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“To us, the value of a work lies in its newness: the invention of new forms, or a novel combination of old forms, the discovery of unknown worlds or the exploration of unfamiliar areas in worlds already discovered – revelations, surprises.” (Octavio Paz)

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This work is intended as a digital ecology, a designed underlay of synthetic life beneath the everyday environment of the garden. Although some of the sounds emitting from the loudspeakers are derived from the natural world and several recordings have been used in this final implementation, the majority of the sounds you can hear are synthetic. The physical causes of sounds existing in nature (water, frogs, wind, cicadas and so on) have been explored, analysed and modelled in open-source software.

For example, the water-like textures (water being the focus of the recent World Listening Day) are generated according to the implementation of algorithms expressing the phenomenon of turbulence and its modification by factors including imagined depth, speed of flow, impedance and fluid viscosity. By way of a second example, sounds derived from insect life include pure tones, high pitched whistles and frictional sounds of tiny hairs and body parts rubbing together – a phenomenon called stridulation – a diversity of such sonic processes have accordingly also been modelled.

Practico-Aesthetic Context 1

“Procedural audio is sound qua process, as opposed to sound qua product. Behind this statement lies a veritable adventure into semiotics, mathematics, computer science, signal processing and music. Procedural audio is non-linear, often synthetic sound, created in real time according to a set of programmatic rules and live input.” (Andy Farnell)

Sound, in a general sense, always involves an element of change – the most simple oscillation, and hence most sound creation, depends upon a dynamic change between one state and another. A further observation is that sound creation also implies some form of behaviour – be this intentionally communicative as in the case of many biotic sound forms (mating calls, territorial warnings, orientation signals, human speech and song etc.) or simply indicative of system states in the case of non-biotic forms (large-scale behaviour, water flow, wind speed etc.). The piece is then a primitive attempt to model, and thereby understand, the complexities of biotic and non-biotic sound interactions as found in our soundscapes.

The encounter of the title, in the first place, refers to these complex interactions.

“Biophony describes the acoustic bandwidth partitioning process that occurs in still-wild biomes by which non-human organisms adjust their vocalizations by frequency and time-shifting to compensate for vocal territory occupied by other vocal creatures. Thus each species evolves to establish and maintain its own acoustic bandwidth so that its voice is not masked. For instance, notable examples of clear partitioning and species discrimination can be found in the spectrograms derived from the biophonic recordings made in most uncompromised tropical and subtropical rain forests.“ (Bernie Krause)

Secondarily, the encounter also describes the meeting between technology and ecology. The work was initially based upon sound recordings of a river ecology in North Western Scotland, a place with profound personal meaning and overflowing with memories. As work on the piece developed it became clear that a more procedural methodology (as described above) would not only support a more nuanced understanding of the behavioural sound interactions in this environment but also remove unnecessary (outmoded?) emotional content and enable a more nuanced and dynamic digital installation.

Theoretical Context 1: Bergson: Time and Duration

“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth all sensation is already memory.”

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” (Henri Bergson)

The primary means by which this is implemented is through the introduction of time into the piece. While sound recordings invariably point towards the past, the procedural method implemented here occurs wholly in the present. Various behaviours occur at particular moments throughout the day and sonic events are programmed to occur at the level of seconds, minutes and hours. We might also begin to imagine further variations in sonic behaviour at the grain of weeks, months, years and so on. Consider, for example, how the sound environment of this garden has changed over the last 30 years? How might we be able to track such change? Are these changes for the better or the worse? How also does your own behaviour alter this, and other environments?

“The idea of the future, pregnant with an infinity of possibilities, is thus more fruitful than the future itself, and this is why we find more charm in hope than in possession, in dreams than in reality.” (ibid.)

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As you move around the garden, as we certainly hope you do, you will also encounter small solar powered sonic circuits created by local participants in the supporting workshop. These elements are, like the sounds coming from the loudspeakers, also intended to evoke primitive “life-like” sonic entities. They are fully autonomous, drawing their energy solely from the sun. Their behaviours, as designed by their makers, are variable and each displays its own idiosyncrasies as determined by their individual internal resistances, capacities, their location in the garden and the contingencies of the daily climatic conditions. The various elements of the work then (solar circuits, and the various sounds diffused from loudspeakers), all attempt to exist as fully as possible in the present, though are derived from past activity and are, like us, facing an uncertain future.

Thesis 1

1. Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster.
2. Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster.
3. The political left is technological society’s first line of defence against revolution.
4. What is needed is a new revolutionary movement, dedicated to the elimination of technological society. (Theodore Kaczynski)

The third, and perhaps most vital area referred to by Electronic Encounter is this individual and collective participation in and impact upon our sonic environments and our broader lifeworld.

Theoretical Context 2: Dark Ecology

“Ecological writing keeps insisting that we are “embedded” in nature. Nature is a surrounding medium that sustains our being. Due to the properties of the rhetoric that evokes the idea of a surrounding medium, ecological writing can never properly establish that this is nature and thus provide a compelling and consistent aesthetic basis for the new worldview that is meant to change society. It is a small operation, like tipping over a domino…Putting something called Nature on a pedestal and admiring it from afar does for the environment what patriarchy does for the figure of Woman. It is a paradoxical act of sadistic admiration.”  (Timothy  Morton)

This piece is, finally, “an ecology without nature”: an exploration and implementation of artificial entities, in whose company we found ourselves, here and elsewhere. Any sentiment towards the exterior world has been absenced – though a form of affect may yet still remain.

It is hoped that the work is enjoyed and that some of these issues are of interest and of relevance to you here in this moment that we encounter each other. It is proposed that contemporary society requires “renewable thought” – concepts being here considered as a resource in the broader ecology of human life. It seems clear that my own society, the so-called “United Kingdom” is in dire need of tenable concepts with which to survive the future, its economic malaise a dark mirror of its moral and social bankruptcy. It is a further wish that this electronic encounter can participate in meaningful exchange and that an ecology of health and hope can be encouraged in both our troubled nations.

Flyers-oficiales-JUL-2015-Soundscape

https://soundscapesexhibition.wordpress.com/

https://lauraplanagracia.wordpress.com/











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Local Anaesthesia Exhibition
http://localanaesthesiaexhibition.com/
27-29th May 2011. Bond House. New Cross, London.

What moves as a body, returns as a movement of thought.”
“A process set up anywhere, reverberates everywhere.”
“Concepts must be experienced. They are lived.
” (Erin Manning and Brian Massumi)

References
Goodman, S (2010) Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear. MIT
Manning. E (2009) Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy. MIT
Collins. N (2009) Handmade Electronic Music. Routledge


(3D Modelling by Szandor Dashwood)

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Worktype: Intermedial Room Installation (Audio, Visual, Sculptural, Spatial, Cybernetic, Relational, Social)
Materials: Red Lasers, Directional Speaker Array, Custom Sub-Bass Presence, Smoke Machine, Custom Sensor Electronics, Darkness.

Treatment
A darkened room is intersected by red lasers – malignant entities, whose role is uncertain. As visitors enter the space, their bodies activate the room installation. At the centre of the space, a black monolith is picked out by a single white spotlight – three sub-bass speakers are incorporated into this dense sculptural form and the room is filled with a thick wash of bass, sub bass and, sub-sub bass frequency. A feeling of dread denseness, at one time a comforting, unifying physicality, at another a malevolent force creating queasiness, claustrophobia and paranoia. The monolith draws visitors towards it like a black hole. Unknown to the them, the space is intersected by invisible lines of directional audio streams. As they move through the space these virtual channels of paranoiac transmissions, sinister and dreadful streams of intrasubjective terror, are seemingly broadcast into their skulls.

Dr Steve Goodman’s recent publication ‘Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and The Ecology of Fear’ will provide the experimental theoretical backbone of the proposed work. His discourse unifies a number of areas which are of great interest to me at this time: afrofuturism, entertainment-military sound practices, dub culture and urban experience. The curators approached me with a concept of ‘paranoia’, this, and Goodman’s work slotted together to provide me the inspiration for the proposed piece.

Construction by Don McLoglin and Oliver Gentili http://www.coroflot.com/o_gentili
Custom Circuitry by Michael Fisher, Lisa Hall and Ariel Karsh.
Lasers provided by Will Laslett
Thanks to Joel Cahen, Barbara Fuchs, Caroline Christie, Julia @ ASC and Kirk Woolford. Without whom, this would not have been possible. Diolch yn fawr.

Arduino / Electronics etc
1 x Arduino Uno
2 x Arduino Duemilanove
http://fritzing.org/
http://arduino.cc/
http://www.ladyada.net/make/waveshield/
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Tone3

Car Audio
Power a car amp from the mains.
Skytronic 13.6V, 15A DC Regulated Power Supply
Juce JA 990 3000W Two channel Amp
2 x Audiobahn 15″ Drivers (AW1500V)

Ultrasonic Speakers
4 x AS013A Ultrasonic Speakers
2 x AS028A Ultrasonic Speakers
http://www.nicera.co.jp/pro/ut/ut-04e.html
http://zao.jp/radio/parametric/index_e.php

Infrasound
“Recent interest in the potential adverse human health effects of infrasound (generally inaudible sound with a frequency of <20 Hz) arises from health concerns expressed by the residents of Kokomo, Indiana. Several individuals in this community have complained of subjective non-specific symptoms including annoyance, sleep disturbance, headaches, and nausea. These symptoms are perceived by the individuals to be due to a low-frequency hum-like noise in and around their homes that is not clearly audible to everyone. Several local, state, and federal agency officials as well as acoustic experts in the academic community and private sector have been called upon to assist in investigating these health complaints. As yet, no firm conclusions have been reached regarding the relationship between this low-frequency noise and the residents’ health complaints." (http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/Chem_Background/ExSumPdf/Infrasound.pdf. Accessed May 2nd 2011) http://forums.makezine.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3023
http://sites.google.com/site/appliedbiophysicsresearch/sound/infrasound/infrasound-design
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/subwoofers/140741-servodrive-subwoofer.html
http://www.eminent-tech.com/main.html
http://www.amazing1.com/vlf_elf.htm
http://www.swps.com/whelen-howler.html




Lasers
interesting future project? LDR’s combined with camera vision can locate position in 3D space. room laser harp.
http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1279656020
http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/en-uk/videos/j-spaceman-and-jonathan-glazer










The nonvulgar journey of sonic art

I listen, I hear, I obey.

Does the exquisitely dissonant institution of sound art, and its subsequent ordering of desire, ensure that we subscribe to a genealogy through which it is governed? In this composition I hear a rhizomic collective, which obeys, albeit contradictorily, a government of past and future time. Historical mapping reconceptualized, audibly so. I hear the pop, clunk, hum, clink, buzz of the sonic agent provocateurs scrambling to inscribe difference.

‘Tomtoumtomtoumtomtoum’; the ‘Cage’ of Sonic Arts past. I hear hindsight.

‘Bwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’; the sound of sonic arts future.

I hear possibility, dynamic, open, multiple, textured, outside ‘time, (is there outside time?). Referring to Heidegger, Derrida describes how, in the nonvulgar or ‘Greek’ conception of time, times past, present, and future converge and diverge; they are at once glancing, touching and yet so very distant. The nonvulgar appear and disappear in this composition’s motifs, they ascribe difference, blend and further differentiate how I listen. I hear the sound of the oncoming community, Nietzsche’s Übermenschare, nonvulgar, allegorical.

This sonic journey has no pause, the repeating beating ‘new order’ of fleeting voices propels concepts adnauseam. Everything that can happen is happening, and not only once, but infinitely. Turning and returning. It does not go along with a simple, linear, modernist scenario. But further problematizes sonic arts institutionalized patterns of irrationality.

Further along the plane I hear double meanings, a double-pincer of the future: one linear, one nonlinear.

It invokes individuation, movement, body, and sensation. Voicing announcements of the future of noise; whilst scattering uncanny silence, more a buzz than a beep of the future becoming. Is this a compositional transformative strategy, or my listening as relational and ultimately performative? I hear the sonic future that never arrives because it was already always here. It sounds nonlinear, atemporal or polymorphically temporal. It presents post-human possibilities as resonant and reverberant.

Ironically, this playful and metaphorical collage of sound arts genealogy is not only broader, but more literally plausible than what Heidegger calls the received or “vulgar” view of orderly, progressive, linear time. Language itself, the splintering of sounds into signs, into embodied and disembodied representations, signals and signifiers, call into question my subjective image of the past: a schizophrenic plane of signification, a neurotic creativity, the disunity of the singularity of becoming sonic.

Finally, I hear silence, an absent sense of knowing, of the heard, that I project into a future: pop merging with click, and dissolution into ecstasy, which relieves my constitutive sense of loss. Lacan suggests that this loss is based on the illusion of the uncoordinated. As a listener at the end of this work I feel like a wobbly toddler looking in the mirror and happily hallucinating in my own disunity. Once again language splintering signification. I am left with the idea of an uncomfortable wholeness. The reconciliation of sonic arts past with its future seems like an empirical illusion.

Ennioa Neoptolomus http://radioplateaux.org/



Year: 2010
Location: Quare Gallery, London
Worktype: Sound Installation
Materials: found speakers, 5.1 amplifier, squalor, dirt, voices, granulation, resonance, darkness.

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Live performance commission based around the concept of ‘source-code’ which became an econo sound installation exploring some of the theoretical writing about sound proposed by Salomé Voegelin in her Listening to Noise and Silence: toward a Philosophy of Sound Arts, Continuum Press, NY, ISBN: 9781441162076

Exhibition documentation including video piece “Observer-Observing (Ears, Eyes, Ears & Mouth)” (2010) following Takahiko Iimura, Observer/Observed/Observer, chapter Camera 1/2 – Monitor 1/2

Quare Gallery, London
http://www.or-bits.com/

Year: 2009
Location: Cecil Sharpe House, London
Worktype: Sound Sculpture
Materials: 4 vintage cassette machines (dissassembled), ardiuno, ultrasonic sensor, D.C. motors, audio tapes, band mashup, fan, L.E.D, writing, speakers, 2 x cassette walkmen.




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Year : 2008
Location : Germany
Worktype : Sound Installation
Materials : appropriated sculpture, digital recording, mp3 player, male to female conversation (failed)