Wind-up birds sound recordings

As mentioned in a previous post, Wind-up Birds made an appearance in the foresty hillside of Fløien. Fløiensvingene (The Fløien turns) is a curly path up the steep hill (as steep as 25 degrees), starting at about 180 m above sea level, and ending at about 300m.
It is a city forest, blending the sounds of the city with sounds of nature, as well as the sound of all the people using it.
I quickly edited together a few sound recordings from various points along the path to give you an impression of how the wind-up birds blended into their environment.

They´re back

For the occasion of Festpillene i Bergen 2010, a flock of Wind-up Birds has taken over the mountain side of the Fløien mountain. More specifically along the windy, steep path through the spring-green forest called Fløiensvingene. They will probably stay a few weeks. This has created a lot of buzz among the people using the path, so I will try to spend as much time as possible there to listen to audience reactions.

They might sound similar to previous generations, but there has been a few changes under the hood: The wood blocks have this time been milled instead of glued, making them more robust. Thanks to Ivar Bergseth and his CNC mill!

I use a new set of xbee modules, the xbee 2.4 pro digimesh modules. This gives a more stable network and is much easier to work with than the previous firmware.

I made new more practical circuitboards, which I got manufactured at BatchPCB, making the job of assembling the woody boards much easier. This was my first attempt at working with Eagle PCB circuit design software, but I leaned heavily on Roar Sletteland´s previous PCB layout for the first generation.

blink at Sonic Acts XIII in Amsterdam

I am presenting blink at the Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam. The installation is part of an exhibition that will be on until May 2nd at NIMK.

I have added some images of this version of the installation in my blink flickr set.

The theme of this year´s festival is The Poetics of Space, and the program is packed with audiovisual performances, screenings, a very extensive conference program as well as the exhibition. There is also an accompanying book, which contains the text that Mitchell Whitelaw wrote about my work.

I will be giving a presentation on the last day of the conference.

The program for Sonic Acts is avaible online, but also you can download the programme booklet as PDF.

blink feedback

As expected, the international art press didn´t fly to Bergen to cover my exhibition. Neither did the national press or the local press (with one exception).

However, I did get a lot of positive comments from visitors of all ages (see more of the younger generation´s response here), as well as some feedback from Norwegian art blogs like kunstkritikk and ytter (both in Norwegian).

Create Digital Motion generously mentioned my work, as well as the blog Young Starving, which was just too flattering not to mention :-)

“This is pretty darn beautiful. Projection mappings been done to death but so far most people have just copied each other and done trippy, morphing stuff on castles and libraries. HC Gilje takes a step back and puts two flat surfaces to work. We’re in love.”

For a relatively updated list of coverage, take a look here (in norwegian)

blink blink

My exhibition at HKS contained two new installations, both named blink. The first blink has already been mentioned.

In the cellar of the gallery I set up an artificial sundial, 24 leds placed in a circle, moving the shadows of the people standing within the circle.

I used the dimsun lighting system which I made this summer, based on power LEDs and arduino controlled LED drivers (TLC5940).

blink

Last week my exhibition blink opened at HKS in Bergen, Norway. It consists of two new installations and documentation of the main projects I have done during my research fellowship.

In the basement I have a light-sound installation, with 24 bright LEDs placed in a circle in the ceiling, animating the shadow of the visitor.

In the main space I have a video projection-sound installation, where I project into/onto the gallery space.

Since my project the last three years has focused on improvising with spaces, transforming them using image, light and sound, I decided for this exhibition to go all the way and work with two empty spaces.

You can see an excerpt of the projection installation here:

more images of the installation.

I will come back with documentation of the light-shadow installation.

HKS asked the australian artist and writer Mitchell Whitelaw to write a text about my work.

The space between my ears

Perceptual meltdown after Granular Synthesis retrospective at the STRP festival in Eindhoven, in the old Philips facilities in the Strijp area.

The festival´s focus this year was a retrospective on maximalists austrian media art group Granular Synthesis. It was a unique opportunity to see a lot of the group´s work as well as newer work by the two members Ulf Langheinrich and Kurt Hentschläger. If you have ever seen any of their work before you would guess that this would be an overkill event, and you are right. The works are intense audiovisual bombardements, they physically attack your senses and that does something with your body and mind.
The Granular Synthesis performance installations POL and modell 5 are large scale multiple projections with a corresponding large sound system, which worked well in their monumental way in the factory space.
The solo works are not that large-scale, but more intense. Ulf Langheinrich showed Hemisphere (which I mentioned earlier from the exhibition “from spark to pixel”) and Drifter. Kurt Hentschläger showed Cluster and Zee, which could be seen as offsprings from his ARS electronica performance Feed in 2007. Zee is basically a room filled with smoke, with stroboscopic images projected into the smoke. You loose all reference to the physical space and experience psychedelic visions.

All their works relate to perception, and it was an interesting coincidence that I was reading The Space between our Ears while I was at the festival.

It was a bit strange to experience Granular Synthesis at STRP, since the audience is mainly a quite young techno crowd, and the difference between a trippy techno party and an installation like Zee is pretty vague.

Apart from the retro media artists there wasn´t so much of interest at the festival, the exhibition was a mix of two trends in the media art scene: The commodification of media art on the one side: beautiful objects in perfect collector size, and the technology fascination on the other side.

The Strijp area contains more than the festival. It is the site of the former Philips research lab Natlab, in the art world probably best known for the creation of le poéme electronique, a collaboration between LeCorbusier, Varese and Xenakis for the World Expo in Brussels in 1958 (I will probably write a bit more about this in a separate post).

The old Natlab is now dead, but last fall Baltan laboratories emerged in another part of the Strijp complex, a media lab with a fantastic space and with interesting artists like Telcosystems and Geert Muul involved. I will give a presentation there in the end of may as part of their monthly public Natlab sessions.

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