Monday, November 17, 2008

Audio, Video, and Noise Toys

Here in Ottawa, the art-tech festival Electric Fields is going on. It started this past week and goes until this weekend. It is a similar concept to the Send and Receive Festival hosted in Winnipeg as it presents an array of experimental audio and video performances with a focus on creative use of electronics and technology. Needless to say what I've seen so far has been quite inspiring, as I love festivals like these.

The fantastic Carrie Gates was in from Saskatoon performing on Friday night in a very special collaboration of Carrie's no-input video feedback with the circuit bent audio of Ottawa's Squelchbox. One of the innovative features of the live performance was using an array of photo resistors suction cup'ed onto an old commodore 64 monitor split off from Carrie's video feedback which directly modulated various portions of Squelchbox's audio rig. Squelch's audio also directly drove - or overdrove in some cases - Carrie's video signals. Very cool to see live. Hopefully some portions of the video recorded at the event will make it onto her site.

One of the other performances Friday night was the Montreal based group Tvestory. Their audio is directly generated from what's displayed on the screen - so you're hearing 60Hz based music, and since white and black offer the most contrast on a screen, the audio follows suit. A very intense experience when you are presented with 3 large vid screens and a set of 6 smaller monitors in a darkened church with a nice sound system. The youtube clips just don't quite do it justice!

Hopefully I'll be getting out to the "Dorkbot" workshop tomorrow which is a showcase of a few people who do 'strange things with electricity.' Hopefully at lest one will focus on building strange sounding audio generators...

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