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INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOUNDSCAPE


EX3 - Viale Giannotti 81/83/85 50126 Firenze-Italia
Videos & Sound Installations May 20-22 2011

SOUND INSTALLATION

abstract

Fabian WINKLER Shannon McMULLEN Waves Records

Waves Records is a project about ecological, social and aesthetic reflection on Lake Michigan, close to our residence in Central Indiana. For this project, a specially prepared buoy is equipped with a wireless data transmitter that can send the amplitude and
frequency of water waves to data-logging software on a computer in a boat in close proximity to the buoy. The waveforms of the recorded water waves are then turned into sound waves by a custom software system consisting of Processing and Supercollider
and they are pressed in microscopic format as grooves on vinyl records. We imagine the wave sounds that the records reproduce will have near subsonic frequencies constantly oscillating between the audible and inaudible spectrum. The following excerpt is just a
brief initial sketch but it already illustrates some of the aesthetic qualities of the resulting sounds.
There are publically accessible scientific archives such as the National Data Buoy Center’s collection of wave data, which would offer similar numbers as a starting point for this project. However, such a data-set cannot provide the phenomenological condition that I also wish to ‘record’ and incorporate into the project. Significantly, recording the waves on site places Waves Records more in the context of musical performance - the buoy becomes a musical instrument - rather than a purely scientific tool for the sonification of data. Additionally, we will be able to strategically reposition the buoy to capture a more subjective representation of water waves.
The proposed vinyl record becomes both a playback medium for the sonified water waves and a storage medium for the sensor data. Tapping into the visual properties of the recorded data sets as grooves on the record, we envision that electron-scanning microscope images of the record grooves will be exhibited with the playable vinyl record as prints mounted on the gallery wall. The presentation of Waves Records will be further accompanied by a documentation video that captures the recording process of the water waves.
This work is inspired by a collection of sounds and music ranging from early soundscape recordings to experimental electronic music to rock. Central to all of these referenced projects is the idea of artistic translation of a fast changing or disappearing natural environment into a musical score.

 

Artist Bios:
Shannon McMullen
Shannon McMullen received a PhD in sociology from the University of California, San Diego in 2007. Her dissertation entitled Post-Industrial Nature and Culture in the Ruhr District, Germany, 1989-1999 considers an extreme example of how a rust belt region came back to vitality when its political and cultural elites jointly invented a new kind of aesthetic based on the material and "natural" legacy of more than a century of coal mining and steel production.
Based on her fieldwork experience in the Ruhr District of Germany and dissertation writing, Shannon has also developed an interest in art practice that engages and shapes the experience of urban spaces. She draws on her training in sociology and is influenced
by landscape architecture and interactive art. Her artworks have been featured in exhibitions in Canada, Germany, South Korea and the USA. McMullen recently gave lectures at Statens Museum for Kunst/National Art Museum in Copenhagen Denmark
(The Artwork between Technology and Nature) and at ISEA 2010, International Society for Electronic Arts (Ruhrgebiet, Germany).
Together with Fabian Winkler McMullen has recently been awarded an National Science Foundation CreativeIT grant for an interdisciplinary project bringing together scientists, engineers and artists in a pilot study of creative collaboration at Purdue University investigating new images of nature in contexts such as climate change and global warming.

Fabian Winkler
Fabian Winkler is an artist working at the intersections of the moving image, sound, spatial structures and robotics. He explores the aesthetic potential and the cultural implications of seemingly well-known artifacts through the use of new technologies.
Conceptually, his works are often influenced by archeological research into the history of technology and observations of social processes.
Winkler holds degrees from State College of Design (HfG)/ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany and UCLA, Department of Design|Media Arts, Los Angeles, USA. Prior to founding the area of Electronic and Time-Based Art at Purdue in 2006, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

 



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