INNER VOICES (2013) [generative, feedback based installation]

At the beginning, designing this work, my target was mostly practical: to realize something that anyone, in any place, space and situation, with no budget and without a professional audio equipment could realize by his or her own. And that anyone could share with other people for free collective realizations (or any other purposes).

For these reasons, the core unit of this interactive sound installation is the built-in audio system of a common computer, and a “seed”: a freeware application software implemented in Pure Data (a freeware and open-source graphical programming environment) that you can download from this link: [mac: http://db.tt/EwkXry76] [win: http://db.tt/7ii2IxaR] (you need Pure Data in order to run the application software).

HOW IT WORKS

Audio feedback is the main principle involved.

The sound captured by the computer’s microphone is digitally processed by means of: a band pass filter, a pulse width modulator, a granular synthesizer, and a stereo reverb, each one with the values of the main parameters randomly determined. Every 15 seconds, the application software turns on the microphone, raises the speaker’s volume up to a value between 0.9 and 1, and changes randomly the values of the audio processes. After 15 seconds it turns off the microphone and lowers the speaker’s volume down to 0 for 0.25 seconds. After that it restarts the cycle. In this way every 15 seconds a new larsen could happen (or not!). The sonic features of the sound event are determined by: the physics features of the computer’s audio system; the values of the electroacoustic process; the specific nature of the environment where the installation takes place, the particular position of the computer in this space, the number of computers involved. Each larsen is accompany with a colored light flickering on the computer screen, in response to the audio feedback’s raw pitch and amplitude.

INNER VOICES can be realized using minimum one computer up to any number of computers, by anyone, in any place, in any configuration, for any duration.

In the video above, shooted during the first set up of this installation, I’ve used 8 computers: 6 laptops with the built-in audio system; 1 laptop with the built-in microphone, external loudspeakers and video projector; 1 iMac with external microphone and external loudspeakers and subwoofer.

Below, you can listen an extended audio documentation of the installation version shooted in the video.

The aesthetical aims of this interactive sound installation are: to look at an everyday device like the computer (commonly used in an instrumental way) as a subject endowed with an own inner voice; to create a situation where these subjects can sonically interact with the surrounding environment; to leave these new subjects free enough to express their own behaviour; to spark an indeterminate, self-producing and evolving process.

 

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