Cybersonica’s 2009 programme features a varied mix of projects, new and ongoing collaborations and the start of a possible residency programme at FACT in Liverpool:
Cybersonica residency on the Future Of Sound: 6 dates between 13/11/08 and 23/05/09
Cybersonica Social: irregular Cybersonica live happenings – such as Kinetica Art Fair 01/03/09
Cybersonica @ i-Design: Virtually Real 24/09/09 JUMP TO IT
Cybersonica 09 Road Trip: 23-29/09/09 JUMP TO IT
Cybersonica @ FACT: from Autumn 09
Full details for all these programme strands are listed below or yet to be announced. Keep checking the site or sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date.
Cybersonica @ i-Design 09: Virtually Real
i-Design 09 is an essential one day conference and showcase for anyone with an interest or passion for interactive design and the digital arts. The programme aims to inspire, entertain and explore how our digital future looks set to unfold and the central role interactive design will take in our cultural, work and social life.
Cybersonica’s contribution to i-Design 09 includes:
and features the following contributing artists, works and collaborators:
Short, sharp and shocking artistic and creative interjections into the i-Design Conference programme.
A live re-enactment by MOTH & VC Kristi of Plinth – their recent site-specific audio/visual performance responding to the De la Warr Pavilion as part of the Film Screening by Onedotzero of their recent Adventures in Motion festival’s Wow + Flutter programme and film highlights from Future of Sound artists.
MOTH formed in November 2008 in the shadows of East London warehouses, flyovers and canal towpaths. Comprising digital artists Ed Firth and Shaun O’Connor, MOTH is united by a passion for experimental technology and for pushing the boundaries of traditional VJing. MOTH bridges the divide between club visuals and street art, generating site-specific HD 720p video graffiti designed in response to the morphology, texture and ambience of the spaces and structures of the outside world. Two wireless, wearable projection units connected to media tablets allow the artists to move freely around their chosen environment, selecting and relaying pre-produced film and animation designed specifically for that arena.
MOTH’s approach is to explore a space, a structure or an area and respond to its shape, history, context and connotations through projected film and animation, treating the surfaces not just as a screen but as an element of a spontaneous psychogeographical installation. Recent commissions have revolved around exciting architecture and interesting, unloved fixtures of London’s urban landscape, from the Bow Flyover and Ladbroke Grove’s West Way to Heritage-Listed national treasures such as the Trellick Tower, the V&A Museum and the De La Warr Pavilion.
Plinth – a live installation performance, June 2009
Ditigal art duo MOTH were comissioned by UP Projects, an independent public art agency, to create a site specific audio/visual performance that responds to the De la Warr Pavilion, the UK’s first public building designed in the Modernist style. Inspired by the myth of Persephone and the story of the statue, they developed Plinth – a high definition video graffiti theatre experience inspired by the Modernist architecture of the De La Warr Pavilion, with music created by capturing sounds from inside the building itself as well as live audio sung by VC_Kristi and transmitted via wireless headsets. The performance headlined the DLWP’s ‘Random Fridays’ evening on June 19th, as part of the South East’s Festival of Architecture 2009.
The story follows Orpheus, a musician, as he leads the spirit of his wife Eurydice from Hades, after Persephone, Queen of Hades, makes a deal with them. Eurydice can leave the Underworld and return to life by following Orpheus, but only on the condition that he doesn’t turn to look at her before they reach the surface. If he does, he will lose her forever.
An exhibition of digital interactive artworks and installations, technology showcases and demonstrations that present our unique – and often sonic – viewpoint on the i-Design 09 theme.
Squidsoup’s work combines sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces. They aim to allow participants to take active control of their experience. They explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digital experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur. Their work has been shown at numerous festivals, seminars and galleries around the world.
Squidsoup’s work can be experienced online at www.squidsoup.org, and in shared spaces, physical and virtual installations, games and software tools.
Ghosts explores text-based communication in the digital age. It plays with the notion of instant messaging and questions what happens when these messages are given a new context and longer-term existence – a new, virtual, lease of life.
Permanent virtual sculptures are created out of fragments of thought and throwaway comments, giving each message a new context and added meaning. And as the visuals are built out of the messages people leave, every message left will have an impact on all future viewers.
Ghosts is an installation and online experience. In the installation, text can be entered using mobile phone text messaging (SMS) or by direct keyboard entry.
The development of Ghosts was part funded by the Clark Digital Bursary, and commissioned by the Watershed Gallery, Bristol. It was also selected as the centrepiece of the Watershed’s 21st Birthday celebrations (February-June 2003) and has been shown at numerous venues since.
Glowing Pathfinder Bugs is a Squidsoup project and a PortablePixelPlayground commission.
Recently discovered by Squidsoup researchers in Faroffistan, the Glowing Pathfinder bug appears to be a hybrid centipede/caterpillar. It lives in the sandy deserts of Faroffistan, and has the habit of roaming around small trenches and paths. Its usual habitat has been recreated here.
The Glowing Pathfinder is also a very sociable animal – it likes to meet other bugs, and when two Pathfinders meet, VERY strange things happen!
To play with the Glowing Pathfinder Bugs:
Dig paths, moats and gulleys in the sand for them to wander along, and encourage them to meet each other. When two Pathfinders meet, one may be lucky enough to witness their unique and magnificent instant metamorphosis.
Remember – the Glowing Pathfinder is small and quite shy. Quick movements nearby may well scare them off – and they can move very fast when they want to.
Sodaand Fiddian Warman – GAS (Generative Art Software): ‘Social Media Montage Machine’ & Neurotic pogoing robot (tbc)
With a grounding and fine and digital arts Fiddian Warman embodies a synthesis of creativity and technology and is passionate about the application of this hybrid in a range of social contexts. He is skilled and experienced in identifying underlying opportunities or challenges and innovating elegant strategies and solutions to meet these needs. His fifteen year experience of leading creative teams enables efficient and effective delivery of these innovations. As founder and MD of Soda, Fiddian leads teams of artists, developers and entrepreneurs in the development of creative tools that help communities work, play and learn together. The best known of Soda’s suite of innovative applications is the BAFTA-winning online construction environment, Sodaplay
Fiddian’s artworks reflect on the effect of technology on societies by use of mechatronic and robotic systems.
Generative Art System is a custom and highly reconfigurable native windows application that takes feeds of still and video images and text and montages them together in real time, never repeating. The use of gaming graphics technology means that it can be fast and smooth with many layers of activity running simultaneously. It has been used for many large scale art projects (e.g. Nahnou Together in Tate Britain) and various commercial situations and events. The current build takes two twitter streams (one a feed of a nominated account the other a search) the images are from two Flickr seach terms it’s behaviour being easilly modified. In this way it can reflect online social activity going on around i-Design 09 in real time.
Media examples of previous GAS projects include:
The Sancho Plan – Spacequatica
The Sancho Plan is an award-winning collaboration of writers, musicians, animators, designers and computer programmers, whose creative output has been shown in galleries, festivals, cinemas, theatres and on television and computer screens around the world.
Their new breed of live audiovisual art premiered at the Optronica festival at the National Film Theatre in July 2005, and has since been enjoyed by audiences at Ars Electronica, La Noche en Blanco, Late at Tate Britain, Burning Man and SIGGRAPH to name but a few. The Sancho Plan was also recently commissioned to create a new animated-musical experience for the world’s largest permanent 3D stereoscopic immersive theatre at the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz for their year as European Capital of Culture. They are currently in production on a new audiovisual animated performance to premiere in Newcastle in September 2009.
Through the careful combination of animation, sound, music and technology, The Sancho Plan create fantastical worlds in which animated musical characters are triggered by a variety of electronic drum pads.
Their new Spacequatica installation invites you to play the drumpads to explore an audiovisual aquarium populated by a varied cast of musical sea creatures. Visually and sonically, the user plays along a descending journey – from the surface, where schools of small exotic creatures can be performed like phasing xylophones, through the deeper waters populated by dangerous robotic sharks, and on to the pitch black depths, where all that can be seen and heard are rare self-illuminating species occasionally blinking out of the darkness.
Kinetica Museum aims to actively encourage the convergence of art and technology, providing an alternative platform to static traditional forms of art such as painting and sculpture. The inaugural Kinetica Art Fair, produced by Kinetica Museum, was the first of its kind in the UK and provided collectors, curators and the public with a unique opportunity to view and purchase artworks from leading international galleries, artist collectives, design companies, curatorial groups and organisations specialising in kinetic, electronic, robotic, light, sound, time-based and interdisciplinary new media art. Kinetica’s aim through the Fair is to popularise artists and organisations working in these genres and to provide a new platform for the commercial enterprise of this field.
Kinetica Art Fair will take place again next year at the University of Westminster P3 Space from February 4th – 7th 2010. At i-Design 09 Kinetica will present Balint Bolygo‘s Epicycloidoscope, exhibited at this year’s Art Fair, as well as a selection of work from TINT, an emerging arts collective for 2010.
Balint Bolygo – Epicycloidoscope
The ‘Epicycloidoscope’ is likened to a Musical Theremin, but instead of producing soundwaves from the interference of electromagnetic waves, complex lightwaves are produced by a moving laser beam.
The device responds to the movement of the user and in turn, translates the finest of human movements into intricate Lissajous curves or epicycloids in the form of momentary light forms. The infinite amount of light drawings, can be projected onto any surface, and embody live human interaction, where human action becomes transfigured into ever changing illuminations.
TINT is an artist-run organisation which showcases high quality interactive art thorough a curated program of exhibitions, events, workshops and performances. Focusing on presenting new and innovative hybrid art, generated through experimentation and the fusion of visual arts, science and technology. TINT aims to encourage artists to realise concepts and ideas to their full potential, supporting a community of artists, curators, researchers and organisations in the development of new opportunities and resources. This artistic collaboration intends to further advance the awareness and capabilities of interactive art. TINTarts online offers its contributing artists, a space for promotion, a dedicated forum for discussion, and an open archive (wiki) devoted to new media arts.
Tanja Vujinovic – Extagram 2
Tanja Vujinovic is a visual and sound artist. Tanja uses custom electronics, textiles, and various software applications to create playful and bizarre experiences through dynamic works employing toy-like objects, touch, sound, and visuals. Her “Discrete Events in Noisy Domains” works deal with the phenomena of chance operations, interfaces, toys, gadgets, noise, and signals.
Extagram 2 belongs to the ongoing cycle of works Discrete Events in Noisy Domains, consisting of tactile-sonic objects or ambients based on multiple nonlinear video and sound systems that recode events into audio-visual noisy data streams.
Extagram is a series of micro-works that stems from the relationship between drawings and sounds and audio-visual recycling. The resulting audiovisual Extagram(s), open up the field of the indeterminacy of the state, which is a possible mapping and a flux, a draft of space vibrations and temporary field trajectories. Extagram-ST807 is entirely made of television test signals from various TV networks. The Oscilo series recodes micro-camera signals as a broken data stream of glitch sounds.
David Strang is an artist who works with sound and interactive elements. His work looks closely at the natural surroundings we live in and amplifies certain aspects to heighten our perception of space/place. Recent work includes site-specific installation, field-recording, networks and re-appropriating media objects. He has collaborated and exhibited with visual artists as well as exhibiting solo work in the UK, Europe, Russia and USA. He lives and works in the UK.
Vincent Van Uffelen bends technology to open up the rigidly engineered for artistic investigation. He continuously searches for gaps, the unforeseen, and hidden poetics within the media ecologies of his techno-social environment and works individually and in collaboration with other artists to create urban interventions, site-specific installations and on-line works that have been exhibited in the UK and Europe.
Transmission+Interference uses laser light to transmit audio signals through hacked laser pointers that are received by photocells and amplified through speakers. In-between the transmitters and receivers are prepared bicycle wheels that function as template for scores made out of materials of various opacities. Scores that modulate the transmission by blocking different amounts of light. The wheels are used, as they are often seen symbolically, as timing elements and when they are turned by visitors a symphony of sound is created at various speeds and rhythms that gradually returns to continuous frequencies.
Stuart Dunbar – Bad Faith
Stuart Dunbar is a mechanical artist, utilizing new technologies with traditional metal work techniques. His work has a natural fondness towards the technical aspects of production, whilst focusing on the delicate intricacies between objects and audiences. Stuart is a recent graduate from the BA Technical Arts and Special Effects at Wimbledon Collage of Art, and has worked on a series of collaborations and exhibitions throughout the UK.
Activated by motion sensors and servos, Bad Faith at first glance appears to be a solid sculpture, however as the viewer approaches it responds to their presence shifting it’s position in relation to the speed and distance of movement. The fragile state of Bad Faith echo’s the fluctuating relationship between object and viewer, highlighting the delicate nature of our interaction and interconnections with technology, and with each other.
captincaptin – Circling Sound
captincaptin is interested in exploring the possibilities of user dependant interactive installations and sculptures. Creating artworks that can only exist in a completed form when the viewer actively engages with them, encouraging the audience to re-address their role in the display and creation of contemporary art. The sculptures and installations that captincaptin produce dynamically respond to changes within their environmental space, sensing a person’s presence and engagement. This interaction between artwork and viewer is not always apparent, a person may move within the environment of the installation and be unaware as to the direct response of their involvement. captincaptin is a collaboration between artists Gareth Goodison and Jonathan Hall.
A single user immersive sound installation using found and engineered audio recordings taken from various natural and mechanical locations. Cicling Sound transforms this into a cacophony of sound creating the appearance of a physical presence, which dislocates the users from the comfort of their surroundings. Through transferring these sounds between the 10 speakers immersion into the work is created by the steadily disorientation of fluctuating tempos and volumes. We ourselves are the producers of so much sound and yet the work aims to over enhance the experience.
Jason Bruges Studio – Study In White
London based Jason Bruges Studio produces innovative installations, interventions and ground-breaking works. The works create interactive spaces and surfaces that sit between the world of architecture, site specific installation art and interaction design. The studio is particularly well known for light based design, exploring interactivity with the public and the environment through the highly imaginative use of materials and technologies.
Study In White, a new piece by the studio continues its exploration of the relationships between qualities of light and depth of surface. By exposing the eye to varying intensities of light mediated through a textured surface, volume is perceived in the lit and unlit areas of the canvas. Pure white light is the medium in this study of physiological responses.
Musion is the company behind the Madonna and Gorillaz holographic performances, Lewis Hamilton’s and David Beckham’s hologram and many others. The Musion Academy is a think tank for visual artists, creatives, academicians, and digital artists to come together and explore new technology and holographic projection – and is the forum to open up holographic projection to artists, creatives and all those interested. 250 artists have joined in the last 9 months realising their own unique creations in a series of workshops, guest lectures and events. Academy attendees include graduates from some of the UK’s best art schools, animators and VJs.
5 artists – 5 events – 500 miles! (roughly)
Designed to be public facing but with an interventionist approach, the Cybersonica Road Trip was an engaging and enjoyable week of activity that enabled the Road Trip artists to see, meet and connect with a wide range of UK and international digital interactive designers, practitioners and creative agencies; grass root and more established UK media artists; students of digital media and related courses; and select UK arts agencies and venues; as well as network and be amongst supportive peers – and all while presenting their work for free and in unusual public spaces.
The Road Trip schedule:
The weekly forum for students, artists and people from the creative industries to engage with and create work for the Musion holographic projection technology.
The digital interactive design conference at the London Design Festival
Unconference @ Expo Leeds
The UK’s largest annual free festival of sound art and experimental music.
Invited artists hobbyists and makers show and tell self made, developed and hacked devices for playing sound and music on Saturday day and evening in a free trade fair/market style setting
– a fringe event of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival of New Cinema and Digital Culture
AND exists to create a space where artists and filmmakers can offer striking new perspectives, and visitors can enjoy, discuss and interact with ideas, in a festival that questions the normal and champions a different approach.
with Kinetica Museum
An agency that actively encourages the convergence of art and technology and showcases kinetic and electronic art
An artist run initiative, providing a platform for open discourse, experimentation and display of digital/analog hybrid art forms.
Road Trip Artists
Matthew Davidson a.k.a. Stretta – Boston, USA
Matthew Davidson grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. Sparked by the arrival of the Macintosh in 1984, he soon developed a love of music composition and in 1988, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend to study film music composition and music synthesis at Berklee College of Music, where he fused the worlds of harmonic theory and intelligent software. He then went on to work with electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos on a number of projects including the world’s only live performance of Switched On Bach at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Matthew has released numerous music CDs, sample libraries, and contributed sound design to several commercial instruments. His music can be heard on nationally-syndicated shows like ‘Echos’ and ‘Hearts of Space’, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and satellite radio.
Matthew has designed the user interface to a number of award-winning professional audio applications including Volta, Digital Performer, and more.
Matthew believes the best toys are non-specific and modular in nature.
In 2007, Matthew shifted gears to focus on creating software for the monome, and released an album of pure monome music entitled ‘Grids’ via the Creative Commons license under the moniker ‘Escape Philosophy’. Matthew released two more albums under the Creative Commons license in 2008 – lightly embellished piano improvs captured during very short windows of opportunity in the morning.
He lives in Cambridge, MA, USA with his wife and two kids.
Civil engineer turned artist, Jens Heinen builds his own visual software, VJs, makes interactive installations and produces visuals for large scale events. Always in search of the undiscovered his work brings different materials and media together to produce a provoking fusion of technologies and programming at the border of electronic ar
Jens is also a part of Lichtfaktor – the Cologne artists’ collective who experiment with the possibilities yielded by bulb (long-term) exposure and painting. Their aim is to explore all aspects of “lightwriting” and to develop it further and with his “lightprinter” Jens is able to paint logos, words and patterns as if they are printed in the air – the next step in “lightwriting”.
Golden Fluid: The fascination of fluid dynamics and Jens’ former research in this field during his studies resulted in the interactive Installation “Golden Fluid”. The installation shows a projection which is a reflection of the real world as a golden fluid which can be influenced by the viewers movements. The physics of the fluid results in an abstracted dynamic projection which is always unique and personal.
The Owl Project are a collaborative group of Manchester based artists who share interests in human interaction with technology and process led art. Over the last few years they have become known for a distinctive range of wooden musical and sculptural instruments that critique human interaction with computer interfaces and our increasing appetite for new and often disposable technologies.
Arts Council England and London 2012 recently announced that artists’ collective Owl Project, and north east based producer and musician Ed Carter have been selected as the north east winner of a £500,000 commission for Artists taking the lead, one of the major projects for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
captincaptin is interested in exploring the possibilities of user dependant interactive installations and sculptures. Creating artworks that can only exist in a completed form when the viewer actively engages with them, encouraging the audience to re-address their role in the display and creation of contemporary art. The sculptures and installations that captincaptin produce dynamically respond to changes within their environmental space, sensing a person’s presence and engagement. This interaction between artwork and viewer is not always apparent, a person may move within the environment of the installation and be unaware as to the direct response of their involvement. captincaptin is a collaboration between artists Gareth Goodison and Jonathan Hall
Circling Sounds: A single user immersive sound installation using found and engineered audio recordings taken from various natural and mechanical locations. Cicling Sound transforms this into a cacophony of sound creating the appearance of a physical presence, which dislocates the users from the comfort of their surroundings. Through transferring these sounds between the 10 speakers immersion into the work is created by the steadily disorientation of fluctuating tempos and volumes. We ourselves are the producers of so much sound and yet the work aims to over enhance the experience.
Mike’s solo work is concerned with the relationship between sound, space and the imaginary – and he is interested in the presentation of sound as a medium, its relationship to physical and non-physical objects, and its power to engage us in an emotional way through memory or by evocation.
After graduating from Sussex University with an MSc in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems in 2004, he worked for a year at the University of Hertfordshire as a robotics researcher though he currently lectures in Digital Art at Brighton University and work as an arts technologis
Mike is a regular collaborator with the experimental band Spacedog and eco-art group Circus Kinetica and recently curated the sound art show ‘Sonic Art’ for the Brighton Festival Fringe 2009.
Recents works include:
Why a Road Trip?
Initially Cybersonica had two clear foci for this week of programming:
We considered the Road Trip an ideal opportunity to dip a preemptive toe into these rich and potentially prospective themes and hoped it would build relationships with key exponents of these scenes and encourage their involvement in more ambitious programming for Cybersonica 10.
Late confirmation of funding meant that much of the planning for the Road Trip was speculative – including an artist line-up in-flux until the last minute – yet despite -and quite possibly because of these challenges, by all accounts the Road Trip artists made a vital and beneficial contribution to the various activities in which they participated and genuinely enjoyed the experience.
Road Trip Partners
The Road Trip was supported by Arts Council England, i-Design 09, Sound and Music’s Expo Leeds, Kinetica Museum, Musion Academy, SoundNetwork and FACT.
The Road Trip helped Cybersonica build on existing relationships and forge new ones – with partners and collaborators with whom we share: