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Harmony in Precarity

PO-HAO CHI's proposal for Zero Gravity Flight class

Published onDec 01, 2020
Harmony in Precarity

Harmony in Precarity

Week4 Feedback Audio as Composition

For the 15-20 times microgravity periods, each time the recording can be regarded as a phrase in composition, with the fluctuations and vibrations in the space.

I hope to make a feedback audio demo next week if I can borrow necessary equipment from MIT. I hope to get one multichannel interface (8 in/out or more) this semester.

<p>Diagram of audio routing and processing</p>

Below is the sketch of signal routing. When microphone and speaker move close to each other there will be feedback audio increasing. I may use these feedback signal as the carrier to modulate prepared sounds.

Week3 Revise the approach

As I learned more about the operation and restriction of Zero Gravity Flight, I realize that I should revise my proposal to avoid the potential chaos after takeoff.

<p>Various small transducers.</p>

I ordered some transducers and electronic components for prototyping. However, I will adjust my plan to reduce the number of floating objects. My revised plan is using contact mics to create feedback loops with transducers, which gives me a way to directly record the signal into the soundcard to reduce the influence of the operation noise of the flight. I will keep the 360 camera and VR mic to track the spatial information.

A reference work that regards audio feedback as the musical element.

Week 2 Historical Reference

<p>Diagramme poème électronique.</p>

Spatial experiments have a long history in western music stretching back centuries, from Edgard Varèse's "Poème électronique" to Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet."

<p>The Four Aerospatiale SA.3160&nbsp;<em>Alouette III</em>&nbsp;of the Dutch&nbsp;<em>Grasshoppers</em>&nbsp;aerobatics team at Ramstein Air Base, Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) on 24 June 1984.</p>

The other legacy example is “Acousmonium”, a diffusion sound system designed by Francois Bayle in 1974 with 80 loudspeakers of differing sizes and shapes for tape playback. The weightlessness on Zero Gravity Flight is a rare opportunity to challenge the spatial perception of verticality.

<p>Francois Bayle performing at Acousmonium invented in 1974. Photo courtesy of Joel Chadabe via&nbsp;GRM.</p>

For the perceptual effect of the multichannel sound installation in my Zero-G proposal, my expectation is similar to David Tudor’s “Rainforest”. Each object functions as the surface that amplifies the sound with its resonant frequency of the material.

<p>David Tudor. Rainforest IV. 1973. Performed at L’espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, France, 1976. Photo © 1976 Ralph Jones</p>

A binaural audio recording of Rainforest V (variation 1) by The Museum of Modern Art

The Soundcloud link above is “Rainforest V”, which made up of thousands of feedback loops of continual activity. It sounds like a vibrant forest.

Week 1

After attending the first-week class, I decide to apply for the Zero Gravity Flight class to extend my previous artistic practice with the uniqueness of microgravity/hypergravity experience.

Refer to projects in the past few years, I felt that the weightless status on Zero Gravity Flight is somehow unstable and uncontrollable, but in the meantime is full of possibility for developing a generative music approach. How can we exploit the spatial aspect of sound as a distinct parameter in its own right? Is there a way of composition that spontaneously works within unpredictability and randomness in the phases of zero-gravity?

<p>My initial sketch.</p>

In my original proposal, I was thinking to make a multichannel sound installation that consists of numerous “speaker-objects”. The 360 camera and VR mic will freely float with all of the surrounded entities and capture the spatial traces of sounds. There will be transducers attach to those “speaker-objects” to resonant materials and induce organic movements in the space.

About Me

Chi Po-Hao is a current student in the Art, Culture and Technology program at MIT. He holds a Master of Music Degree from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a B.A. in Economics from National Taiwan University. His practice stems from the fascination of boundaries and guidelines, usually implemented by designing methods to associate relevance from observing the diversities. Inspired by music pioneers like Brian Eno, Alvin Lucier, and David Tudor, he is particularly attracted by rule-based and technology-oriented practice because it allows more innovative thinking and discussion while trembling the existing system. His recent research is about the agencies of networked entities and how human and non-human co-constituted each other. He was granted residencies at V2_Institute of Unstable Media(Rotterdam, 2014), Cité Internationale des Arts(Paris, 2015), Asia Art Archive(Hong Kong, 2016), Laboral Centro de Arte(Gijon, 2016), FACT(Liverpool, 2018), National Theater and Concert Hall(Taipei, 2019) and has presented his works in many significant events, conferences, and venues.


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