"New Media Art"
Title : VOX - www.voxland.org
A contemporary and interactive re-working of an aboriginal creation myth generating real-time sonic compositions from moving images of cityscapes and landscapes. VOX was developed as a web based version of a larger-scale, real-time installation, ‘Soundscapes’.
Aboriginal creation myths told of legendary totemic beings who wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the names of everything that crossed their path - birds, animals, plants rocks etc. and so singing the world in to existence, VOX is a contemporary exploration of this theme.
VOX is an interactive web based installation utilizing moving images of cityscapes and landscapes, complimented by a live soundscape generated by moving targets passing over these images which are in turn controlled by the user. The soundscape in this context refers to ‘real-time’ generated sonic compositions pertinent to the mood, texture and dynamics of the current imagery.
VOX consists of a database (catalogue) of looped moving image sequences of ten second durations that can be selected and onto which are superimposed moveable ‘targets’, rather like the notes on a music score, whose velocity and location can be controlled by the user.
As these targets cross the image, data is scanned from the colour, tonality and patterns of the underlying image information and used within sound generation and compositional algorithms to give voice (vox) to the landscape. It should also be noted that VOX generates its own compositions in real-time in conjunction with the image data that is being processed, as opposed to using pre-recorded or sampled sounds.
The inspiration for this work is loosely based on Aboriginal creation myths, which told of legendary totemic beings who wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the names of everything that crossed their path - birds, animals, plants rocks etc. and so singing the world into existence.
Soundscapes is a contemporary exploration of this theme, by re-synthesising and giving voice to images of the environments within which we exist, the open landscapes, cityscapes and urban sprawls the work re-interprets our surroundings through the generation of sound.
Soundscapes consists of a database (catalogue) of looped moving image sequences of ten second durations that can be selected and onto which are superimposed five moveable ‘targets’ whose velocity and location can be controlled by the user. As these targets scan across the image, data is collected from the colour, tonality and patterns of the underlying image information and used within sound generation and compositional algorithms, so creating the interactive soundscape.
Soundscapes generates its own compositions in real-time in conjunction with the image data that is being processed, as opposed to using pre-recorded or sampled sounds. Soundscapes also processes the selected image data in real-time and applies a compositional strategy (algorithm) or ‘mood’ that has been chosen by the user. These moods therefore form the basic building blocks of the work and can vary considerably from simple melodic forms and natural sounds to abrupt discordant passages that have little relationship to classical music scales, harmony or melody.
Statement of works
spring_alpha (2003 - ongoing) http://www.spring-alpha.org
spring_alpha is an exploration of social enquiry through computer-games, focused around the development of an online game adapted from Chad McCail's drawing "Spring". It explores how the issues faced in designing a gameworld often mirror those of real society but allow for opportunities to reflect on and speculate about how things in the real world could be different. A major part of the project is based around public workshops in which local communities are be involved in developing content for the game.
Social Versioning System (2005) http://www.spring-alpha.org/svs
Social Versioning System (SVS) is a framework for collaborative coding projects that incorporates revision management and development analysis tools. These tools seek to capture aspects of the social dynamic that emerges between coders' input. SVS is being built as the main framework for spring_alpha. The initial release of SVS will feature a small-scale 'livecoding' game, a game that is played by being hacked and re-programmed, thereby collapsing gameplay and coding into one. This is combined with an analysis tool that visualizes the code change and coder-player dynamics.
slateford projects (2003 - ongoing) http://www.slateford.org
slateford is a "code art" group, a loose collective of artists and programmers developing small-scale software and internet projects. The projects are mostly based around intuitive explorations of the aesthetics of software and digital media, often developing out of "code doodles". These include: "os_anm" - a lo-resolution video and animation tool exploring abstracted interpretations of video material, "greylines" - a series of abstract graphic works generated from casual mouse movements of the viewer, and "video interrupt" - a work which transforms video material into an abstract composition in response to the viewer's movements in front of the projection.
Living Zeroes (2001 - 2002) http://www.livingzeroes.org
Living Zeroes was an exploration of emerging themes in 21st Century culture, related to new technologies and global media. Topics included corporate culture and anti-corporate activism, mobile technologies, British-Asian and trans-national cultures, reality entertainment, file-sharing and plunderphonics (re-use of existing media to create new artworks).
The project explored these themes through video interviews, public discussions, and a "non-symposium" (combining the format of an academic symposium with a TV talk show). Edited documentation of this was published as video clips and text transcripts on the website.
The project drew on a diverse range of participants from artists such as Carey Young and Shez 360, to political theorists such as Nick Rengger and think-tanks DEMOS and the Industrial Society, to anti-corporate activists RTMark.
"New Media Art"_ Nigel Johnson(UK), Simon Yuill(UK)
May 1 - May 30, 2005.