Neural #48 Data Transmutations

12.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

NeuralData Transmutations – Making Sound Sense of Big Data in Neural #48

Over the course of the last 3 year I’ve been contributing to the printed version of the long running, Italian based, Neural magazine, founded by Alessandro Ludovico and Ivan Iusco. The magazine deals with the intersection of new media art, electronic music and hacktivism. I’ve contributed many small articles on artist projects (some reposted at Dataisnature) and conducted interviews with artists and theorists. The most recent edition #48, Uncanny Abundance, contains an essay I wrote on ‘big data sound art’ with the title: Data Transmutations – Making Sound Sense of Big Data.

The article explores both scientific sonification of data, for functional pattern recognition, as well as composers who use environmental data as raw material for parametric audio and as an agent for stochastic composition. It surveys the role of mapping strategies between data and sound, explores preconceptions of ‘enclosed meanings’ and raises questions on the neutrality of the sonification process as a form of interpretation. The bulk of the article explores individual data-sound pieces that tackle these issues – works that cross-fade the science of sonification with the art of poetic interpretation. The issue also contains an interview I made with Tae Hong Park, author of the Citygram sonic mapping project. Previous interviews, for Neural, have included ones with Jennifer Kanary Nikolov, Herwig Weiser and Mitchell Whitelaw.

Chromophore | XcoAx, Porto

11.30.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Chromophore [XcoAx]

In June 2014 I performed a restructured and extended version of Chromophore at the Monastery of S. Bento da Vitoria for the xCoAx [Aesthetics, Computation, Communication & X] conference, in Porto. I also gave a presentation of a short paper on the same piece, which explores some technical and aesthetic aspects of the work. The paper also contained an overview of the creative process beginning with field recording sessions and ending with a complete audio-visual performance. A PDF of the paper can be found here.

ChromophoreAbleton Live arrangement view (click here for full size image)

The screen-shot above shows the complete Ableton Live arrangement view for Chromophore. The of top half of the tracks represent sound design material, while some of the bottom half are responsible for sending Midi data to VVVV for precise synchronisations. Midi Data also flows in the opposite direction, from VVVV to Ableton Live. Triggered by generative objects in a 3D visual system, Midi is sent to top track, in Live, which is a Sampler. In this way multiple instruments/sounds/samples and filters can be accessed by tweaking the visuals during a performance.

Elektra-Mutek EM15, Montréal

11.25.14 | Permalink | Comment?

MutekCyclotone Performance at Elektra-Mutek 15, Montréal

Montréal’s well-know digital arts and electronic music festivals joined forces this year to celebrate 15 years of activity in the form of EM15. I was involved in the Para-visions night of A-V performances which took place in the impressive Impérial Theatre. Here’s a review of my performance, Cyclotone, by Daryl Keating, at Exclaim:

‘Dovetailing sharp sound design and conceptual graphics using only black, white and grey tones, Prudence brought the audience on a stark journey through cyclical space. For the duration of the piece, the visuals focused on one centre point around which everything interacted. [..] After being drawn into the point, the viewer was then shown the flip-side of the universe, so to speak, from the other side of the hole. Here, tornadoes of graphics centripetally swirled around the black hole, seemingly sucking in all known matter in the universe. Interestingly, despite how strikingly digital the entire performance was, it still managed to evoke emotion — mainly foreboding and dread that all life is gradually spiralling down an unstoppable wormhole’

MutekCyclotone Performance at Elektra-Mutek 15, Montréal

I was also invited by Greg Smith, of HOLO magazine and CAN, to a live Q&A session. Here is part of Greg’s review, A/Visions, Synesthetic Fever Dreams, that was published at Creativeapplications.net:

‘Our two sessions were quite distinct, but a few common threads drew them together. Biederman and Prudence both talked at length about the ‘liveness’ of performing visuals, and how there was a fine balance to be struck between developing overly-constrained workflows versus more improvisational setups that (can) invite cataclysmic failure. The interplay between sound design and visual composition was also central to both conversations and whether within the artist/composer relationship of Biederman/Thibault or Prudence’s manipulation of field recordings, both camps carefully described their nuanced approach to fusing sound and image. These exchanges were relatively free wheeling and it was great to have the artists field high-level questions from audience members like Naut Humon and Patti Schmidt’.

Photographs of the Para-visions night can be found here.

Photographs of EM15 performances, workshops and exhibitions can be found here

Quanta

07.07.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Quanta

Quanta is a recently completed A-V work performed at, and made for William Basinski’s Arcadia curated series which took place in March 2014. As with previous works there is a conceptual framework based on scientific concepts which is used to drive the narrative and loosely define the aesthetics of the piece. A sound scrying session with previously collected field recordings of the industrial and technological landscape generated a series of dislocated associations and insinuations based around the theme of light quanta and the behaviour of related elemental particles within a surrounding topography. In the context of these new sonic associations a parametrised sketch of movements, behaviours and triggers, within a generative system, was created leading to the final performance work.

QuantaQuanta

QuantaQuanta

QuantaQuanta

A Flickr set of stills from Quanta can be found here.

Super Vision – Article for HOLO Magazine

07.01.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Perspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine – Paul PrudencePerspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine [photo: Axel Pfaender]

In 2013 was invited to write an article for HOLO Magazine exploring five fantastical display prototypes and speculate on their future creative potential for artists and designers. The chosen technologies, some based on much older inventions, included True Volumetric Holography, Colloidal Displays, Caustic Engineering, Ferro Fluids and the Peppers Ghost technique. The article was excellently illustrated using isomeric schematic diagrams by Axel Pfaender

Perspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine – Paul Prudence

Perspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine – Paul PrudencePerspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine [photo: Axel Pfaender]

While true holographic systems with interactive volumetric interfaces might inspire ‘hands on’ voxel sculpting for 3D printing, large scale prisms, using the Peppers Ghost technique will be used to build observatories allowing the generation of life-sized refraction holograms. Elsewhere Caustically engineered glasshouses may act as spectral cinemas where the position and strength of the Sun will generate slowly shifting imagery. Colloidal displays could be used in the construction of tangible audio-visual instruments where volume and texture, and especially specularity become performative parameters. Ferro Electric Displays, combining ultra-high frame rates with very high pixel resolution, will allow future video artists to advance to extreme definition [300dpi+] and less lossy moving image representations. This a brief summary fragment of the full 5 page article.

Perspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine – Paul PrudencePerspectives: Super Vision, HOLO Magazine [photo: Axel Pfaender]

The Magazine Features Philip Beesley, Dam Gallery, Derivative, Eno Henze, Raquel Meyers, David Oreilly, Chris O’Shea, Semiconductor, Jer Thorp, Zimoun and includes writing contributions from Greg Borenstein, James Bridle, Golan Levin, Tim Maly, N O R M A L S, and Will Wiles among many others.

You can buy a copy of HOLO Magazine [published in 2014] here.

Ungear Moi [with COH/Ivan Pavlov]

05.16.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Ungear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

COH [Ivan Pavlov] invited me to work on a video for a track from his new album, ‘TO BEAT’. My interpretation of ‘ungear moi’ maps individual sound layers of the composition to different parameters within a generative system. Precise random camera views are synchronized to percussive clicks, monochromatic architectural forms transform and become illuminated according to the finite layers of melody and noise.

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

Ungear MoiUngear Moi – Video: Paul Prudence, Music: COH

More still images of Ungear Moi can be found here.

Resonate 2014 Lecture Slides: The Listening Eye

05.16.14 | Permalink | 2 Comments

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Resonate Lecture Slides: The Listening Eye: Sonic Geometries. Click to view slides and use arrow keys to navigate

I was invited to give a talk and performance at Resonate 2014, held in Belgrade in April 2014. My presentation included a introductory primer on the history of visual music followed by a detailed discussion of my audio-visual practice, including aspects of process, aesthetics and methodology for cross-wiring audio and visual domains. .

I was also involved in a Panel discussion, ‘Visual Music and Geometries of the Unseen’ with Peter Kirn [moderator] Yuri Suzuki and Joanie Lamercier.

Arcadia, Coded Matters, Audible Bytes, Seeing Sound ++

04.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Chromophore at William Basinski’s Arcadia, London, March 2014

Here’s a brief round up of shows, lectures and performances I’ve been involved in the last few months:

William Basinki’s Arcadia [London]

‘In 1989 William Basinski founded Arcadia, a studio and performance space that defined Williamsburg as an arts community and became the seat of the cultural avant-garde in the 90’s.
In March 2014, Basinski and Art Assembly co-curated a series of Arcadia inspired music and live art events in London’ I was invited to perform a set of audio-visual works alongside a screening of my fixed media visual music works. Other performers included Evelina Dominitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Aki Onda, Janek Schaefer, Julia Kent, Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham and of course William Basinski.

Cyclotone [live audio-visual performance at Coded Matters #2: Sound Hackers]

Coded Matter(s) #2 Sound Hackers [Amsterdam]

‘Coded Matter(s) #2, in November 2013, brought together sound hackers and musical enthusiasts to contemplate the effects of technology artistic processes and the ability of silent data processing operations to create new (un)natural sonic phenomena. Code is making it possible to command the sense of sound in new ways, but this will only prevail as a method of making if new ways of thinking also emerge’

Here is a review of my performance of Cyclotone which took place in the De Brakke Grond Theatre:

‘Paul Prudence closed the matinee with a deafening Dutch première performance of ‘Cyclotone’, a synaesthetic experience reminiscent of Hadyn’s surprise symphony. The motion of the cylindrical circles appeared almost alive and embodied of their own accord, a sort of automated kaleidoscope of a black hole. Holistically it reminded me of the work by Moholy-Nagy with optical sound, where the audience extracts what they can from it based on their own personal sonic memes. Not for the epileptic, the hypnotic drones move from sound to music to sound again. The visuals acts as a radar that gives us extra-musical information about sound, what code does for sound, it creates metadata that can be manipulated in a way that allows us to further play with the matter’ – Kimberly Waldbillig

 Cyclotone – Paul PrudenceCyclotone [live audio-visual performance at Coded Matters #2: Sound Hackers]

Renew Digital Arts Festival [Copenhagen]

‘The annual Re-new media art confest is a meeting-point for all those active in the art-science-technology amalgam. The event is a platform for artists, technologists, curators, researchers and scientists alike, and facilitates networking, knowledge sharing and dissemination’. I traveled to Copenhagen in October 2013 to give an audio-visual performance at the festival. A Flickr set documenting the Renew Digital Arts Festival can be found here.

Cyclotone – Paul PrudenceCyclotone [live audio-visual performance at Coded Matters #2: Sound Hackers]

Tech Art: (Operating Manual for) Spaceship Earth [Rotterdam]

‘Filling 3.000 m2 with audiovisual adventures, technology, criticism and popular culture. Cooperating with ESA, WORM, Rotterdam and Den Haag art academies, leading technical universities from Enschede, Eindhoven, Delft. Tech Art is the tech-expo of 2014 showing installations, projections, games, concepts, prototypes themed around American philosopher and architect Buckminster Fuller’s concept of The Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth’ I was included in the exhibition with a number of fixed media visual music works and invited to play a live audio-visual set in the floating Geodesic pavilion for the evening event. A Flickr set documenting The Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth can be found here.

Performance-PavilionGeodesic performance pavilion at Tech Art: (Operating Manual for) Spaceship Earth

Seeing Sound Symposium [Bath, UK]

‘Seeing Sound is an informal practice-led symposium exploring multimedia work which foregrounds the relationship between sound and image. It explores areas such as visual music, abstract cinema, experimental animation, audiovisual performance and installation practice through paper sessions, screenings, performances and installations. Seeing Sound 2013 took place in late November 2013 and focused on live performance, in particular contemporary dance’. I gave an audio-visual performance of my current piece Cyclotone. A Flickr set documenting the Seeing Sound Symposium can be found here.

ParheliaParhelia [background screens] at Tech Art: (Operating Manual for) Spaceship Earth

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes [Leicester, UK]

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes was a one day symposium and set of screenings/performances held in Leicester on the 12th March exploring the relationships between sound and image. I gave a talk and performance – other artists included Ryo Ikeshiro, Nicholas Bernier and Alo Allik.

Liquified Sky – LINE DVD

02.13.14 | Permalink | Comment?

LINE_063 | Data DVD + digital download | limited edition of 500 | November 2013

Liquified Sky – LINE DVD

LINE is pleased to announce its latest edition featuring astoundingly detailed audio/visual works by six internationally recognized artists: Evelina Domnitch + Dmitry Gelfand (RU/US), COH (RU), Paul Prudence (UK), Francisco López (ES), and Asmus Tietchens (DE).

‘The fluidity and even the granularity of light can be unfolded by the senses through active attunement coupled with meticulously orchestrated conditions. Though formerly considered impossible to imagine, let alone perceive, recently, a variety of quantum behavior has been observed on macroscopic scales, from colloidal liquids to biological systems. Liquified Sky documents a series of artworks that pierce this slippery, mesoscopic threshold, departing from the antiquated cult of the illusory, solid-state image’

Liquified Sky – LINE DVD

Liquified Sky – LINE DVD

Liquified Sky – LINE DVD

Review by Attn Magazine:

On “Mucilaginous Omniverse”, particles of silicone oil quiver and congeal, embarking on volatile alternations between momentary stasis and ecstatic spirals that escalate without instigation. The audio (provided by CoH in part one, Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in part two) is wonderfully synchronised, mirroring the moments of vibratory agitation with bass frequencies surging in on shallow gradients, and punctuating each pipette-planted bubble with a staccato pip reverberating into the surrounding infinite. In the presence of such mesmerising and otherworldly movement, the composers seem at home—energy slurps in from nowhere, and plosive fissures occur without the need for any explicit source, showering the black canvas (which sometimes resembles lightless, oceanic depths) with hollow streams of soft noise and alien sonar.

Things turn terrifying in the second half, commencing with Francisco Lopez conducting Paul Prudence’s bubble membranes and mercury streams in “Hydro Acoustic Study”. There’s a stretch around the halfway mark where a pendulum of crushed static sends a jelly circle into shape-shifting alternations, gifted shape by the phantom light that radiates its intricate, fluid contours – it’s an unnerving whirlpool that tilts and mutates under erratic and slippery sonic instruction, rife with glimmer and inward reflection. Meanwhile, “Memory Vapor” (Domnitch and Gelfand on visuals, Tietchens on sound) brings an otherwise imperceptible cloud chamber into a slow-motion glow stick precipitation, illuminated through contrail streams of vibrant green and pink—the soundtrack captures both the fluidity of movement and the visual’s micro-particle construct, moving in gargantuan dynamic surges comprised of thousands of internal pulses.

Thanks and gratitude to Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand for asking me to become part of this project.

A video trailer of the audio-visual works contained on the DVD can be found here

Lumophore at Kaluga Planetarium

01.21.14 | Permalink | Comment?

LumophoreLumophore at Kaluga Planetarium, Russia

In October 2013 I produced a commissioned full-dome work for the Kaluga Festival held at the Kaluga Planetarium and Space Museum in Russia. Extending ideas in a previous work, Chromophore, Lumophore – a fixed media work, explored the potential for inter-modal colour-shape-sound synergies to create an abstract narrative of architectonic forms in relation to sound. A lumophore (also luminophore) is an atom or atomic grouping in a chemical compound that manifests luminescence.

Lumophore video edit

LumophoreLumophore stills sequence

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore at Kaluga Planetarium, Russia

LumophoreLumophore at Kaluga Planetarium, Russia

Kaluga PlanetariumKaluga Planetarium, Russia

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore

LumophoreLumophore

Lumophore is available as a limited edition artwork at Sedition

More stills of the piece can be found here.

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