The Zentrum Fokus Forschung at the University of Applied Arts Vienna has produced a short interview with me explaining in very short the project of Rotting sounds. This was done in the context of the exhibition UNDERSTANDING – art & research at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.
The Rotting Sounds project has been invited to participate in the exhibition Understanding – Art and Research with a select object of our arts and research practice. We have produced the new object prototype “Reference Tone“, a variation on the existing object “Midnight Song“, exhibited at the Auditorium of Rotting Sounds.
Reference Tone is a printed representation of a pure sine tone of 1 kHz frequency at -3 dBFS volume. The encoding in 1 bit (DSD) audio is an ultra-high quality embodiment of the sound with the potential of being re-transferable into sound by optical means. Placed at a transitory spot in the exhibition, the object (and with it the embedded sound) will only stay pure and perfect for a certain time. Already at the opening, stains and scratches on the surface were noticeable, by visitors accidentally or purposefully walking over the object. Over the duration of the exhibition of one month, the audio content will transform from a “reference tone” into a sound being influenced by the context of its placement.
After the opening on June 27 at 7pm, the exhibition will run until July 28.
Museum of Applied Arts (MAK)
Stubenring 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
The University of Applied Arts Vienna presents exemplary approaches to its artistic research under the title UNDERSTANDING – ART & RESEARCH, it is about understanding as the very creative impulse. Through examples from research and teaching, science and art the transformation of society can be viewed, examined, sensed, discussed and experienced.
The exhibition UNDERSTANDING – ART & RESEARCH, developed by Gerald Bast, Alexander Damianisch and Barbara Putz-Plecko, now at MAK Vienna had first stations in New Zealand (Dunedin School of Art), Singapore (Nanyang Technological University Singapore), and Los Angeles (UCLA Art|Sci Center).
We are delighted to take part in Wolfgang “Fadi” Dorninger’s exhibition “Cassette Culture Node.Linz” again, this time taking place in Vienna. The exhibition under the theme of “contact, document and exchange” elaborates on the cassette sharing culture having been extremely active in Linz in the 1980s and 90s.
Thomas Grill and Angélica Castelló will perform a multi-part set, combining their individual approaches using compact cassettes and players. Thomas will confront analog tape with digital sounds, using the medium as a transformation apparatus.
For the upcoming exhibition UNDERSTANDING ART AND RESEARCH at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), we today printed the new prototypical audio object Reference Tone at the Digital Photography Lab at the University of Applied Arts.
It is a variation on the large-scale 1-bit audio print concept, similar to Midnight Song, as exhibited in our Auditorium of Rotting Sounds. Reference Tone represents a 1 kHz -3 dBFS sine tone at 44.1 kHz PCM sample rate, converted to a 1-bit DSD encoding with 64-times oversampling.
The director of the lab, Josef Schauer-Schmidinger supervised the printing of the 250 MB programmatically generated PDF file at 150 dpi bit structure size. The printed diameter of 100 cm contains approximately 30 Million bits, equivalent to about 10 seconds of very high quality audio.
The “rotting sounds” researchers Thomas Grill, Till Bovermann and Almut Schilling were invited to conduct a masterclass at the Institute of Music, Theater and Choreography of the Russian State Pedagogical University A.I. Herzen, above all with the students of Andrey Bundin.
After an introductory presentation on the concepts of the research projects, we worked with/on “digital artefacts” that each of the participants brought to the workshop. The focus was on the notion of the “digital trinity”, we have established, consisting of storage material, information content, and interpretation.
Thomas Grill represents the rotting sounds project at the panel discussion “Ungehörtes – Unerhörtes” (unheard – unheard of), featuring archival sound documents of the library of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
March 13, 6pm
University library, reading room
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien
The web and print magazine of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) has published an article on the Rotting sounds project.
Journalist Doris Griesser has authored a nice feature article on the opening of the upcoming “Auditorium of Rotting sounds” for the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard.
Spannend, was aus diesen wissenschaftlichen Expeditionen erwachsen kann. Vielleicht auch eine neue Ästhetik des Verfalls und des Unperfekten.
Our team members, psychogeophysicist Martin Howse and media artist Till Bovermann will conduct the workshop Circulation and corruption, examining the various circulations of media through the matters and bodies of the earth and atmosphere, and through a certain corruption or dissolution of (digital) identity, meaning and description.
The workshop is fully booked. Many thanks for your overwhelming interest.
March 28th, 10:00 to 17:30
March 29th, 09:30 to 13:00
University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Austria
All technology that is derived of earth, must be decomposed and again reduced to earth. [Basil Valentine]
Old earth, no more lies, I’ve seen you, it was me, with my other ravening eyes, too late. [Samuel Beckett]
Within a one and a half day hands-on, speculative workshop we will collectively explore the interfaces and exchanges between living systems (earth, compost, worms, mycelium) and active audio electronics. We will participate primarily with our hands and our ears within circulations amongst earths, composts, mushroom mycelium, moulds, active chemistry, worms, crows, dusts, smokes and fogs and impulses and waves.
During the workshop we will construct a series of open circuits which do not conceal their materiality but participate equally within material and electrochemical exchanges and circulations. These circuits are inspired through a media archaeology of electronic music production, and through the history of alchemical engagement with minerals, with decay and with the earth. These technical and conceptual influences are equally opened to circulation and corruption during the workshop.
We will work with a range of materials (for example, machine cut copper sheets and oyster mushroom mycelium) and approaches (for example, with radio transmission and signal reception) to design and build these open circuits which will enter into processes of appreciable decay, corruption and dissolution. These open circuits will be placed during the workshop in selected interior and exterior locations to participate in various time scales of deterioration and degradation.
No specific technical knowledge is necessary for participation.
Our submission to the 10th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research at the Zurich University of the Arts has been approved.
We are referring to the conference topic “Inspiring Failures” which is close to the conceptual underpinning of the rotting sounds project
In the artistic research project Rotting sounds – Embracing the temporal deterioration of digital audio, we explore artistic opportunities arising from obsolescence, degradation and information loss in digitally represented sound.
Compared to a gradual and graceful degradation and eventual disintegration of analog sound, common digital representations tend to exhibit an abrupt breach into fail and thus silence. Decay is, however, inevitable to any representation. We therefore propose to tightly integrate it into the artistic practice and embrace its (seemingly negative) effects as aesthetic benefit.
By means of experimental digital audio toolchains designed to fail easily yet graceful, degradation turns from disastrous errors into transformational, generative elements, hence offering a palette of opportunities to the artist.
This disposition to (re)act to circumstances of unanticipated behavior asks for a certain capability to tolerate the unexpected and improvise.
Within the project, we are also exploring to integrate said perspective into both our decision processes and our documentation: The fact that concepts require flexibility to adapt to such complex context is a rather trivial insight. However, the dissolution of ideas, strategies or methods seems less easily digestible. We note that, analogous to our case of deteriorating media, there will always be a residuum that sediments and is researched for emerging follow-up concepts. One method to facilitate sedimentation and documentation is to assemble convolutes of media artifacts. Although we lose control about the exact form of such legacy, we leave a composting sculpture, anticipating the future form of our residues, to be rummaged through and re-interpreted by those who follow. The success of the prospection is depending on the coordination and motivation of the seekers.
Notably, our embracement of data loss is in obvious conflict with currently enforced “Research Data Management” policies, demanding sustainably stored research data. In the interest of our research topic and more generally, in the interest of artistic freedom, we must claim the right to let our data degrade, and, eventually, even vanish.