Patatap is a portable animation and sound kit. With the touch of a finger create melodies charged with moving shapes. While easy to pick up there is a wide range of possibilities. Switch between multiple color palettes and matching soundscapes on the fly. Whether its on your laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or tablet Patatap invites creators of all ages to engage the mind and senses in a different type of creation process.The motivation behind Patatap is to introduce the medium of Visual Music to a broad audience. Artists working in this field vary in discipline but many aim to express the broader condition of Synesthesia, in which stimulation of one sensory input leads to automatic experiences in another. Hearing smells or seeing sounds are examples of possible synesthesia. In the case of Patatap, sounds trigger colorful visual animations.The history behind the aesthetic expression of synesthesia arose from the paintings of Piet Mondrianand Wassily Kandinsky and the early videos of Viking Eggeling and Norman McLaren, to the contemporary animations of Oskar Fischinger and softwares of C.E.B. Reas. Patatap takes elements from all these visionaries and aims to present this concept in a direct way.
re:post from http://we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2013/07/thermal.php
Written by Regine on July 26, 2013
One last project exhibited a few weeks ago at the Sight + Sound festival in Montreal. You might remember that a while ago I interviewed Arthur Heist about the workshopAnalyze Dat: TOR Visualization & online black markets. Before that, i talked with Nicolas Maigret about The Pirate Cinema.
This time, i had an exchange of emails with Mario De Vega to talk about Thermal, a performance in which he uses microwave ovens to alter the molecular composition of different materials. The work also uses custom-built hardware to sonify the electromagnetic activity produced by the overheating of the content of the ovens.
Hi Mario! Thermal is an audio-visual performance in which several objects are modified using a microwave oven. Now I’m sure you’ve been asked that questions many times but isn’t it dangerous to put objects inside a microwave? The photos from the performances look a bit on the hazardous side to me. Do you have to take certain precautions?
I over-expose danger and confront human vulnerability through a frontal situation. Security advices are given before the performance starts and audience are free to leave the room. I give information and advice of possible danger.
Of course, by overheating a device which development comes from radar technology research from WWII, confronts a complex paradigm: the oven could explode during the performance, gases are highly toxic and electromagnetic activity aim to be materialized thorough acoustic pressure.
Thermal is a confrontation with our own vulnerability using an electronic device that mainly everyone can recognize, a device that modified nutritional facts, social interaction and climate. The action has a political content itself without intending being political as principle. It confronts and intimidates through presence, ambiguity, over-exposed information and acoustic pressure. It also has a visual aim. I’m interested in how electronic devices or arrangements suggest context through ambiguity, in other words, I’m interested in producing events and situations in which codes are visible but not completely “readable”. We could be able, in this case, to recognize an object (microwave oven) but our understanding of things reduce our approach, resulting in a situation with dislocated semantic structure in which things are there, frontal and visible and more over we can not understand what is happening.
During the performance, you put materials such as wax, ceramic, magnesium, carboxylic acid, pvc, etc. inside the microwaves. Could you describe how some of them react? Did any of the material you used react in a way you did not expect?
This has mainly a sculptural mean; with Thermal I’m interested in research materialization, irritation and modification as main topics. I modify materials, amplify, expose the process and materialize the results through different outputs. Technically, by irritating the molecular composition of matter, microwaves reflection change by absorption. We can think this in terms that certain materials absorb more than others, and here absorbing means less reflection and less dynamic range in an audio event.
We can understand amplification through four semantic layers.
The first one has the aim to amplify electromagnetic activity, high frequency mainly into the 2.4 GHz range. For this I use SNUFF and LIMEN, electronic devices based on logarithmic detectors used to demodulate high spectrum electromagnetic signals into a human audible ranges.
The second later is luminal activity. Using mainly a custom amplifier (BABEL) to convert lumens into sound.
The third part is electro-mechanic, using mainly a contact microphone to amplify friction and mechanic activity produced by the oven, rotating plate movements, for example.
The forth and last is probably the most dynamic part, reduced in a switch. On / Off. I turn on and off the device in order to maintain tension and produce a dynamic event.
Window of the microwave oven during performance
More generally, could you describe what is going on during the performance? What can the audience see, smell and hear?
What you hear is mainly activity that in a normal situation humans would not be able to codify as acoustic pressure. I use electronic media to demodulate, amplify and over expose highly toxic electromagnetic pollution produced by an electro-domestic device used by 40% of the population worldwide. Burnt plastic and overheated corrosive materials are toxic; smell is an important issue for Thermal.
Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2009
If I understood correctly, the main instrument for this audio-visual performance is the microwave oven. Did you have to modify the household appliance for the work?
No, the ovens are not modified. This would be a very complex and even dangerous task. For me it’s even more interesting to use the devices as they are, I just simply amplify its activity.
Any upcoming project, event or research field you’d like to share with us?
Probably I should then here expose deeply my apologizes to delay this interview so long. I’ve been working in a solo exhibition in Mexico City during the last two years (SIN); the opening was on the 20th of June in a Museum located downtown namedLaboratorio Arte Alameda. It’s composed by 6 site-interventions, curated by Carsten Seiffarth and a retrospective salon curated by Michel Blancsubé.
If you’re curious about Mario’s work, head to Berlin Art Link, they recently visited the artist’s studio.
Other works exhibited at Sight and Sound, a festival produced by Eastern Bloc in Montreal: Analyze Dat: TOR Visualization & online black markets and The Pirate Cinema, A Cinematic Collage Generated by P2P Users.
Photo on the homepage: © Kimberley Bianca / transmediale. All other images courtesy of the artist.
I am happy to be part of this upcoming exhibition BOUNDARIES – Curated by Becky Campbell.
Curator and artist Becky Campbell and the newly established cultural spaces Artscape Athens and Snehta Residency invite you to the opening of the exhibition, Boundaries.
We are continually crossing and encountering boundaries in our daily lives, sometimes aware and sometimes oblivious. We cross over districts of a city; through doors; we shift between being awake (vertical) and asleep (horizontal); between hungry and full.
Boundaries presents the works of 32 creators: 28 artists, two writers, an actor and a musician. The two spaces (Artscape Athens and Snehta) are filled with videos, photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, structures and installations as well as performances and interventions in the five-minutes’ walk between.
Each work explores a particular angle related to boundaries – the uncanny, the shadow, liminality, non-spaces, being segregated from a home country, the impossibility of fully comprehending the thoughts of another being, political change, geographical shifts and many others. By bringing such a variety of approaches and mediums into dialogue within and across the two hosting locations similarities and connections of these encounters become prevalent.
21-30 March 2014 Opening 20 March 8-10 pm
Artscape Athens | Moschonision 5, Plateia Amerikis, Athens 112 52
Snehta | Aghias Zonis 1, Kypseli, Athens 113 61
Monday-Friday 5-9 pm
Saturday | Sunday: 12-9 pm
Curated by Becky Campbell
Alexandros Laios | Andrew Mason | Christos Vagiatas | Christos Papamichael | Despina Flessa | Despoina Sevasti | Dickie Webb | Dimitris Papoutsakis | Dimitris Patsaros | Elliott Burns | Elli Paxinou | Foteini Palpana | Giannis Amanatidis | Giannis Cheimonakis | Giannis Sinioroglou | Irini Bachlitzanaki | Ivan Masteropoulos | Jack Burton | Konstantinos Kotsis | Kosmas Nikolaou | Kostas Tzimoulis | Maro Fasouli | Matina Charalambi | Panos Mattheou | Panos Profitis | Pantelis Yiannakis | Rachael Cloughton | Rilène Markopoulou | Stephanie Mann | Vasilis Gerodimos | Vassilis Noulas | Zoe Hatziyannaki
The exhibition is being hosted by Artscape Athens and Snehta Residency:
Artscape Athens – An Open Cultural Landscape. Artscape Athens is located at Moschonision 5 Street, in between the borders of Kypseli and Amerikis Square. Since the beginning of 2014 it constitutes the space for cultural expression and artistic creation of the non-profit organisation, Hellenic Museum of Fairytales. Artscape Athens aims to support every act of artistic making and promote local creative ideas. The participatory aspect of its actions constitutes an ongoing motive; therefore it is open in receiving applications for projects and exhibitions from those interested in introducing their work to the broader public.
Snehta Residency is a small private organization that was formed in 2012 in Athens with the purpose to bring international artists in contact with the Athenian art scene. The artists are selected to live and work in Athens for two months in the Kypseli apartment. Snehta – (Athens in reverse) is a metaphorical name suggesting a deeper reading of the city. Snehta aims to expand artistic activity and research in the City, whilst supporting practices focusing on contemporary issues through an experimental and ingenuous approach. Snehta fosters new relationships and collaborations internally and beyond the confines of Athens, Greece.
Becky Campbell is a Scottish artist and curator living in Athens. Previously she has worked for The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and DESTE Foundation in Athens. She is part of the team running Snehta Residency in Kypseli, Athens, as well as an organiser of independent projects. Curated projects includeVirtual Materiality for ekthesis-online.com, a at The Demarco Archive, Edinburgh and The WOT Gallery, Edinburgh. She has exhibited internationally in exhibitions including: Gaesahud, Konseptheimilid Sigmar, Reykjavik, Iceland; YELLOW, 2025 Kunst und Kultur e.V., Hamburg, Germany; Short-lived Settlements, Snehta, Athens; Come Ye Hither, Crofter’s Lodge, Loch Eport, North Uist, Scotland; three thousand seven hundred and two, JDM Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
For further information contact: Becky Campbell & Snehta Residency: email@example.com Artscape Athens: firstname.lastname@example.org | τηλ. 211 1829117
Morton Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon: ‘It blew my mind!’
In 1967, the American composer Morton Subotnick released a record called Silver Apples of the Moon. It was the first electronic album ever to be commissioned by a classical record label, and it is still revered among synth gurus for containing the seeds – or possibly the pips – of techno.
Now 80 years old, though looking at least 20 years younger, Subotnick has flown halfway round the world, from his home in New York to Australia, to perform Silver Apples of the Moon in its entirety at theAdelaide festival. But what he’s really excited about is a new app he has created that enables kids to create their own electronic compositions on an iPad.
The app – called Pitch Painter – could be seen as the fulfilment of Subotnick’s prophecy, made in the 1960s, that one day every living room would contain a synthesiser. Having downloaded the app, I’m eager to play him the jaunty little electro-nursery rhyme I’ve come up with. “That’s very good,” he says. “A three-year-old could have done it,” I reply.
“That’s exactly the point. It’s a way of enabling kids to create music intuitively, without standard notation getting in the way. You wouldn’t prevent children from expressing themselves in paint before they’ve learned to draw, so why shouldn’t they be able to compose without reading music?”
Subotnick himself studied music at Mills College in Oakland, California, where his fellow students included future minimalists Terry Riley andSteve Reich. He was all set for a career as a clarinettist, but his interest in electro-acoustic music led to the establishment of the San Francisco Tape Music Centre in 1961, with fellow musician Ramon Sender. The two men dreamed of creating compositions with sounds no conventional acoustic instrument could produce. So, with a $500 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Subotnick commissioned electronics wizard Don Buchla to build an “electronic music box”.
For his performance of Silver Apples of the Moon, Subotnick will be using a modern re-creation of the first Buchla synthesiser (the original is now in the Library of Congress). It looks more like a miniature telephone exchange than an instrument, which may explain why it never really caught on. Shortly after it appeared, Robert Moog debuted an alternative that was adopted by the likes of Pete Townshend, Micky Dolenz and Wendy Carlos, whose Switched-On Bach, recorded on a Moog, became one of the biggest-selling classical releases of all time. Not that Subotnick was impressed. “I could never see the point in playing old music on a new invention,” he says. “If I’m going to play Bach, I’d rather use a harpsichord.”
The Buchla might not have caught on, but that didn’t stop Subotnick making full use of it. Almost 50 years on, Silver Apples of the Moon still sounds arrestingly contemporary. The piece is in two parts: the first is slower, moodier and full of profound, synthetic sighs, like a robot in despair; then in the second half, something extraordinary happens – the music suddenly develops a pulse and climaxes in the frenzied hammering of proto-club rhythms.
This had simply never been heard before. Early electronic compositions were mostly about sine waves, oscillations, timbre – all devoid of rhythm, by and large. Yet, says Subotnick, his discovery of beats happened almost by accident. “In the early days, it took a long, long time – sometimes even days – to programme a sequence. Quite unintentionally, I found I had created this pulsating rhythm. I started grooving with it – and it blew my mind.”
And quite a lot of other minds, too. Silver Apples swiftly became an essential psychedelic soundtrack. “I certainly wasn’t on drugs when I made it,” he says. “I was working too hard. But I’d been staging multimedia performances with dance companies using projections and coloured oils since the early 60s, which was several years before psychedelia is supposed to have started.”
Even the album’s trippy title is perhaps a little less trippy than it appears: Subotnick took it from Yeats’s poem The Song of Wandering Aengus: “The silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun.” As Subotnick says, “It doesn’t really mean anything. I just liked the sound of it.”
More innovations followed. Subotnick’s 1994 work All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis was the first interactive concert to be conceived for CD-Rom. And in 1995, he produced the first of his children’s works, Making Music, which might be described as the young person’s guide to the sequencer.
But it’s Silver Apples he will always be most closely associated with – and that suits him fine. “It’s not a bad little piece,” he says. “It’s like a jazz composition. I’ll start out with some of the familiar riffs, then just improvise. It keeps on changing whenever I perform it.”
• Silver Apples of the Moon is at the Adelaide festival on Friday, 7 March. The festival runs until 16 March (adelaidefestival.com.au). Alfred Hickling’s flights were provided by Emirates.
WORKSHOP DAY 8 – FINAL PROTOTYPE
Re-blogged from Sound Tectonics Blog
The concept of the final prototype was developed around the matter of collective experience through auditory senses. The goal was to reinforce the user’s empathy and communication with space and inhabitants through emotional canals. Memory was considered to be the key element that could lead to stronger social bonds so as to reactivate the urban space as a place of interaction. Transforming the observer in to a listener and the act of listening in to an active agent of cross-fertilization, we pursuit a feedback that triggers one’s personal experience of collective awareness.
Working on the metropolitan city of Athens as the case study, we strategically divided the city in layers that represented different ambiences according to topography, built environment and voids, natural elements and inhabitants. The analysis of each area was achived by documentation process recordings, to represent the relationships between site specificity and our final prototype of an artificial interactive environment.
Through a critical engagement with technology, the Sound Tectonics team created an interactive environment that was build upon the idea of using one’s own experience as the influential agent that ‘organically’ emerges from the navigation of the user within the structure. Five boxes of different sizes were placed in different distances from each other, each representing one of the previously analyzed areas of the city. Their different volumes were reflecting the diverse perception of distances between the sound source and the position of the listener.
As part of one system created and installed in an indoor space with the absence of light, the interactive environment used controlled light sources as an inviting component that attracts people to enter part of their body in each hollow box structure. Eager to become part of the experience, the visitors were triggering motion sensors that in their part, were turning the lights off to give their turn to reproduced and edited sounds of the city. In this system, light and darkness were reversely related to sound and silence. The chosen sounds were manipulated in order to expose some highlights of our city drift, incorporating the city’s ambient sounds. One’s own experience could affect the listening experience of the rest of the users. This state was noticeable only when all boxes were occupied, through reproduction of an ironic composition of sounds that suggested enforcement power contradicting with sounds of individual joy. A composition that aimed to highlight the political extend of a social gathering that is occasionally considered by police to be a threatening constitution, especially in the so-called, by some, ’wastelands’ of the urban environment.
The visitor’s experience was based on their physical presence in space, together with their acoustic experience. In this way we meant to isolate the senses, only to combine them again when they all reach the state of starting to experience a social assembly. Along these lines, laid one of the main notions of the project that is to force the user to re-evaluate his sensory perceptions and understand the social impact that these may have. This chain reaction contributes to the formation of an emotional state, based not only on memories, but on gathering empirical evidence of how we could effectively reconnect with spaces and people around us.
Project Team :
Tutors: Daniel Canogar, Javier Pena Galiano, Jon Goodbun, John Grzinich, Santiago Vilanova, Nota Tsekoura, Nastazia Spyropoulou, Anna Laskari, Tassos Kanelos
Participants: Ioli Belezini, Natalie Barton, Daphne Dimopoulou, Maria Galani, Yoranda Kassanou, Marirena Kladeftira, Konstantinos Kosmas, Dimitrios Mavrokefalos, Dickie Webb
Special thanks to: Konstantinos Souvatzoglou, Marilena Georgatzi, Nileta Kotsikou
Venue: The British Hellenic College -Athens
Sample sound from sound tectonics field recordings:
A/V live performance by the collaborative project between the german duo consisting of Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai) & Byetone (Olaf Bender) –Raster Noton’s co-founders– at the 10th anniversary of the International Festival of Digital Creativity & Electronic Music MUTEK.MX 2013 / A/VISION 3 – NOCTURNO 1 / Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos / Mexico City
October 4th 2013
Filmed & Edited by Victor Lara