University of Tennessee Knoxville, Objects on the Horizon exhibition, 2009
This set is a series of sculptural/acoustic devices that can are compatible with one another and can be configured in various ways. These objects can be physically connected and electronically synced in different arrangements as appropriate to the venue and exhibition. All of the sound is produced by and coded in Pure Data and Processing. Some of the sculptures were designed using CNC technologies and developed in consultation with acoustic researchers and computer scientists. Additional inputs such as video, light, air quality, and motion detection are sometimes used to affect the composition of the sound. In these works sound is as much the focus of the sculptural/aesthetic presence as the other constructed parts.
These works are specific to each venue; for each exhibition new programs are written, tuning the sounds and programmed processes to the architecture. The primary audio sources are often pure tones generated by the computer or reprocessed sound samples that are constantly monitored as they are captured by various types of microphones. Most sounds are further manipulated with various programmed filters and effects. These alterations become the structure for coded “behaviors” within the programming that generate a constantly shifting composition. As the sound changes in the space it is analyzed and then often altered, and played back as a constant self-referential feedback loop. Much of the work follows principles of psycho-acoustics, the perception of sound, with the intent of affecting how the size, shape, orientation of the space itself is understood; sound is a fluid, sculptural medium that affects our sense of place. Through the physical properties of sound and how they are perceived, these works address several types of structures simultaneously: our bodies, the sculpture itself, the building, the software, and the invisible architecture of the integrated circuit.
Userland[s] is work that connects a series of sculptures/acoustic devices via an electronic network that emit sound, listen for how the sound behaves in the room and responds with new sounds accordingly. Images generated from the programming are projected. These sculptures are modeled from a variety of different architectural types. Other data, from light, air pollution, motion, and the distance of nearby objects also affect the sound composition.