sound

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Art Design

A Grid of Audio Speakers That Shoots Fleeting Patterns of Fog by Daniel Schulze

December 20, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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For Those Who See is a 2010 installation by Berlin-based artist Daniel Schulze that relies on a 7×7 grid of audio speakers to generate rings of fog that shoot upward from the device. The vortices appear for only a second or so, but are distinct enough that Schulze could then translate digital signals into fleeting visual patterns. The installation was a jury recommended work at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival and won the audience award at the Create10 Student Design Competition.

 

 



Art

Beautiful Thoughts: Artist Lisa Park Manipulates Water with Her Mind

June 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Conceptual artist Lisa Park has been experimenting with a specialized device called a NeuroSky EEG headset that helps transform brain activity into streams of data that can be manipulated for the purposes of research, or in this case, a Fluxus-inspired performance art piece titled Eunoia (Greek for “beautiful thought”). Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta, theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various patterns in accordance with her brain activity.

While the system is not an exact science, Park rehearsed for nearly a month by thinking about specific people whom she had strong emotional reactions to. The artist then correlated each of the five speakers with certain emotions: sadness, anger, hatred, desire, and happiness. According to the Creator’s Project her hope had been to achieve a sort of zen-like state resulting in complete silence, however it proved to be ultimately unattainable, a result that is actually somewhat poetic.

It’s important to note that artists have long been using EEG devices to create “music with the mind”. Composer and experimental musician Alvin Lucier had a somewhat similar performance called Music for Solo Performer back in 1965. Read more about Euonia over on the Creator’s Project. (via booooooom)

 

 



Science

The Visual Patterns of Audio Frequencies Seen through Vibrating Sand

June 6, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Youtube user Brusspup (previously here and here) who often explores the intersection between art and science just released this new video featuring the Chladni plate experiment. First a black metal plate is attached to a tone generator and then sand is poured on the plate. As the speaker is cycled through various frequencies the sand naturally gravitates to the area where the least amount of vibration occurs causing fascinating geometric patterns to emerge. There’s actually a mathematical law that determines how each shape will form, the higher the frequency the more complex the pattern.

 

 



Art

Giant New Sound Installation by Zimoun Inside an Abandoned Chemical Tank

May 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Prolific sound artist Zimoun (previously here and here) has completed work on what may be his most ambitious project ever, a towering sound installation inside an abandoned toluene tank in Dottikon, Switzerland. The permanent installation uses 329 of the artist’s trademark prepared dc-motors and cotton balls that have been affixed to the inner tank walls, and relied on contributions from Hannes Zweifel Architecture, Davide Groppi, and many others. The result is a whirring, rhythmic soundscape that is completely camouflaged within an old factory. Via Zimoun’s artist statement:

Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions effortlessly reverberates.

Zimoun has completed several additional installations in the last few months, all of which can been seen on his website.

Update: In case you’re wondering here’s a behind-the-scenes video of how it all came together.

 

 



Design Music

Collect Sounds Like Fireflies in the ‘Re: Sound Bottle,’ a Device that Creates Your Own Personal Soundtrack

December 28, 2012

Christopher Jobson

The Re: Sound Bottle is the audio equivalent of running around in a field in the summer collecting fireflies in a jar. Designed by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University, the bottle is simple in its usage but absurdly complex in its design which relies heavily on software to handle the recording, storing, and playback of audio tracks. To use it you simply uncork the device and if sound is present it immediately snaps into recording mode. As you record more individual sounds, an audio database is formed and tracks are automatically selected to create rhythmic tracks, essentially like a miniature robot DJ in a jar. To listen, you again uncork the top and wait for your personal soundtrack to play. Jun says he hopes the Re: Sound Bottle (still just a concept) will help people interact more directly with music by recording the audio from their daily life. The bottle won a special judge’s prize at the 2012 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards earlier this year. (via jason sondhi)