December 2010 Archives

Independent Project - Sam

For the independent project I was initially interested in trying to use field recordings with a sense of familiarity as a point of inspiration for creating a physical presence for the sound that felt aesthetically matched, but unfamiliar or strange in appearance. In trying to decide what tools to use to create these environments I began to become much more interested in the tools themselves, and their ability to be modified in ways that could perform the sense of transformation that had initially attracted me to the idea I'd begun with. I decided then to choose one object I had wanted to use, define some of its functions and qualities of being, and find ways to modify it, as well as add or subtract elements, in a way that would highlight these functions and qualities of being, while also creating the feeling of a new object capable of shaping the emotional environment of a space.
I attempted to do this by using an overhead projector and removing its secondary projection lens and mirror and replacing them with a larger wall mirror that would throw the light in a less controlled way, and that also captured the color spectrum created when the projectors bulb reflects off its internal mirror and through its first lens. I also amplified the sound of the projector's fan by running a contact mic into a tape recorder/player placed inside the projector and set to record onto a homemade cassette tape loop. This audio signal was then simultaneously recorded to the tape and played through a small sub woofer placed outside of the overhead projector. The quality of degradation present in the projector's light bulb and its relatively short lifespan dictated my decision to amplify the fan's sound through an infinite, but also constantly degrading tape loop, and also to draw the color spectrum in crayon on the overhead's internal mirror so that the projection would emphasize the color being projected, but also have a quality of degradation in that the crayon while being subjected to the intense heat of the bulb would eventually melt

Embodied Sound - Sam

I struggled with the embodied sound project. Having difficulty finding rewarding, or even successful, experimentation with the media that was our entry point, I began to think more closely about my interpretation of the idea: "embodied sound." I began thinking about what it means for sound to be embodied, which led me to become interested in the idea of sound objects (physical things that contain/produce sound or have some sonic quality), the most intriguing of which to me was the box-fan.
The fan being an object whose function it is to move air to create wind and thus the sonic drone of air moving and interacting with its physical environment, wind as embodied sound became a powerful idea to me. Wind seemed to me, a force with the most basic elements of what I thought constituted embodied sound: it is a force that itself is invisible, but makes itself known by sense of touch and sound. It has a strongly physical presence in that we can feel it and see it interacting with its physical surroundings; it also produces various sounds based on its interactions with its physical surroundings.
What I attempted to do was use the box-fan as a wind generator and create a scenario in which someone could experience the sonic and physical presence of the wind either simultaneously, or exclusively: simultaneously by sitting on the chair placed in front of the fan, and exclusively by listening to the sound and standing away from it, or sitting in front of the fan wearing the ear muffs and only feeling the winds physical

Final project documentation

My level is published at under community. You can find it by a search of "light and sound" by killakoda to see a description and number of people played and a rating of my creation. I used 128 different sounds in game and utilized lighting to create a other worldly atmosphere.

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Final Project documentation

Here is the documentation of my final project. I continued working with my exploration of the swing, and chose to make a composition out of the very first recordings that I took. I made a 4 minute long video to go with the composition that I arranged, and really felt that my interest in memory was very apparent in this piece. I added very brief splices of images to the sound and felt that overall this combination worked well.

I am interested in the contact mike as another layer of truth as I played with the notion of the validity of our memories.

final project.wmv

Emodied Sound Documentation

This is a short video of my embodied sound presentation on 11-30. I chose to explore the sounds embodied in swinging by bringing an actual swing in the installation room. Overall I was pleased with how this turned out, the lighting and the difference in sound that the contact mikes presented. I enjoyed the interactivity of this piece, and hearing what people had to say about it.


Final entry

I have enjoyed this class because of learning for learning sake alone. Before I took this class my only exposure to sound as an art was a basic recording of sound I did toward the end of last century Now I understand the embodiment of sound. I look at it as a somewhat new form of art catching on in the world. The enlightenment to the micro sound picked up by a contact microphones all the way to sounds only heard by certain animals. This last weekend mother nature did a job on me and a lot of people with a record snowfall. With some help from my fellow man and that stubborn inner resolve we all have I was able to complete each of my courses.
As for a sound artist I admire that's a tough one. I'm by nature not much of a fan of any one person. If push came to shove I would have to say Diane Willow my instructor and my fellow sound art students that brought me into the world of art. Diane Willow's sound exhibit at The Katherine E. Nash gallery located in the Regis Center for the Arts was the first focused attention I have had on a sound art exhibit. My fellow students showed me some of the different ways sound art can entertain. Some of the sites I suggest that you visit one of the originals making Foley sound in Los Angles another to visit
All in all I recommend this course if you want to learn Sound Art at University of Minnesota.

Final independent project

After many attempts and revisions from my last project, my independent project has evolved into a piece called Search for Audio Rescue. I have placed the speakers on a audio trained search dog, similar to saddlebags. As people interact with the dog, either throwing treats to certain areas to explore the room's acoustics or by walking him around the room, he will lead you to the room's sweet spots. The special audio that is emitted through the speakers helps to find small but significant areas where any sound can become much greater than expected. Not featured in this video is also version 1.1 where the only signals coming through these speakers are above the human hearing range. This was developed so only the dog can hear the acoustic possibilities around the room or other unexplored areas as well as to not bother humans in other areas not wishing to be disturbed.


Sound throwing speaker swing

Here is the video of my interactive speaker swing. After their movement is initialized from the interaction with a person, they continually move due to the magnets positioning. The higher frequency sounds that come from the speakers are basically thrown through the air as the speakers move around creating a great acoustic environment. The quiet sounds coming from these 2 speakers become a bigger, louder sounding environment then one would expect could come from them. As the sound is thrown it basically becomes similar to low end frequencies by completing their cycles at a longer distance, ranging anywhere under 50 feet depending on its speed and movement.


Final Project by Meena

~ concept
I wanted to create a responsive environment exploring inheritance and randomness of sound. In my project, a random composition of bell sounds respond to an inherited metallic sound of coin and that opens up areas of personal sonic interests to dwell for unrestricted time.

~ the experience of this work
I had few tough challenges. 1st- not to let it sound like robotic compositions. Each collection had to be as natural as wind flow. I believe our ears sense touch of sound just the way our skin senses touch of wind and water. So I had to go back and rerecord bells several times until they became a touch of wind. 2nd challenge was to control the response in max5. It should not start or end abruptly, it should not be the same composition being repeated often. 3rd- creating a situation of endless easy conversations. 4th- choosing right object, in this case- coins. Personally I enjoy listening them bouncing off each other or on various surfaces. They can create a large range of sound delicacy. I luckily came across gold color coins with 'no cash value' written on it.

~ a visual or narrative sketch
I planned to let max 'hear' to coin's sound and respond within few milliseconds. Heard strike was strained through five filters. Alternate resulting channels were dumped so each and every composition (that was being heard back by same program) did not get a ripple effect, sounds more natural. Filtered strike then activated algorithmic activity to compile 1 to 6 bell sounds and then released the composition.

~ technology of choice
I basically needed a microphone, processor and speakers beside an area to contain coins. Just before in class presentation, both mics I had from toolcrib did not respond at all so I decided to use the built in mic from laptop.

~ where/how you imagine presenting this work
At any not so loud social setting. I like Diane's suggestion of incorporating round table and chairs to bring more comfort.

~ how you began
I began by taking a small recorder to antique shops and record some bell sounds. Having Christmas around helped me to find many kinds of bells.

presentation video is here
Patch is here

Mad Stick


Final Sound Art Presentation


Here are the links to my final project presentation

Embodied Sound Video

Here's a video of the performance/presentation I gave on the childrens toy I circuit bent into an odd/atmospheric sound generator.

Installation Maps

Independent Projects that you have chosen to locate in the Installation and Performance Space are on the map for Thursday 12-16 or Tuesday 12-21.

Projects not on these maps will be presented elsewhere.



Turner Prize artist Susan Philipsz


Susan Philipsz was awarded the Turner Prize for her sound installation Lowlands.

Interestingly some of the reviews recall our recursive discussions about what is sound art/

These linked reviews raise issues about site, context, sound as a sculptural medium, art that cannot be seem, etc.

Lowlands as she presented it in situ - the video is a documentation of the sound work, not the work itself.

Seth Cluett, Sound Artist

Seth Cluett considers himself an artist, performer, and composer. He was born in 1976 in Troy, NY. His background in photography informs his careful attention to detail when working with sound. Growing up in rural upstate New York, environments and the sense of time and speed of a place is something that fascinates Cluett, and something he feels is only best explored through sound. He started off exploring sounds that accompanied images that were full of detail and fascinating to him. He then moved on to exploring sounds that "carried a sense of place with them." He likes sounds that have multiple layers of meaning that can be interpreted by many people in many personal ways.

The display of his sound installations are often quite beautiful, incorporating reflected light of sound vibrations in his earlier works such as "precedence affect" (2000) and "cloud-to-air" (2003/2008).

I am attracted to his work because of the way he incorporates simple, minimalistic objects into the display of his work. "Doleros" is an exploration of the Ringing Rocks State Park of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The objects from which the sound is emitting are sculptural speakers and important in creating a sense of place. The speakers have been embedded in found objects and are placed low to the ground which contributes to a sense of place in their connection of a distant experience to the physical present moment.
Similarly, "a spatial asyndeton" explores acoustical place by creating a fluid sonary landscape void of the conceptual framework of beginning and end. The word "asyndeton" has been used by philosopher and sociologist Michel de Certeau to refer to an "erasure of the journey from memory when one conceptualizes their travel between two points". The unique perception of the same sound at every point on a circle embodies the erasure of our notion of "arrival" and "departure" and "exploration and experience reveals a topography in sound that maps the void as geography." I think it is Cluett's attention to the relationship between physical place and metaphysical experience or sensibility in relation to sound is what draws me to his work.

As I mentioned before, his work has been overall driven by an attention to detail, but the more recent works that I have just described take on larger underlying conceptual meanings that build upon the exploration of physical process (rain, walking, sound vibrations, movement, change over time) of his earlier works. Building off of "a spatial asyndeton," Cluett is now exploring memory and currently working on a piece called "Three Forms of Forgetting" that will debut early 2011. Links to a large body of his installation works can be found here:

Stephen Cornfold aka Scrawn

UK kinetic/sound artist. Here is the link to his website.

He has a lot of unique and interesting sound art pieces on this site as well as a link to his myspace that features his music.

STM32 Design Challenge


It has 3 phases but for our purpose phase one is imp.

(1) Phase One: Conceptual Design Phase -Each Contestant will develop a conceptual design, including an abstract, title, and block diagram, and upload these elements of the design to the Contest Website. Once contestants have submitted a valid entry, contestants will receive an STM32 Discovery developer kit. The Conceptual Design Phase is open to new Contestants from November 8, 2010 (the "Start Date") until frozen on January 10, 2011 at 8 a.m. EDT (the "Entry Deadline").

Phase One: Conceptual Design Phase
START Nov 8, 2010
ACTIVE Nov 8, 2010
FREEZE Jan 10, 2011 8:00 am ET
JUDGE Jan 10, 2011
AWARD Jan 17, 2011