July 31, 2010
I’m Garrett Lynch (IRL) @ 2010 Odyssey Performance Art Festival

Over the next month I’ll be involved in quite a few things Second Life related. The first of these is happening next Wednesday (04/08/10) at 9:30pm GMT (1:30pm Second Life Time) as part of the 2010 Odyssey Performance Art Festival running from today (31/07/10) until the 10/08/10.

The performance (image above) will take place at Odyssey Art and Performance Simu. Documentation of previous performances are online here.

For full details of the schedule for the complete festival, see the Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance weblog.

Posted by: Garrett @ 3:04 pm
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July 8, 2010
Delay and degradation within networked digital forms

This started out as two separate posts on separate works which were going to be posted in sequence however when a third work came through a mailing list that had similar ideas underpinning it I decided to group the three together into one long post. What follows is a few ideas I’ve been thinking about myself recently (albeit in a completely different context) and how these works explore essentially the same.

I Am Sitting in a Video Room (images above) by Patrick Liddell is by way of reference to Alvin Luciers work I Am Sitting in a Room an exploration of the form and space of YouTube as a means, site and context for the creation of performance work (and of course it’s video documentation). The work investigates:

the ‘photocopy effect’, where upon repeated copies the object begin to accumulate the idiosyncrasies of the medium doing the copying.

The performance of was stretched out over the exact period of a year from May 27th, 2009 to May 27th, 2010 and each upload and download was performed manually. The videos embedded below are the first, the original, and the 1000th version. All 1000 videos can be viewed on Patricks YouTube page although disappointingly the account is not dedicated to this project alone.

Netrooms: The Long Feedback (image above) is an participative network audio performance by Pedro Rebelo and distant global collaborators contributing to an extended feedback loop and delay line across the internet.

The work explores the juxtaposition of multiple spaces as the acoustic, the social and the personal environment becomes permanently networked. The performance consists of live manipulation of multiple real-time streams from different locations which receive a common sound source. Netrooms celebrates the private acoustic environment as defined by the space between one audio input (microphone) and output (loudspeaker). The performance of the piece consists of live mixing a feedback loop with the signals from each stream.

Always a sucker for a diagram, the image below details the technical set up for Netrooms: The Long Feedback.

Infinite Stream Loop (image below), part of the Laps series by Art of Failure (I’ve previously posted on AV Permutations) is a very recent work which explores the effects of an audio stream traveling through the world wide web since the 1st of July 2010.

A sound is streamed by a server and goes through several locations on the web. Captured at the end of a loop, the sound is played and then resent out through the web with no additional modification. We have modified the streaming tools to keep all the distortions of the original material that occurred during the process (artefacts, transmission errors, missing data…). To emphasize the changes caused by the network, the sound used at startup is deliberately very simple – a digital silence. Then it evolves endlessly.

The above works (particularly the sound works) bear some similarity to the research of Chris Chafe from Stanford University concerning sound, distance and delay. Chris presented his research in progress at Subtle Technologies in 2009 and subsequently published a paper in Contemporary Music Review, Volume 28 Issue 4 & 5 (the same issue as a paper by Pedro Rebelo) entitled Tapping into the Internet as an Acoustical/Musical Medium.

Why do I group these works together? Each is different in form and presentation, i.e. one video work, two audio; one documentation of an extended performance, one a live performance and the last a generative work etc. yet the three works use what would normally be considered negative effects of the network in creative ways. Delay and degradation of quality as a result of coping becomes an exploitable feature of the network. Copied forms can be combined, sequenced, superimposed, layered to create a new composition yet the coping process, what should in a digital environment be flawless often contains “artefacts, transmission errors, missing data….”. The technically undesirable becomes desirable to the artist enabling a unique aesthetic.

Copying, originality and reproduction, layering and what is ‘real’ have been something I’ve been working on for the last few months within Second Life. My premise is somewhat different from the above works i.e. reproductive degradation as an aesthetic, instead I’ve been thinking and working on how digital forms simulate ‘real’ forms (and the issues therein i.e. levels of precision), how copies relate back to originals, what the differences are and how to collapse and merge these. These are still on going thoughts…

I Am Sitting in a Video Room originally seen on Mashable.com, Netrooms: The Long Feedback originally seen on Pedro Rebelo’s weblog and Infinite Stream Loop originally seen on the Spectre mailing list.

Posted by: Garrett @ 7:37 pm
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July 1, 2010
TOTem seminar

I wrote a post in May about the TOTem (Tales Of Things and Electronic Memory) project RememberMe which was taking place as part of Future Everything in Manchester. Coincidentally they came to our faculty last week and gave a seminar about their research to date and some hints at its future direction.

There websites seem to have grown and come together well over the last month. This was the site I initially linked to which seems to be about the research in general while these two, Tales of the City and Tales of Things are two ongoing projects being developed. It was the second of these which was part of Future Everything and which was mainly used at the seminar.

Angelina Karpovich from Brunel University outlined the research while we got to interact with some of the ‘Things’ tagged as part of the Tales of Things project, notably the teddy bear in the image above.

Using an iPhone app (images above) we were able to scan the bears tag and read a text/tale about it. Angelina was keen to point out that the tagging technology involved was not new, the purpose was to explore it in ways that had really not been explored in great depth. What was a little disappointing was the inability for me to feed into the tale we were reading in the iPhone app but the project makes no such claim to do this and within the context it’s presented, as a method of story telling, works well.

It should be noted that the seminar was presented as part of a series at The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling and I have been told a video of the seminar will be posted to the website soon.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:37 pm
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