Making Room… and Making Time

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 in Physical Computing
Making Room… and Making Time

above: Claire Harvey’s When what was when (detail), 2010 (Mass MOCA, Making Room)

Yeh! My 16mm film arrived yesterday as well as an array of light sensors. So, tomorrow I will run to Bobst to view ‘How to tell Time,’ a lovely 1961 educational film from Encyclopedia Britannica, grease pencil in hand and a 5D for reference taping, pirate style.

I’m not quite sure how I want to re-mix/program the clips, cuts, and sheer yardage of the film for a final project. I’ve been looking at works like Luisa’s ‘Celluoid’ and ‘Well-Sequenced Synthesizer’ as well as past, practical projects like Matthew Epler’s Kinograph (and aeosound), but, aesthetically speaking, part of my fascinating with working w/ old analog is to play with its edges and re-layer it.

It’s hard for me to articulate what that means in audio terms: maybe it’s creating multiple speaker outputs for a veritable, remote surround-sound conversation on ‘Time.’ Multiple clips, with multiple sensors could be randomized in a recombination program that choreographs their play. Or is it about structuring unknown fugues and running the choreograph through different digital recodings? What’s the interaction I want with viewers/listeners? What’s the smallest unit- phonetic? frame? second? utterance? I keep thinking of Clair Harvey’s pieced paintings and overhead projectors, they way their visual edges evoke different types of spaces and tropes of memory while still forming a scene. Or will this push toward a ’round’ structure like Jamie Woon/Burial’s “Wayfaring Stranger”…. different repetions, feeding from film to mic to layered, spatial jumping of voices.

For the moment, I’m not sure how simplicity and yet coordination between Burroughs-esque tape cuts should ultimately appear.

Clearly, for the mid-term, I’ll be looking to do a variation on the audio labs and mock-up a working optical-audio reader (baby steps): illumination sources, film feed w/ motor, and mapping the various adafruit light sensors I’ve while tinkering with mic pickup/repetition and motor speed as ways to create new sounds.

Film mark-ups, laser templates, idea diagrams, and circuit/code sketches tomorrow…