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Sonic Environments will run from Sunday 10th July until Monday 11th July
NIME will run from Monday 11th July until Friday 15th July.



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Monday, July 11 • 13:30 - 14:30
Sonic Environments Papers 5 (stream B)

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Iris Garrelfs: University of the Arts London

Traces in/of/with Sound: the experience of audio-visual spatiality in

Traces in/of/with Sound was an audio-visual performance series, instigated as part of the author’s practice based PhD research into the process of sound arts practice. The initial idea for the project resides in the realm of visual music and an interest in the influence that the relationship between sound and image has on the music that is produced within performance. The research employed a modular methodology that includes creative practice as a key space - or in-vivo laboratory - in which the process of this practice can be studied.

As a piece of creative work, Traces in/of/with Sound made use of a field of juxtapositions: a projection of recorded and digitally mediated drawings with improvised and digitally processed voice; notions of archetypes across sound and vision; a range of complex conceptual concerns with a performative experience. In its inception, several strands of thought combined. These included recognising a similarity between Norman McLaren’s images (Barbeau 2005) and some of the author’s drawings; a concern with movement - as explored in her previous locative mobile phone pieces - that transferred onto the relationship between the eye’s movement and still images (Brown 2006). In addition, the notion of archetypes expressed through line drawings (Ingold 2007) and vocal expression met with digital processing techniques. Between 2011 and 2013, six performances and one installation took place, each with a different audio-visual spatial configuration, ranging from mono sound / single screen video to eight-channel sound / two screen video. Each of these versions brought with it adaptations of the core material, as a response to the preceding incarnation.

What remained stable was the method of performing: sound used live improvised voice, manipulated and diffused across a multichannel system (where applicable) via Cycling 74’s Max software. This sound material was created as an improvised response to a pre-prepared “film” of digitally manipulated drawings using Adobe Creative Suite packages Photoshop and Premiere.

As the series developed, working within this complex field of juxtapositions led to a change of focal points. Whilst the project began by essentially considering movement and a contrapuntal relationship between sound and vision as a property of time, it shifted to an exploration of a joint audio- visual spatiality, understood as a perceptual experience established by the interlaced movements of both sound and vision.

This paper will chart the development of the piece over a two- year research period from 2011-2013, including the presentation of relevant stereo extracts from the work. Within this narrative it will pay particular attention to the author’s emergent experience of audio-visual spatiality and its relationship with relevant theoretical concerns. Some conclusions as to strategies that may promote experiential coherence or disunity in the perception of an audience with respect to audio-visual space will also be put forward.

Louise Mackenzie, Richard Thompson and Paul Vickers: Department of Arts, Northumbria University, Department of Computer Science and Digital Technologies, Northumbria University and Department of Chemistry, Durham University

Alchemical Sensing: Creating an Embodied Experience of the Unseen Organism

This paper presents the research surrounding the audiovisual installation, Stars Beneath our Feet (2015) by Louise Mackenzie. It introduces the concept of alchemical sensing to describe the layered use of scientific technology in the context of an audio-visual art installation as an alternative frame of reference that attempts an embodied understanding of the unseen organism. The process of translation through layers of technology is considered as alchemical in reference to the ancient Greek and Egyptian origins of the tradition. Not alchemical in the sense of seeking immortality or turning metal into gold, but alchemical in the anima mundi sense of seeking out the ‘essence’ of matter. Referencing the development of the field of sonification, the acoustic artwork of Joe Davis and Katie Egan and of Anne Niemetz and Andrew Pelling, the use of Atomic Force Microscopy, Python, Photosounder and MAX MSP were employed to construct an embodied audio sense of the micro-organism, Dunaliella salina. Movements detected were translated using both sonification and audification techniques into sound files that were used to form the audio component of Stars Beneath Our Feet: an installation as part of Lumiere Durham 2015, a four- day international light festival produced in the UK by Artichoke. The video component of the installation was made using a combination of dark field microscopy and DSLR camera to produce moving images that focus on a perspective of micro-organisms that is other to that commonly used within scientific research. The objective of ‘looking at’ the organisms in this expanded manner and ‘listening to’ the sounds of data obtained via technological interpretation of the movement of micro- organisms in the context of an art installation adds a broader sensory dimension to our understanding of the unseen organism, one which encompasses their being in the world without consideration of their use as resources. https://vimeo.com/147120645

 


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avatar for Louise Mackenzie

Louise Mackenzie

Artist, PhD Candidate, BxNU Institute of Contemporary Art, Northumbria University
Louise Mackenzie is an artist creating mixed media installations that explore life as medium. Recent works have included video and sound art on the agency of the micro-organism. Her current research explores living matter as material and questions the possibility of synthetic evolution. Louise received the New Graduate Award at Synthesis, Manchester Science Festival, 2013, was a finalist in the international Bio Art & Design Awards, 2015 and... Read More →


Monday July 11, 2016 13:30 - 14:30
Conservatorium Room 2.14

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