This started out as a project blog for HC Gilje´s research project “Conversations with spaces”.
Excerpts from the project description:
(Click here if you want to read the whole text)
Conversations with spaces
How can audiovisual tools be used to transform, create, expand, amplify and interpret physical spaces?
The body is the link between the physical world and the mind. Audiovisual technology can be considered as extensions of our perceptual and conceptual apparatus: The camera and microphone captures the world, which is processed by a system,and the projector and speaker projects a transformed perception back into the world.
I want to explore and interact with the environment using audiovisual media, to create a poetics of everyday life. This is partly inspired by ideas of the embodied mind from cognitive science, ideas from psychogeography about the individual´s relation to its environment, and expanded cinema.
To move in space and to organise in space is a way to think, dream and remember.
My point of entry into communicating with a space is in the crosspoint of a specific time and location, and how movement and motion connects the concepts of time and space, and thus the relation between the present and the memory of a space.
I want to draw on my own experiences from improvisation, site-specific work,experimental film/video, realtime systems and stage work to create a set of tools and methods to be able to improvise with/interact with/play a space.
A prerequisite for doing this kind of project is to have a physical environment to work in, so I will construct a lab environment.
The intention of the lab is to create a controllable space where I can work directly with distribution and movement of image and sound in space, interactive environments, and prototypes for dynamic roominstallations with video, light and sound.
It is important to have an intimate and fundamental knowledge of the technology for it to be used in art.
A lab situation enables me to work in a physical space with the necessary technology, to develop ideas, tools (software and hardware) and methods, which will highten my sensitivity and competence to improvise with other spaces.
It is natural for this project to look at the city/environment as screen/gallery/stage as well as a source. I want to move between these two approaches: interventions in the environment and experimenting in a studio lab.
My project is structured around some main research areas in the lab environment, which all relate to stages of capturing a space,processing/structuring, and projecting into a space (impression –> expression).
The focus of space through image,light and sound
I am interested in different ways of incorporating video,light and sound into physical spaces. Instead of simulating a 3D environment projected onto flat screens I would like to create dynamic spaces using video as light; by projecting 2D into a 3D space (and more advanced projecting a modelled 3dspace into a physical 3d space), masking of the image (like Iball), relief projection (projecting an object back onto itself, like Naimark´s Displacements).
For outdoor and mobile projects I need special housing for the projectors, and need to experiment with alternative forms of energy sources, like generators and batteries.
Instead of using surround sound to place a sound in a space, I would like to work with concrete sound sources, short range FM-senders and directional sound beams.
It will involve a lot of custom hardware and software solutions, and I would like to involve Soundscape Studios in Trondheim on the hardware side.
Multichannel composition and choreographed motion using image and sound.
An essential part of the project is to construct ways of controlling,linking and combining the different audiovisual elements, both in terms of creating a physical layout of audiovisual modules, but also to create a system for distribution of image and sound over multiple computers and sources.
My main interest on the software side is working with the idea of a network of audiovisual nodes, and experiment with different ways of how these individual elements relate to each other and to the global system, to create patterns, rhythms and movements across sources.
Apart from creating dynamic spaces by moving image and sound between different sources I also want to look at mechanical movement, by moving camera, projector, mirrors, projection surfaces. How can movement create spaces, and how does movement affect the perception of spaces?
As mentioned in the introduction, a space is a combination of being a specific location at a specific time. I want to explore this relationship on many levels: The relation between the memory/past of a space and the present (psychometric architecture), resolution of space and time (compressing/stretching time, looking at the surroundings through a microscope), breaking up the linear relation of space/time through animation, timelapse, reshuffling of frames, layers of time in a single image etc.
Sensing and changing the space through physical computing
Instead of using regular computers as nodes in the system, it will be interesting to explore ideas around ubiquitous computing, that computer processing will be distibuted in smaller units and have a more or less transparent presence in our lifes. Microcontrollers can both sense spaces through all types of sensors, RFID tags etc., and change spaces through use of light,sound,motors,and forcefeedback etc., so they can be an interface between the audiovisual world and the physical world.
I will be particularly interested in following the development of wireless microcontroller systems which could become an important part of doing interventions in public spaces.
Max is a graphical modular programming environment which can be used to make, control, transform and mix both video, sound, ligh, mechanical movements etc., and it is a tool I have used since I graduated at the art academy in 1999. It will be the main software development tool in the research fellow project.
My project is based on developing projects through the practical research done in the lab, so there will be a series of projects generated over the three years from this work, like nodio, soundpockets and mikro which have materialised in the initial period of my research fellowship.
Nodio is a multichannel audiovisual network where each node in the system is a source both for video and audio. The nodes are connected through a wireless network.
My focus is on what happens when several audiovisual sources are interconnected, where the most interesting part is what occurs between the sources, not the sources themselves: The development of patterns and rhythms, and the possibillity of creating a physical landscape of modules which you can walk through, where displacement and changes in image and sound transforms the space.
Mikro is a series of improvised performances using the immediate surroundings as raw material: A microscope captures everyday objects and surfaces like wallpaper,coins,clothing,furniture,newspapers and transforms it into an explosive universe of textures. Contact microphones and electromagnetic wave sniffers pick up unhearable sounds to create the live soundtrack.
Mikro is a collaboration between HC Gilje (video) and Justin Bennett (sound).
The first performance was at Paradiso in Amsterdam, feb 28th 2007.
Soundpockets is a series of projects of intimate sound interventions in public spaces. By using fm radiowaves, soundbeams and miniature speakers to create local pockets of sound, the different projects have different scope and focus: creating private listening rooms, changing soundtracks of a location, displacement of time/or space and a bit of general disruption of everyday life. It will be presented as part of the Urban Interface exhibition in Oslo, sept 2007.