Monday, May 19, 2008

Conducting Ghosts in Singapore

New project! In 2007, I pitched Quartet, a project I proposed to ISEA, The International Symposium for Electronic Arts, a new media arts conference and festival in Singapore. My proposal got selected and so I am now an artist-in-residence at the National University of Singapore, and with a tenure till early August.

I will be developing Quartet in collaboration with the Institute for Infocomm Research (abbreviated in print as I2R and in speech as "I squared R") -- an honest-to-god commercial research center, where the people invent stuff for a living. I'll be working with Corey Manders, an ex- professional saxophone player who fucked off from music, became a computer engineer and is now in I2R's Signal Processing Department trying (among other things) to make computers see.

For Quartet, I will be making video images play instruments in the real world. I2R will help me make an computer vision interface so that a person will be able to conduct the four video-instrument tandems by waving his arms in the air. (Mwahahaha! It's alive! Krakaboom! )

I'll be incorporating the circuits I used to make Spinning Jimmy, the conceptual-kinetic video installation I made for Visual Pond's End Frame exhibit. To recap, Spinning Jimmy had a video loop of a man lifting a sandbag over his head. A sensor detected each lift of the sandbag and moved a little crank that caused a thread to be wound upon a spool. (So I now have in my house a spool of red thread that was wound by a ghost in a television monitor. I should make a whole bunch of these and sell them in little glass boxes or something. )

For Quartet, I'll be using the circuits to play a stripped-down 'punk gamelan' ensemble, (essentially four gamelan instruments I will rip out of a full-fledged Indonesian orchestra) and write a bunch of algorithms that will hopefully create something interesting to conduct/listen to.

So the work might also be seen as a development of Volume Control, the visual score I developed some years back and which was most recently played by Tengal's Gangan Ensemble during Teddy Co's three-screen video-music extravaganza Sinemusikalye last March 16 at the Remedios Circle.

Below are links to Sinemusikalye, but I think you have to be on Multiply to view the sites.,

So yeah, Quartet : Spinning Jimmy Meets Volume Control!


1 comment:

Tengal said...

this is great tad!
wish i could see this finished. hehe.