Manifested Algorithms

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Fritjof from the atelier has recently finished his bachelor’s thesis on algorithmic entities. Based off the notions presented in our Growth series of biological synthesizers, the paper explores the different domains of agency present in generative systems, both biological and technological.
As such it builds upon the themes we explore in most of our collaborative works. Coining the term manifested algorithms, the paper also serves to describe a perspective on most of the pieces we have developed over the past year.

The paper is freely available to read here, have a look!

Growth-mkII at Glyptoteket

This October we exhibited our installation Growth-mkII for Slow night at Glyptoteket, curated by G((o))ng Tomorrow. G((o))ng is a series of events hosted by SNYK, an organisation promoting sound art and experimental music. The theme of this night was ‘Forfald’, decay, which was approached in a number of different ways by the participating artists and speakers.

Growth-mkII was presented as an investigation of the creation that inevitably results from the decaying of organic matter. The mold can be seen as the transition of material from one thing to another, interpreted by us as captured in sound.

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The piece was placed in Vinterhaven, a large indoor garden in the Glyptotek Musem, a museum which also hosts a large collection of archaeological finds. The traditions tied to this place, and the format of the night formed something that we feel very privileged to have participated in.

As always the growth of the mold surprised us, this time much more diverse than we have seen before. Penicillin, black mold, yeast and bacterial growths were all represented.

Read more about Growth-mkII here.

– Growth-mkII will be exhibited again on the 11th, for the first time in Aarhus. The exhibition presents installations by the residents of Institut for (x), the community where our atelier is located. The exhibition will run from the 11th until the 16th, and Growth-mkII can be viewed at all stages of its growth in this time-span. Stop by A-huset at Insitut for (x) in midtown and take a look!

Luna Constructs: Process

This september we worked with Aarhus Psych Fest to develop the piece Luna Constructs. Employing the LunaVDO-synthesizer, the installation used smoke as a canvas for projection, providing spatial depth to what is usually confined to a flat space.

Aarhus Psych Fest is a festival for psychedelic rock and experimental music in Aarhus. This year the festival took place at Radar, where Luna Constructs worked as the centerpiece for the outside bar and hangout area.

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The theme of the festival was Construction. We chose to approach this concept as the act of physically manifesting abstract ideas. Wanting to capture the digital and abstract entering the real world as something tangible, we started experimenting with smoke to create a sort of between space.

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Maintaining the smoke at a semi-constant level, and confining it to the projection space, required a container, which we were sketching out while working on getting the LunaVDO synth ready to be approached and controlled by the festival guests. The inner workings of LunaVDO are covered in more depth here, but working with the NabeRMC vgaOut library again, we found some pretty interesting easter eggs. Shown below alongside the early sketch of the box:

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As a pop-up concert leading up to the festival, we performed at ARoS together with the electronic musician Helena Rebensdorff. Using a selection of samples from the synthesizer, we used a conventional VJ setup to present the material, to blend with her improvisational structure and somber aesthetic. A short video excerpt can be viewed below:

And then we built! The final installation took the shape of a 1m^3 cube of acrylic glass, with a podium containing the synthesizer and projector. The smoke machine was set up with an Arduino and a relay to balance the smoke throughout the nights.

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As the festival began, the guests were invited to control the video synthesizer, and create the geometric patterns and color compositions that were manifested in the smoke canvas. It was a great experience to see how people approached the piece, creating graphics that we had not yet discovered ourselves. Between concerts and interacting with great people both in front of and behind the scenes, we were very happy to participate in the festival.
Thanks to Stine Kloster and Aarhus Kommune, hopefully we will be able to prop up Luna Constructs again at a later date. A bit more material of the final form here:

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Moving Voids: Proces

I september færdiggjorde vi installationen Moving Voids, som permanent tilføjelse til spillestedet Radar’s toiletområde. Det endelige produkt blev en lysinstallation, som påvirket af musikken fra scenen animerer beskuerens skygge til dans. Herunder kan du læse lidt om vores proces undervejs, fra de første overvejelser og frem til ferniseringen.

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Radar byder på en bred og broget skare af genrer og koncertformater, og vi forsøgte derfor fra afsættet at skabe en installation der ikke var farvet af et særligt stiludtryk. Rammerne betød at der skulle udvikles noget der kunne interageres med uden berøring, og uden at beskueren skulle stille sig helt særlige steder.
Vi satte i gang med et vejledende dogme om at ’sige noget med stilhed’, og begyndte at eksperimentere med dynamiske lyskilder og prismer, for at afprøve i hvilket omfang skygger kunne tages i anvendelse som det konkrete indhold.

Her en tidlig skitse med almindelige små LED-pærer, styret af simpel Arduinokode. Vi var begejstrede for oplevelsen af forløb og bevægelse i skyggerne, især når flere af lyskilderne var i samme farve.
Herefter skulle installationen opskaleres til implementering, med en Raspberry Pi til at håndtere lydbehandling, og styring af de nye DMX-spotlights.
Kasserne blev lasercuttet i krydsfiner og akryl. Montering foregik ved kabeltræk i loftet, og et par dages svovl og banden.

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Den endelige installation blev for første gang vist ved ferniseringen d. 22/09. Aftenen blev skudt i gang med bobler, og en fantastisk koncert af den eksperimenterende lydkunstner Xenia Xamanek Lopez.
Vi var meget glade for at se jer allesammen!

– Det blev ikke vores sidste samarbejde med Radar. Allerede kort efter var vi tilbage med installationen Luna Constructs til Aarhus Psych Fest 2016. Information om processen hertil kommer snart, så hold øje med bloggen!

Growth-mkII Proces

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Til Ur-Nat festival 23-28. August, afviklede vi anden udgave af vores Growth-synthesizer-serie.
Growth er en levende installation hvis kerne består af blod og mikrober. Lyden styres af mugkulturens udvikling, og værket vil, afhængigt af omgivelsernes påvirkning, vokse eller dø ud.
I løbet af Ur-Nat forandredes Growth-mkII uforudsigeligt, uden menneskelig indgriben, som en beretning om utæmmet naturs generative potentiale, også uden for sit eget domæne.
Ur-Nat er en festival for performance- og naturkunst i Ringkøbing. Vi var meget begejstrede for at kunne bidrage med et andet bud på naturens rolle i en mere og mere digital verden.
Her er lidt dokumentation af processen undervejs:

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Installationen blev sat op i ‘Marens Mave’, et gammelt vagttårn i hjertet af Ringkøbing. Tårnet var selv ved at forgå, og skabte en fed ramme for værket.

Vækstmediet havde en statisk rød farve, for at skabe kontrast til de ellers farverige kulturer der voksede derpå.

For at lokke, og for at skabe en sonisk og visuel atmosfære i rummet, blev lydsiden denne gang kørt på højtalere som lå i loftet, og vi opsatte lyskilder for at underbygge stemningen, og rummets egne proportioner.

Sidst på ugen var vækstmediet næsten fuldstændig tildækket, og lyden var tilhørende groet i intensitet og klang. Vi oplevede denne gang en langt større diversitet i mugkulturerne, som især kan ses her i den sidste video:

Vi var rigtig glade for at kunne fortsætte vores arbejde med denne installation, og glæder os til nye implementeringer i fremtiden. I den nære fremtid ligger fokus dog på en række andre projekter, som der vil være mere information i løbet af de kommende dage!