Our world is a collection of dynamic interacting components. Emerging from these elementary components come form and composition; we are among these forms. The touch of a human hand creates information that reverberates throughout our world. Action builds upon action to create an event. Human touch is an essential means of understanding the world in which we live. Machines and their electronic controllers are an extension of that touch, a touch amplifier if you will. Chaos is the force at work that drives the aforementioned elementary components and possibly the very connections inside are own brain. I am interested in creating machine that takes the deliberate actions of a participant and turns that act back into chaos allowing for emergence of new forms. There is an acoustical conversation that this work creates this can be characterized as human to machine and also machine to machine.

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Medium: steel, L.E.D.'s, programmable microcontrollers, springs, guitar strings, audio amplifier, electronics, D.C. motors.
Dimensions: 90" high by 30" wide by 20" deep

Two In Conversation

Two In Conversation, 1999

Movie Image

Two In Conversation, Quicktime movie

Two In Conversation is a hybrid form existing between robot and electronic instrument. Since the viewer is not passive but an active participant I will refer to the viewer as a participant. This work resembles an instrument in many ways it has strings and creates various sounds based on input. However the similarity stops there. This is a robotic device that has a multiple processors that control motor actuators. The input is a point of origin that shapes a sound composition at subsequent intervals the machine checks for further interaction from the participant. So this device takes the symbolic touch of the participant and reverberates the effect by changing the programs sequence. The analog effect of the long vibrating springs in this work are the mechanism that takes over the interface that was once the responsibility of the viewer and feeds information to the processors inputs.

This sculpture marries viewer and sculpture in an acoustic discussion. This generative sound sculpture receives information when the participant chooses a spring to touch, and presses it against a guitar string. From that point two microcontrollers take the input information and modify the sequence of the program being executed. Wired to the controllers, groups of three motors individually gyrate to create the distinct vibration in each string. The final phase of the program sends signals along vibrating springs between the top and bottom of the sculpture, this is an integral step that creates feedback in the system. The length of each composition of sounds varies based on the way this device is touched. The resounding vibrating in each string perpetuates activity in this sculpture. The sculpture is continually receiving input from either controller or the viewer during each episode. The LEDs on the top and bottom of the structure illuminate to further show the exchange of information within the controllers. This sound sculpture is wall mounted with a base unit that rests on the floor below containing electronics. The sculpture can be operated for acoustical performance or an amplifier built into the base can be turned on depending on the sound level in the exhibiotion space.

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