the parallel IMAC conference.

Installations and Urban Projects

Monday November 19 – Thursday 22

Paul Goodfellow: Fabled Eye Accommodates Revelation

Simon Nielsen og Anders Monrad: ERVAX 2 for 2

Marcelina Wellmer: Error 404 502 410

Andreas Busk-Jepsen and Lasse Thorning: Soulmates

Ann Oren and Zevan Rosser: Color Occurrence

Leila Nadir Cary Peppermint: Indeterminate Hikes+

Rui Guerra and David Jonas: unCloud

Performance

Tuesday November 20 at 20:00 - Port Space

Phivos-Angelos Kollias: Ephemeron

Andrew Brown: Improvised Interactions
– Andrew Brown, computer

Quiet Ensemble: Allegoria
– Kirstine Elise Pedersen, cello

Matteo Marangoni: Echo Moiré – Sonic Vehicles

Program note – installations

Fabled Eye Accommodates Revelation is an art system that highlights the combinatory possibilities of language in ʻdigital systemsʼ, and our collusion in such distributed literal systems in society, (such as Google). It questions the ascendency of the image by contrasting screen-based outputs and hand screen-printed outputs from the system. This piece directly confronts Marshall McLuhanʼs idea of “The medium is the message” in the sense that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. Paul Goodfellow is interested in how the viewer’s response to communication, transported through text and phrases, is mediated by the medium. Exploring this, he will present and compare a computer that randomly generates phrases in real-time with a set of screen-printed prints of phrases that were randomly generated, using the same computer algorithm. The physical quality of the screen-printed work and a challenging palette of colours have the potential to act as visual interference to the message.

EARVAX for 2 is a videogame with adaptive music parts. The Game is a quirky mixture of retro, arcade videogameaesthetics and serial/60′s avant-garde music aesthetics: Nancarrow meets Space Invader. It is an interactive art installation in the form of a frame from an arcade game installation from the eighties and a highly contemporary interactive set up. The installation will be placed in a dark room where it lights up and attracts the viewers to take part in the spectacular game. It is partly videogame and partly a generative music application, that works from direct interaction with two players. The two players have the possibility to create their own unique musical realization of ERVAX for 2 from playing the game.

Error 404 502 410 is a generative sound installation based on the phenomenon of a server error. 3 customized hard disks exposed on the wall each with an embedded microphone, amplify a hard disk error or failure. The rarely noticed sounds, which accompany hard disk errors or connection failures, are normally not perceived terms of aesthetics. The installation reveals the audio qualities of technical damages and presents them as audible aesthetics. In the PC housings the disks turn on an endless loop, their rhythm is disrupted by a randomness factor. The letters engraved on the surface of the disks refers to the error code: 404 – “Not Found”, 502 – “Bad Gateway”, 410 – “Gone”. These are the names of the particular errors that make the loop stumble, readable only when the disk stops. This paradox, that attempting to access the information about the work, we lose contact with it, and while experiencing the work, we become unable to read the text. This cognitive dissonance is derived from a reflection on an error as one of the most immanent features of a computer as a cultural machine. If software is a set of formal instructions prepared for a computer to follow and fulfil, this work negates the software functionality.

UVB-76 is an enigmatic Russian short-wave radio station. It sends out a tone 30 times per minute. It has done this since 1982. Nobody knows why! Soulmates is a sound installation that encapsulates its audiences in darkness and sound. The total darkness of the installation plays with human perception and by removing light from the installation environment creates a frameless and infinite space, where consciousness is filled with electronic soundscapes and poetry that emerges with recordings of the Russian short-wave radio station UVB-76.

Color Occurrence is an interactive and participatory media art piece, which is constructed out of colors named by online contributors worldwide. An emergent text work is linking color as it is interpreted in spoken language with Twitter. When you write on the Color Occurrence website you can connect and associate a word or phrase with a color of your own choice. The color database becomes a personal, current, “spoken language”, and color library. The project selects at random a color name from the database, when a color is selected, a Twitter search is performed for tweets containing this color name and the tweets are displayed, generating a cross among international cyber communities. The work will be displayed in the Rotunda with large-scale colorful projections and the audience will be able to interact with the piece online from all over the world or directly in real time by the installation from a computer connected to Color Occurrence database.

The borders between what is ‘urban’ and what is ‘rural’ are shifting, as concepts like ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ progressively fuse. By 2030, approximately 60% of the global population will live in urban space. Clearly the line between where humankind exists, and where it does not, needs reframing. Indeterminate Hikes+ responds to this fusion, this blurring, this collaboration – projecting natural landscapes onto the urban landscape. Indeterminate Hikes+ is a mobile phone app that transforms everyday landscapes into sites of bio-cultural diversity and wild happenings, and the bascamp.exe installation psychically prepares hikers for Indeterminate Hikes+ wilderness excursions. Most of us use our smartphones as instruments of rapid communication and consumerism. Indeterminate Hikes+ re-appropriates this technology as a tool of environmental imagination and meditative wonder, renewing awareness of the places we inhabit and slowing us down at the same time. The app imports the experience of wilderness into virtually any place accessible by Google Maps, encouraging its participants to treat these locales as spaces worthy of the attention usually accorded only to nature, such as canyons and waterfalls. Download the app here.

The network is a place of exchange, politics and creative energies – where the ways ideas circulate and are exchanged intermingle in media and become media. Networks of disruption become institutionalised and corporatized, as the hegemonic cycle of distribution and ‘coolness’ spins another loop. Artistic exit strategies are needed, unCloud is a prime example. unCloud is an application that enables anyone with a laptop to create an open wireless network and distribute their own information. Once it is launched, a passer-by using a mobile Internet device can connect to this open wireless network. The person running the application can decide what information is shown in any web address. Users can access information wirelessly while at the same time remain disconnected from the Internet. unCloud does not depend on a remote datacentre, instead it can be run from a laptop, making it an ideal application to run in a train or at a café.

Program note – performance

Imagine a piece of music is like a living organism, where the work is born during each concert, it evolves and it dies at the end of the concert. Imagine that the environment of this music organism is a concert hall with an audience. This music organism is fed from the sound of its environment through microphones while it feeds this environment with sound through the speakers. Music organism and environment are an interconnected and inseparable ecosystem. Ephemeron is an electroacoustic composition with adaptive behaviour over time. Significant characteristic of Ephemeron is that there is no pre-recorded material at any stage. The work emerges as a music organism from the interactions among space, software, and user-performer. The initial material of the composition is the applause coming from the previous piece. Sur la Construction de Réalités (2010) is an acousmatic composition for eight-speakers, based on the material of Ephemeron. The composition you are about to listen to is using material from two organisms projected in two different environments and two different audience’s reactions (the concert hall of De Montfort University, UK and the Kubus of ZKM, Germany). The material of these live organisms was taken from the particular spatio-temporal situations in order to construct transferable realities in time and space. Now, there is no live organism any more. Here, you are in this place observing the history of another reality. You are experiencing the construction of a new reality surrounding you; the reality of your actual perception of technical information The work is composed for an eight-speaker sound system surrounding the audience, with the support of a subwoofer. There is no live interference with the sound production or its diffusion. The channels are distributed on the speakers, in a re-mapping for four speakers for the presentation at re-new. The four individual channels are synchronized and played back through a sequencer.

Andrew Brown uses live coding in Improvised Interactions to explore the expressive opportunities of a musical agency shared between human and computer system. The live coding context provides for performative creation and manipulation of both direct sonic expressions and semi-autonomous algorithmic music processes. Andrew interacts through a programming language description that is enhanced by accelerometer and touch screen gestural controls so that embodied gesture also can control the improvised algorithmic constructions. Live coding of music is a very abstract representational activity that relies on succinct and expressive description of musical and sonic processes. It embraces a new model of interactive meta-score as the description in code of computational agents takes the end result beyond traditional score-based representations. And since this structural work happens in real-time it blurs the distinctions between the traditional roles of performer and composer, and possibly even those of the instrument builder. The performance can be seen as a ‘double duet’; on the one hand a it is duet between a musician and the computer, but cam also be seen as a duet with oneself and the mirror reflection of personal generative designs. And given that all sonic material derives from the computer system, one could argue that there is no human voice at all, only a mediated one which gives a kind of duet between the present and the absent.

Just as music can be considered as the art and science of sound over time, in Allegoria the man’s body becomes the sound object that generates music. Allegoria is performed as a classical concert by a cellist playing a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. By mixing alternative sounds and unexpected noises with the music from the string quartet, Allegoria points out the nature of origin, presenting the audience for a performance combining the sounds of the interaction between bodies and objects with inaudible sounds generated by the electric energy passing through a string quartets moving bodies while they play. With a special recording technique, breathing and heartbeats becomes audible. Now the sounds of the bodily movement and the sounds of strings turn into a musical composition evolving to the complete revelation of the music of the bodies. Allegoria intents to create a dense and complex sound strata, where different layers of the audible subjects are revealed, stimulating our slightly dormant awareness, awakening the consciousness of the world that are usually ignored, by giving voice to the teeming of life hidden behind the apparent immobility of forms. During the performance, the musicians become a symbol, emphasizing the allegorical figure of their own image/figure, while the allegorical image of the concert aims to stimulate the viewer’s attention to “concerts” representing the essence of the reality that surrounds us.

Echo Moiré is a robotic opera-ballet in which a pair of semi-autonomous loudspeaker vehicles is employed to play a room as a musical instrument. Exploring the acoustic properties of the room, the vehicles create aural images that float in the air, enveloping listeners with patterns of echoes rebounding off the walls. The work is inspired by Alvin Lucier’s 1968 composition Vespers and aims to raise awareness on human echolocation, aural spatial perception and the physics of sound. Using mobile directional loudspeakers emitting trains of pulses, the trajectories followed by sound waves from source to listener are made apparent. Gradually scanning the room’s boundaries, aural images of the space are formed. Modulating the pulses over time, these images are manipulated and sculpted, giving rise to different spatial forms, textures and densities in which the audience is immersed. Probing the relation between hearing and vision, the work provides a theatrical dramatization for the practice of acousmatic music.