TransAtLab : AIX // CHICAGO // NICE

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2006 / 2007 Exchange Applications

SAIC: ATS and Sound graduate students interested in studying in Aix or Nice in Fall 2006 or Spring 2007, please contact Peter Gena ( p gena at artic dot edu) or Ben Chang (b chang at artic dot edu).


Aix-en-Provence Spatial Clock Sonics (field recordings, Max/MSP)

This piece involves the construction of a clock with an hourly chime system that represents the space of the Aix-en-Provence city center. I begin by overlaying an image of a clock face over a satellite image of the old city center. Overlapping these two images produces a spatial map with twelve distinct locations, plus the sound source represented by a point in the center of the clock face (see fig.1). The twelve enumerated locations are the sites at which I am making my binaural field recordings. Recordings are made while facing north so that the perceived location of the bells changes each hour. Although it may be impossible to deduce the location of the clock tower by sound alone, each space enjoys its own flavor of ambience and sound signature.

Full Project Description (PDF 1.0 MB )

Audio Excerpt (MP3 2.7 MB)


360 Degrees on D17 (three-channel video)

Quicktime MPEG-4 (624 KB)

This is a three channel video installation that I composed while in Southern France in 2005-2006. Once a week I would ride my bike east out of Aix-en-Provence toward Sainte-Victoire Mountain either by way of the D10 or the D17 road. I would make a loop around the mountain turning around at the village of Pourrieres and heading back west to Aix. The route would take me through the villages of Vauvenarges, Pourrieres, Puyloubier, and Le Tholonet, all having unique charming characteristic of their own. However, there was one general area on the route that seemed to capture the quite, relaxed beauty of this amazing place. Every week on my ride I would stop somewhere in this area and record a 360-degree, six second video. This piece is composed of three of these short videos played next to each other, so that the border of one video is butted up to another video's border.


The original version of this piece consisted of a Chris Rock sample being controlled by the feedback created by a performer walking around the room with a microphone. The threshold at which the feedback would trigger the sample or cut it off would be manipulated by another performer at the computer. Then, while in Aix, I heard on the international news that Richard Pryor had died. I had always been a Richard Pryor fan. In fact, my very first audio media was a "Richard Pryor, Live" 8-track given to me by my dad. I decided to go back and listen to some of his performances. The more I listened to his work the more I realized his impact on comedy. I felt it would be hard to use the Chris Rock sample or any comedy sample without using or referencing Richard Pryor. The Pryor samples I chose were taken from his live performances, while I took studio samples by Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Murphy. The "live" audio from the Pryor sample, complete with audience laughter and applause, contrasted with the dry "studio" samples of other comedians, allures to the distance between the styles of delivery. The difference between someone making a room full of people laugh and a more formulaic approach of the "act" of a comedian. This is also illustrated in my actions during the performance. By changing the shape of my mouth I control the feedback of the microphone. At the beginning of the performance I have to improvise and find the parameters of the feedback and learn which shapes and positions control the sound. As the performance goes on I learn how to control the samples a bit and begin to have some control over the piece.

T.V. Music

MP3 Excerpt (3:00 Min, 2MB)

This piece was composed by chance operation. I chose to roll dice to get the given values, which would determine the parameters for the composition. I used three tv's, each with the same 15 channels. Set number one only accesses channels 1-5 plus the "0" channel (off). Set number two accesses channels 6-10 plus off. And set three accesses channels 11-15 plus off. I rolled a six-sided die to determine the number of sections the composition would have and their lengths, as well as the duration between each section. Section one will be 60 seconds long with four seconds of silence afterwards. Section two will be 180 seconds long with three seconds of silence afterwards and section three will last 120 seconds. The six-sided die will also be used to determine which channels get played and for how long (see below, score).

To perform this piece I will use Max/MSP to do a "real time" mix based on the score.

I am from what has been termed the "TV generation". Kids of this generation, born from 1960-1980 were practically raised by the television. It was our babysitter, our friend, our teacher and maybe one of our biggest downfalls.

By watching television programming of a given area you can get a feel for the area's social psychi, including their given politics, sense of humor, history, ethnicities, ect. Television programming can accurately reflect the diversity (or lack of diversity) of an area. This is why I chose to use the television for my piece while studying in southern France. Being new to the area I found the television to be a good source of cultural reference and an interesting display of local idiosyncrasies. I also found comfort in its similarities to my own culture.

My project, "tv music" is similar to John Cage's 1956 "Radio Music" in that both pieces use chance operation to derive values in composing the scores. Both also utilize a culturally rooted technology to play a kind of "current culture music", skimming across the surface of a culture's media to deliver a diversity of sounds and languages to the listener.

In 1956, when Cage composed his "Radio Music" the television was not as integrated and diverse as it is now. In 1956 it must have seemed that the radio would soon be obsolete with the arrival of the television. And today, in 2006 it seems the television might soon be faded out by band width expansion leading to more accessible internet video streams. However, both mediums, the radio and the television, have integrated themselves into societies collective psychis and habits. Therefore, I do not believe either will disappear anytime soon. They might, however, change integrating and adapting to the newer technology deepening their roots into societyÕs structure.


Absolute Terror Field (Interactive installation, video projection, video tracking, Processing)

Voila deux semaines que je dŽveloppe ce projet inspirŽ par l'idŽe d'A.T.Field qui appara”t dans la sŽrie Evangelion (rŽalisŽ par Hideaki Anno du Studio Gainax) et par les situation auxquels j'ai Žtait confrontŽ ces derniers mois. Le tout commence a prendre forme, et plusieurs nouvelles idŽes se rajoute a mon impulsion initiale au fur et a mesure que les lignes de codes se succdent. Pour l'instant le programme rentre dans sa phase chaotique, l'instabilitŽ rgne et des rŽsultats inattendu apparaissent. Je pense que c'est le bon moment pour le confronter au monde extŽrieur, d'autant plus que l'interface (qui est devenue une webcam) est maintenant opŽrationnelle. Plus de dŽtails a venir.

L'A.T.Field, terme employŽ en psychanalyse pour identifier le mur, la barrire qui retranche les autistes dans leur univers et les "isoles" du monde extŽrieur, est Žgalement le support matŽriel du corps, il est la force qui maintiens les tres en des entitŽs uniques et indivisibles, qui les diffŽrencie les uns des autres, tant du point de vue physique que du point de vue spirituel, c'est la barrire de l'‰me.

Wired City (CAVE / Virtual Reality / Ygdrasil )

En fait il s'agit surtout d'un "travail a la maison", un devoir dont le but est de faire une scéne dans YG sans utiliser de texture. Donc c'est l'occasion de tester ma fonction qui Spawn des Nodes !! J'aimerai bien trouver un graphisme qui reprenne cette idée de transparence, je sais pas encore dans quel but, c'est juste une piste comme a. Mais pendant que je poste cet article je me rend compte que c'est vraiment moche ce que j'ai fait aujourd'hui.

YG Data Glitch (CAVE / Virtual Reality / Ygdrasil )

J'ai recement decouvert le "Data Glitching" (j'ai auqu'une idee de la traduction) et je trouve ca asse interessant. Il s'agit de lire les informations contenu dans n'importe quel type de fichier informatique et de jouer avec (les modifiers, les mellanger, les permuter). On peut par exemple ouvrire un MP3 dans photoshop avec une representation graphique des donnees, apliquer des filtres visuels a cette image puis enregistrer le tout et voire le resultat lorsque l'on reecoute le fichier sond, ou bien simplement lire le stram video d'une web cam comme un sond, ou une video comme une image, etc ...

ÊJ'aimerai bien apliquer ce processus a mes univers en 3D temps reel. Peut etre que ca serai une bonne idee pour integrer une interaction plus elaborer entre l'interface et l'espace virtuel, surtout vis a vis de toutes les theories sur les quels cela reposes (Claude Shannon : la theorie de l'information). Bref j'aimerai bien voir ce que cela peu produire, alors aujourd'hui je me suis attaquer a : comment ouvrire un fichier et le lire en C++ ! Je suis asser contant du resultat de ma petite experimentation. Ce que l'on voi sur cette image est une grande serrie de cube places celon les coordonees des pixels d'une image source (en BMP) et dont la taille depand de la valeur de la couleur a chaque emplacement. Cela donne une sorte de representation 3D des donnees brutes de l'image.

Turner Data Glitch (CAVE / Virtual Reality / Ygdrasil )

J'ai amŽliore ma fonction pour lire un fichier dans le but de pouvoir lire un BMP et choisir parmi une palette de couleur la couleur la mieux appropriŽe a chiques pixel. En rŽalitŽ (ou virtualitŽ) ma palette est constituŽe de 7 polygones de couleurs diffŽrentes sensŽe pouvoir reconstituer en 3D une version en 7 couleurs d'une peinture de Turner. Pour l'instant cette information directement tirŽe d'un Bitmap d'une photo du tableau est simplement utilise pour reconstituer le tableau a partir de 7500 polygones fixs, mais la prochaine Žtape devrai tre plus intŽressante.