This composition demonstrates how physical boundaries are easily broken and betrayed by sound’s ability to transcend consecutive time and solid structures, refracting time and space.
The journey begins on NYC subway platform where the particulate rhythms and melodies of the subway swarm with the notes and beats of subway musicians.* Once boarded and on the train, the ambient is quieted and encapsulated…until you are let off, far from the city, where the barren trees hold steady, absorbing a cold winter rain.
Suggestions for creating the best listening environment for this composition:
Many of the composition’s sonic textures will be lost if played through the tiny tinny speaker your computer or mobile device. The best way to listen is through headphones. It can be a challenge to capture the spatial qualities of a sound piece like this one through the rigid environment of computer and and mobile screens. I’d rather play it for you in a gallery space or even through your own sound system in your home, an environment that would allow the sound to travel through a quality speaker, then through space before arriving in your ears.
Timeline, a sound installation by Susan Philipsz at the Edinburgh Art Festival is worth checking out. It’s up through September 2, 2012
“Philipsz’ Timeline traces this now invisible line in a succession of short sound recordings installed across the city. Referencing both the mythical sirens of Homer’s Odyssey, and the invention of the first siren by Edinburgh’s John Robison, Philipsz’ voice will call out each day in response to the firing of the gun, creating a domino effect as each speaker sounds in turn along the timeline from Calton Hill to Edinburgh Castle.” – edinburghartfestival.com
I’m currently working on a new installation “Sun Tracker” that will debut on Friday, June 22, 2012 as part of the Woodstock Digital Media Festival. Working with Jeff Branson of Denver, CO and Sam Stelfox of Burlington, a sound installation will be programmed based on the Earth/Sun relationship during the time of the summer solstice. We are using Cosm (previously known as Pachube) to keep track of the live feeds (from Colorado, Vermont and possibly California).
I met Jeff and Sam through Vermont Makers, and it’s been great to work with them. Jeff works with SparkFun out in Denver and Sam is a part of Lab B in Burlington. Along with Studio Ju Ju, Lab B has served as a workspace for this project, in fact we met there last week with Jeff (via google+ hangout).
I’ll document the project here as we move forward. In the meantime here’s a link to more Studio Ju Ju sound installations.
Our sister studio Sesamedia New Media Design + Strategy is helping us distribute our many, many ringtones. You can participate in the naming contest and download free ringtones in thenew media arts section of Sesamedia website.
In other sound news, through Vermont Makers, we connected with a few local artists and technologists who work in max/MSP. Plans are coming together to offer max/MSP workshops in Burlington in the late fall of 2012. It is thrilling to meet and hopefully work with other max/MSP – arduino enthusiasts here in rural Vermont! We’ll keep you posted and if you are interested in attending the workshops, please go over to the Vermont Makers site and sign up for their mailing list.
Speaking of Vermont Makers, don’t miss our event this Tuesday night April 3 Blinkies, the Quadcopter, Thing-O-Matic and more!
Kudos to Madonna for making part of tonight’s Super Bowl half-time performance site-specific. By including a marching band, cheerleader costumes and football field graphics, her show acknowledged where it was; on a football field. “Go Madonna!”
This is really interesting and much needed exploration of sound art and sound art exhibition. The exhibition description says it explores “all” the possible ways of exhibiting and reading sound art – quite the overstatement! I think there will always be new ways to exhibit and understand sound art. In any case, great to see people out there ready to take the journey.
The exhibition Radio Arts Space constructs a gallery inside radio space, where Sound art and Radio art works are exhibited. It explores (many possible ways) of exhibiting and reading Radio and Sound art. The project is also complemented by an (international) platform for the discussion of meanings, contextualization, artistic research and the exchange of sound art works.
radioCona, produced by CONA, launched in 2008, is a platform that uses the radio frequency space in art contexts. FM frequency is understood as public space, explored from different perspectives and mediated through artworks audiobooks, programming and exhibitions. radioCona is intervention into public space.
Our “Name that Ringtone” contest is on its way. We did a test over at our facebook page and the response was exciting – Lots of creative people joined in and gave a handful of ringtones some really creative names.
While the social media test was recent, this project actually started in 2007 right before I left to attend grad school at the San Francisco Art Institute. This is when these first batches of ringtones were made. The problem then was that cell phone technology wasn’t so great, and companies like Verizon were even disabling features on Motorola phones that would allow the easy addition of custom ringtones. I also ran into problems getting a Motorola phone to work with my Mac computer. So, in summary there were a lot of conflicts and challenges back then.
Well, I don’t have to tell you how things have changed now that the iPhone is universally adored. It is now much easier to get custom ringtones onto a phone.
The way the “Name that Ringtone” contests works is that all who suggest a name + like Studio Ju Ju on facebook get entered to win a pair of Reveal Bamboo Bambud earbuds, and those who suggest the winning name for a particular ringtone, get a copy of that ringtone for their phone.
Here’s the ringtone currently up for naming. Take a break from the holidays and put your creativity to work. Name that ringtone!
In case you can’t view the iframe above, click here.
“Sounding the Depths” is an informative survey of sound art in 2011 and the 50 years that led up to it. It’s important to note that Futurists were experimenting with sound art in the early 1900s, so sound art has at least 100 years behind it. Also, there is sound art that is much more challenging that the works described in the article- but that’s probably because the site hosting the article is about homes, so the article is talking to people who might want to buy sound art for their home. In any case, it is interesting written piece and it is great to see sound art getting more attention (because it is getting more attention). My favorite work described in this article, one that you could not have in your home, is the elegant Wave Organ in San Francisco. It’s exciting to see sound art getting attention in articles like this, hopefully this is a step forward in the public’s understanding of this niche art form. If you are interested in sound art and contemporary art, read more here:
Ever heard the sound of a radio storm between Jupiter and its moon Io? Follow this link to listen for yourself.
In this 12 minute TED Talk by the Artist-technologist Honor Harger she describes how listening to the noises of stars and planets and pulsars have informed our knowledge of the universe. In her own work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including “the oldest song you will ever hear,” the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.
Designers at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have created a method to materialize and document the “immaterial terrain” of WiFi networks within a city. In this project they created a way to measure WiFi presence using a light stick. Then using that light stick they mapped WiFi across the campus landscape while documenting the light variations through long-exposure photography. They created what I would call a kind of “light map” to create a presence for what is usually an invisible – yet crucial – network and a significant – yet intangible – terrain in contemporary life.
The project’s interest in the spatial and material qualities of wireless networks is what makes it interesting to the projects of Studio Ju Ju where we have a similar interest in exploring the spatial and material qualities of sound and sound travel.
More about: Immaterials: Light painting WiFi