Unpublished in this form

Edible Audience

What about this Gastronomic Performance Translated as Data Art?

 

Alistair Riddell

Centre for New Media Arts

The Australian National University

alistair.riddell@anu.edu.au

 

If new media performance continues to evolve through the convergence of diverse technologies, where does this leave the audience with respect to the creative experience? Is it important for the artist to understand to what extent and how the audience understood the use of technology in their work? Should the artist care? This paper discusses the relationship between artist and audience through a complex Data Art project and seeks to initiate discussions from which artists may contemplate the form of future projects and their subsequent performances.

 

The Edible Audience performance consisted of six players acting out a dinner party. Through a real-time image recognition system, the performers controlled the sounds and moved them around the audience through an interaction with the special markers on the table.

 

Edible Audience was a performed as part of the Liquid Architecture 6 Sound Art festival at the National Gallery of Australia in July 2005.

http://www.nga.gov.au/LiquidArchitecture/bios.cfm

Introduction

The intention of the Edible Audience project was to articulate a concept through the use of an Augmented Reality system, which integrated images into live video projection and controlled sound diffusion, all through performer interaction. There was a noticeable absence of the technology during the performance with the emphasis being on the performers, the sound and the projection.

 

The concept was actually quite simple and straightforward with a humorous, if rather dark perspective on the nature of consumption in contemporary society. The performance action centered on the ‘consumption’ of images of the audience and body parts, and was formally structured around the courses of a meal: Entrée, Main Course, Desert and a Toast. Although the technical implementation and the performance mostly ran smoothly[1] , the impression from discussions with a few witnesses raised the question of how unified, clear and effective the event was as Sound or Data Art[2] . It was not that the range of comments was so diverse but that few, if any, seemed to concur with concepts and impressions that we, as performers, seemed to hold as some how axiomatic or fundamental, and consequently comment worthy.

 

Almost immediately after the event and a gestation period of reflection, the question of whether this was a fundamental point of concern for Data Media artists in general, arose. Many of their works tend towards the expression of concepts that require, on the part of the audience, critical and reflective interpretation during and after the event. Undertaking this contemplative process in now more acute in this age of vigorous technical experimentation. But before discussing this in detail, let’s slip back in time and consider a sound work, which contributes to a trajectory of contemporary art evolution under which the Edible Audience project squarely lies.

 

From the Past

 

Over 50 years ago John Cage composed Imaginary Landscape No. 4 [3] . That it was “Composed” sets the work in a particular musical context even though the work itself is anything but conventional. Scored for 12 radios, two performers are required to change the frequency, volume and timbre settings on each radio while distributed around the performance space.

 

It is my view that Cage’s precise instructions to the performers establish, in the minds of the audience, a clearly delineated work with a predetermined aesthetic objective and form. That the performers are not necessarily highly skilled at manipulating the radio’s controls is not seen as an impediment to the outcome of the work. In part, the performance relies on the audience accepting a fundamental degree of skill and the ability of the performers to follow the ‘score’. The decoding of this performance information is what sets the performance apart from some kind of random activity. It establishes performer competency with a sound source that is readily understandable.

An important distinction between the “radio” and a traditional musical instrument can be understood from a statement by Fels et al: “One of the key attributes of instruments required for adoption into the literature is expressivity; this is a necessary condition for acceptance.” [4] It is easy to appreciate that the “radio” is not an expressive instrument in the traditional sense but it could be argued that the expressiveness of the radio in a performance such as Imaginary Landscape No 4. lies in its ability to effectively articulate the concept. It is clear that in this case a traditional instrument would not be appropriate.

 

Now there are a number of Cage’s works that easily raise the question of what musical skills are really required for the performance. 4’ 33” is probably the most widely known example. But such reflection is largely neutralized–at least in retrospect­–by the objective of conveying the concept and the exploratory aspirations of the composer. As a consequent of Cage’s works and influence, the remainder of the 20th century accumulated a vast repertoire where the question of musical performance virtuosity could be legitimately questioned if it were not for the fact that there was little precedent and the exploratory agenda was in full flight.

 

Although Imaginary Landscape No. 4 was conceived as a musical work, it is part of the genesis of Data Art performance practice in which a technological presence is essential to the expression of the concept.

 

Closer to Now

 

Exploring and experiencing radically new concepts can be seen as the principle objective of the contemporary artist and something of an expectation for the audience from the mid 20th century onwards. This, of course, is an agenda that varies. Often in historical examples, the performance practice was transparent, as in Imaginary Landscape No. 4, and in itself, did not cause the audience to wonder too much about how the sound was produced and controlled. However, the gradual increase in the use and dependency of technology in performance began to change that. Technology added new layers of abstraction and obfuscation unprecedented in public performance. The audience either had to accept what the technology did or ask questions about how the technology was involved. This dilemma persisted and over time, it became apparent that works using new technologies were less well received by the audience as the novelty and euphoria of the “technology revolution” wore off. Something of a “Catch-22” because some or many of these performances were predicated on an overt use of new technology. However, rendering this issue moot could be achieved in a variety of ways but essentially depended on taking the audiences’ mind off the question of what the technology was doing and focusing it on the artistic concept.

 

By the end of the 20th century, context and spectacle were playing increasingly important roles in the presentation of work that involved technology. It was more and more apparent that if one used technology in a manner that attempted to showcase it or its function the audience were inclined to consider this less artistically significant. The better approach was to integrate the technology into a more complex event. However, not all integrations are successfully implemented and the configuration of such events remains an elusive undertaking. Manovich gives some indication of this challenge while attending an event in St. Petersburg in 1995:

 

Under the black hemispherical ceiling with mandatory models of planets and stars, a young artist methodically paints an abstract painting. Probably trained in the same classical style as I had been, he is no Pollock; cautiously and systematically, he makes careful brushstrokes on the canvas in front of him. On his hand he wears a Nintendo Dataglove, which in 1995 is a common media object in the West but a rare sight in St. Petersburg. The Dataglove transmits the movements of his hand to a small electronic synthesizer, assembled in the laboratory of some Moscow institute. The music from the synthesizer serves as an accompaniment to two dancers, a male and a female. Dressed in Isadora Duncan—like clothing, they improvise a “modern dance” in front of an older and, apparently, completely puzzled audience. Classical art, abstraction, and a Nintendo Dataglove; electronic music and early twentieth-century modernism; discussions of virtual reality (VR) in the planetarium of a classical city that, like Venice, is obsessed with its past—what for me, coming from the West, are incompatible historical and conceptual layers are composited together, with the Nintendo Dataglove being just one layer in the mix.[5]

 

Manovich acknowledges and attempts to frame, in a positive and compelling way, an event that clearly challenged the audience. Couched in personal nostalgia and historical references, such a description suggests the kind of cognitive engagement needed for events that drive the senses from multiple directions with occasional tenuous connections.

 

While it might be the case that some performances, and these could be regarded as successful in one respect, appear to the audience as cohesive and integrated in the presentation of the artistic statement, other more experimental works, are problematic. Assuming that the performance unfolds as planned, an initial starting point for gauging external success might consider the points of mutual understanding and relationship between the performers and the audience’s reading of the event. However, it now clearly extends beyond the presence of performers. Pedro Rebelo offers a way to think about the nature of the space inhabited by the performers and audience:

 

The notion of performance itself implies a somewhat nonlinear environment. While the performer has some level of control over the environment and potentially over the performance instrument, it is the uncontrolled, the chance events, the risk, that defines the performance environment. It is the ‘nonlinearity’ that is responsible for the chemical reaction between a performer and her audience. [6]

 

Interpretation from a Basic Cognitive State

 

Given that the performance context can be “non-linear”, i.e. possessing changing and evolving connections between the parts of the performance, it is important to establish a basic set of criteria from which the audience might initially perceive, question and evaluate the broader structural and configuration elements. Ideally, an audience has a basic level of pragmatic experience from which to assess and understand a concept implementation objectively. These experiences would operate subconsciously and go to moderating preconceptions and highly subjective impressions. However, this might be a conservative and anachronistic view of contemporary audiences.[7] So given that such a starting point should be more inclusive and acknowledge the complexity of the audience’s background, here is a simplified mapping of basic referential experiences, which loosely fall under 4 categories:

 

 

  1. Recognition of expert, skilled or authoritative performers
  2. Acknowledgement of the function and role of technology
  3. Understanding of a shifting performance emphasis to spectacle and context
  4. Ability to perceive combinations of the above categories

 

1.         Underlying most people’s experiences and expectations of Data Art is performance expertise, skill and aesthetic authority. All forms of instrumental and vocal music demand that the performer aspires to or has achieved a level of competency that allows them to convey the essential point of a musical work.

 

In more contemporary forms of sound performance, such as those using electronic and computer based technology and DJs, perception of skill and expertise are more difficult to assess due to a lack of the codification of the practice and the fact that the dynamics of the art are based on changes in technology and the momentary aesthetics of sound. Even though the DJ may have acquired a high degree of technical facility, the evolution of the music is predicated on learning how to put sounds together to create new genres. Yet the audience knows precisely when a contemporary artist has been successful in performance. In the case of the DJ, there is a collective energy among the audience that identifies success. This ‘Social Factor’ as discuss by Winkler[8] is in this instance at its most empowered and expressive, often overriding personal inhibitions and any sense of intimidation among individual audience members.

 

2.         So the use of technology does not necessarily diminish competency but changes the relation between the resulting sound and the performer. The use of mixers and sound diffusion hardware comes at the end of a chain of sound production. Technology can increase the complexity and sophistication of the performance without continuous performer interaction. The performer can concentrate on higher-level aspects of the sound production and performance structure.

 

3.         Manovich’s observations in the earlier quote, suggest that contemporary performances involving technology are likely to embrace spectacle and context. Whether this is a result of the dilemma between an increased use of technology and a general sense that the audience don’t want to be guinea pigs for new technology experiments is hard to clarify. Certainly, it is likely that there is a general weariness towards technology brought on by decades of hype and promise, promulgated through the mainstream media. Yet technology remains a creative incentive but now modulated by a need to direct its potential towards the lucid articulation of creative concepts.

 

4.         The evolution of Data Art practice draws together all of the above points but perhaps is less dependent on the refinement of technical skill and more on the rapid uptake of new technologies and a necessary grasp on its creative potential. There is no universally recognized standard of skill. Most Data Art performances continue to depend on innovative use of technology and highly creative outcomes.

 

The question of whether the audience’s understanding and experiences should be reduced to such a basic criteria inevitably arises and is open to criticism. The intention here, however, is that it initiates an objective starting point for the artist to consider the audience as a whole prior to the manifestation of the work. In this respect, the artist might ask the question of whether the work meets all or some of these points and even whether there are others that might be crucial to appreciating the performance.

 

The Audience Perspective

 

Performances involving mixed media, interactivity and collaboration, especially those of a distinctly experimental or avant-garde nature, are difficult to articulate or critique for most audiences even though what constitutes the ‘audience’ today is more ambiguous than in earlier times. One might be advised to consider the entire audience as a collection of artists in their own right, some simply less familiar with the genre or concept. In certain contexts the audience can be quite diverse in experience, age and gender but it is worth reflecting on the fact that most of an audience at a Data Art event are unlikely to have a profound historical or deeply informed perspective on such contemporary performances as one might find with audiences for say, contemporary music which have a long history of public controversy and resistance.

 

The Edible Audience performance raised the central question of how and to what extent the audience experienced the implementation and interpreted the thematic elements (theatre, image, sound and interactivity). It was assumed, on the basis of the programmatic thread of the ‘dining’ performers, that the audience would link the event action. It was, in a sense, a narrative structure but the performance resembled that of the early ‘silent movies’ where the performers were playing/controlling the sound while providing the source action for the video projection. In reality, the performance probably looked nothing like our collective idea of a ‘silent movie’ but the analogy facilitates a way of thinking through the network of connections between action, sound and image.

 

As a singular, brief and complex presentation, was the audience able to follow the structure as theatre, as sound and as projected image? Was the convergence of these parts cohesive enough for the audience to take in the central conceptual point; that being the issue of consumption in contemporary society? Did we as performers strive to make the concept clear? Given that Liquid Architecture 6 was billed as a Sound Art event, was the audience predominantly distracted or confused by the amount of audio/visual information? Did the program promote to the audience and support in practice the ideal of experimental works?

 

In seeking answers to these and other questions or an understanding of the performance in retrospect, it is worth considering how the project space impacts on the experience. Rebelo provides a general starting point:

 

A performance space, in the context of nonlinear digital media structures, implies sophisticated analysis in the areas of gesture, one-to-many communication schemes, individual presence, idiosyncratic action, and instrumentality. The performing body operates in a space of expectation, in a space that tends ‘towards more or less coherent systems of non-verbal symbols and signs’ (Lefebvre 2001). [9]

 

The challenge in considering Rebelo’s text, lies in how to identify and assess the levels of communication, and by whom and when? Some modalities of communication can be considered during rehearsal but optimizing these then may not make a significant difference under performance conditions. Impressions of success and failure depend on individuals who may or may not be adequately informed about the work. The Edible Audience project itself, was part of a larger program and the diversity of works presented, contrasted, complimented and possibly clashed, thus making an intelligent, impromptu and comprehensive critique of any one work difficult without substantial qualification and reflection.

 

Those in the audience familiar with the constituent components of Data Art performance practice were possibly able to navigate the various levels of activity and thus extract from the experience a more positive memory. It is accepted that such a performance, operating under conditions of, at times, randomness and explicit but arbitrary control, would have moments in which the aesthetic flounders, only to be asserted at a later time. This instability, this ebb and flow of cohesiveness, lies at the heart of all improvised performance where generation and control of events becomes a moment-by-moment concern for the performers.

 

Data Art practice is by definition, innovative, exploratory and woven into a configuration mapping action data from diverse media systems to a concept. While the data may not be subject to direct human intervention, today it is more common that there is some kind of interactivity or influence over the data that controls, generates or constitutes visual or sonic manifestations. The following comment could equally apply to complex forms of Data Art presentation.

 

Interactivity may offer an entirely new approach to music-making, and so in order to avoid getting stuck in the current musical paradigms, we should question not only the nature of the system input (such as musical notes, tempi, rhythms, or human gestures, dance movement, or conductor’s gestures), but we should pay equal attention to the output of the system, and the qualitative relationship between the two. [10]

 

It might be assumed that the question of audience comprehension lies in how they perceive the mappings in terms of action or object to aesthetic results. Can we assume that the more abstract or esoteric the artistic concept, the more the audience will struggle to engage the work? No. It depends on the mode of concept manifestation and whether the audience was briefed on what to expect through other means prior to the performance.

 

Categorical Overview of Edible Audience

 

Few artists have the opportunity to question each audience member in a formalize manner about the performance. Typically, impromptu and casual responses vary greatly and often focus on matters that the artist might consider as circumscribing their particular concerns. The audience only experiences a brief moment in the life of the project. However, the artist will be aware of a general ‘feeling’ about the performance, usually at it’s most poignant between the conclusion and the applause.

 

Irrespective of the outcome of the performance, it is valuable for the artist to review the concept, implementation and performance, not only from their own perspective but what they think it might have been like for the audience. However, consideration of a Data Art performance from the audience’s point of view invariably leads the artist back to an examination of the entire event.

 

Before undertaking a more detailed account of the project, it is worthwhile reviewing key aspects of the experience under a number of critical categories:

 

Concept

A critique of our consumer driven society

The theatre of 4 diners at a table eat images of people

Use of an augmented reality system for live performance

Engagement with a kind of Data Art theatre

 

Technology

The use of two networked computers to implement vision, image and sound processing

Multi-channel sound

Deployment of the technology in the performance space

Configuration of the performance props and the camera

Configuration of Aviary, the Augmented Reality software application

Development of SuperCollider 3 audio patch

 

Motivation

Distributed of expertise

Learning experience

Uniqueness of the event

Institutional collaboration

 

Agendas

Performing with Aviary software

Performance profile with a new Data Art project

 

Performance

No practical familiarity with the performance space

Lengthy set up

Multiple performers

Restricted but vague performance configuration

Few rehearsals

No substantial performance training or experience with such interactive systems priory to the project

Limited understanding the totality of the project presentation from an audience’s perspective

Inability to hear or see what was intended for the audience

Effectiveness of the performance interface

 

Context/Venue

Acoustic properties of the space

Image presentation

Stage area

Sound diffusion set up

Program structure

 

Audience

Comprising:

Practitioners of Data Art

Familiar with Data Art

Unfamiliar Data Art but interested

Location in venue space

Able to maintain interest through a diverse program of Sound Art

The ordering of these categories might be seen in retrospect as important from an analytical point of view but if considered prior to the performance they may need to be constantly re-ordered to help predict and control the outcome.

 

Performance Anatomy

 

Although as a performer I was not directly part of the audience, an analysis of the structure of the Edible Audience should provide a way to examine what was presented to the audience and reflect on what was important and was not, from at least one perspective.

 

The controlling software application was Aviary [11] , an “Augmented Reality” system based on the AR toolkit [12] . Aviary analyzed live video input and searched for pre-defined patterns, called “fiducial markers”. When these patterns were recognized other images were superimposed on the markers, thus hiding them. These images could be moved around with the patterns and had 6 degrees of movement: X, Y, Z (height), yaw, pitch and roll.

 

On recognizing a fiducial marker, Aviary would also output OSC datagrams over a network connection to the audio application SuperCollider 3 running on another computer. The purpose of this was to reduce the computational load on the machine running Aviary. The sound, processed audio files and some real-time synthesis, was diffused through an 8 channel sound system, which included 2 sub-woofers.

 

There were 6 performers: 4 diners and 2 waiters. Although there were a number of rehearsal and trials with various technical and performance configurations, it was clear that improvements in the performer’s roles would only be possible with more performances and rehearsals.

 

The fiducial markers were handled by the performers who were ‘acting’ out a dining scene, which as mentioned above, was broken up into several acts (Entrée, Main, Desert courses and a Toast).  Interludes indicated to the audience what was going to happen next.

 

The performers were to the audience’s left with the projection screen centre stage. Perhaps they should have been located in front of the screen to enhance the idea of making a connection between the theatrical action and the projected image but that is only speculation. It might have made the experience more confusion or had no significant effect. The audience mostly saw the site of the performance with not much detail. The acting deliberately exaggerated gestures but the fiducial markers were small and probably not recognizable from a distance. They were however, occasionally visible on the main screen. This should have given the audience a clue as to the relation between the markers and the superimposed images.

 

The performance started with a title screen triggered by a particular marker on the table. This marker was then replaced with an “Entrée” title maker. The first diner entered and sat at the table. A plate of four Entrée markers was served and the diner began to move one of four unique markers around. At this point the audience could easily observe the relationship between the marker, the image on screen and the movement of the sound.

 

One by one the other diners entered and joined in the performance, selecting markers and moving them around in the camera space. It can be assumed that not much of the theatricality of the performance at the dining table was visible too all the audience. What the audience could see clearly was the video projection of the table top, where the markers and the performer’s hand could be seen with the addition of the images superimposed by Aviary.

 

Edible Audience in Performance

Image 1. Still from Liquid Architecture 6 DVD of the Edible Audience performance.
Performers are on the left. The screen shows the fuducial markers with and without images superimposed.

 

So from a visual perspective, two points of reference existed but were perhaps not easily correlated due to size, position and perspective. There was also a small delay between the movement of the performers and the image projected on the screen but because both could not be viewed at once, the delay was probably not a significant factor in the visual experience.

 

The next layer of experience existed between the movement visible in the projection and the sound. Even though the relationship between the performer’s movement of the markers and the sound was in real-time, to make this explicit, the performers had to know how to optimize their movements to make the spatial movement of the sound very defined. The movement of the performer’s markers across and around the table corresponded to the movement of the sound in the audience space. This would have been very clear if there had only been one performer with one sound but there were four and the sounds were not always that dissimilar nor always in discrete locations.

 

In addition the visual mapping on the screen did not immediately correlate with the audience space. If the audience figured out how to view the screen as compass bearings, they might have been able to appreciate how the sound was mapped into their space. This may have been understood through listening and making connections with certain performer’s movements but difficult and elusive with 4 active performers and rapid changes in sound.

 

The question is whether the sound/movement correlation was important to appreciate and whether it added anything to the audience’s experience would probably be answered in the affirmative from the artist’s perspective. Clarifying the mapping strategy, and there clearly was some obscurity here, might be seen as an intellectual exercise but not necessarily crucial to a better appreciation of the aesthetic experience. All that might have been required on the part of the audience, avoiding the tedium of technical detail, was that they understood that there was a correlation.

 

The other issue was that the performers themselves were not experienced in moving the markers with a specific understanding of how the sound moved. Even learning how to do that was problematic given the nature of the interface. Talking about the ‘Iamascope’, an interactive kaleidoscope that uses computer video and graphics technology, Fels et al state:

 

The player’s movements are unconstrained and the player has to discover the mapping on his own. The closest metaphor is that the interface is like a ten-string guitar where the computer holds down the chords automatically. The player strums the strings by moving in the bins. While this metaphor helps make the mapping easier to understand it does not help in learning to play the device. This is because the metaphor is not quite accurate.[13]

 

And later:

 

In general, this attribute of free hand or free form gesture mapped to sound is problematic. Very few metaphors provide a strong enough link between gesture and output to provide an easy-to-learn mapping. Thus, even if the metaphor and the mapping are easy to understand, they will not necessarily lead to a very expressive instrument. In this situation, other paths to achieve transparency need to come into play to make the instrument expressive.[14]

 

The task of mapping gesture to action for the Edible Audience performers was made even more difficult because while it was important to try and keep the markers visible to the Augmented Reality system it had to be done without looking at the projection screen. This would have detracted from the theatrical nature of the performance. If the markers were not identified by the system both the superimposed image and the sound were also not present.

 

Another problem was that the performers were not in the same specific audio space as the audience. So the performers could never really hear the sound moving in response to their hand/arm movements. It was possible to hear changes in some locations of the sound if the performer was concentrating on their sound while moving a marker.

 

What, of course, would have improved the performance immensely, would have been more rehearsals. It is probably symptomatic of many Data Art performances that the performers suffer from a lack of experience, confidence and certainty, which must get conveyed to the audience at the beginning. If the performers know that what they want to convey can get communicated then that expectation must pervade each subsequent performance.

 

Conclusion

 

This text constitutes a singular and private attempt to raise one artist’s perspective on a Data Art performance and the audience. It should be viewed as the beginning of a process of self-evaluation of practice with the objective of strengthening the relationship between concept, performance and the audience.

 

It is expected that under the vagaries of performance, the implementation might be compromised before and during the event but not after. Knowing that the project has been thought through from an external perspective rather than only being concerned with the internal mechanics should compensate for performance irregularities and hopefully the audience will recognize them for what they are and still appreciate the overall intention in the work.

 

In the case of Edible Audience, was the audience able to navigate and connect the performance as theatre, as sound and as projected modified video? The answer to this is probably a cautious ‘yes’. The audience had to at some point make a connection between the performers’ actions and the video image then make frequent updates during the course of the event. The question of the perception of the performers’ relationship with the sound is more complex because the mapping of the sound to the action was less evident, especially for that part of the audience who could not clearly see the performers. The sound appeared to be understood as somehow separate or with a more obscure connection from later discussions. Even the performers struggle with this aspect of the performance.

The Edible Audience critique of ‘consumption in contemporary society’ was probably not presented to the audience strongly enough prior to performance but whether this really mattered in context is difficult to assess. In later general discussions about the performance, it was clear that this could be understood as a sub-text for conversation and a form of explanation and justification of the performance. In a sense independent and itself, in need of explication beyond or in addition to what was conveyed in the performance. In this case and perhaps to the advantage of the performance, the concept was not ponderously or intensely didactic.

 

The achievement of presenting such an experimental project went a long way to creating a sense of success even though there was one glaring problem to the performers and a mild sense of disappointment that real food could not be used. The audience might have sensed that the project was cohesive and performed without obvious or disruptive technical problems.

 

Thinking of how the audience might receive a performance does not mean to pander to them by making the work transparent to the point of shallowness but rather is a way of ensuring that the optimal conditions for concept and performance presentation are achieved. This is by no means easy to understand and even less so if it has not been thought about at all. In developing the Edible Audience project we did from the outset think about the audience. We tried to include them and directly inspire a critical perspective on consumerism, as we are all part of our immediate community and society. That may have been confronting if understood and contemplated throughout the performance but nevertheless a significant achievement for the project. I personally felt that this was not clearly understood. The theatre and media presentation formats were complex and required constant engagement by the audience. In effect, the performance was too demanding and the concept could only be considered in retrospect.

 

From the analysis of one Data Art work it is not possible to generalize exhaustively on the effectiveness or shortcomings of all future performances but there are questions in many forms that can be asked and addressed on the basis of any creative experience when considering undertaking another. The point of formulating and responding to such questions is to accumulate over time, a body of experience and mode of thinking about a project prior to any practical undertaking. While the final outcome cannot be fully predicted, understanding and analyzing aspects of a project in the very early stages can indicate and highlight issues that might, if acted upon, make a significant positive difference.

 

Acknowledgements

 

I am indebted to Professor Stephen Barrass for the discussion that sparked the subject of this paper. Also, I wish to thank my fellow ‘Consumers’ who performed in the Liquid Architecture 6 Sound Art Festival at the National Gallery of Australia on the 23rd July 2005. They were Stephen Barrass, Tim Barrass, Anita Fitton, Peter Morse and Onaclov.


References

 

Fels, Sydney, Ashley Gadd and Axel Mulder, ‘Mapping transparency through metaphor: towards more expressive musical instruments’, Organized Sound. 7(2). pp. 109-26

 

Manovich, Lev 2001, The Language of New Media, Cambridge: Mass. MIT Press.

 

Manovich, Lev 2001, The Anti-Sublime Ideal in Data Art,

 www.manovich.net/DOCS/data_art.doc viewed 5-Sept-2005.

 

Paine, Garth 2002, ‘Interactivity, where to from here?’, Organized Sound. 7(3). pp. 295-304.

 

Pritchett, James 1993, The Music of John Cage, Cambridge University Press.

 

Rebelo, Pedro 2003, ‘Performing Space’, Organized Sound. 8(2). pp. 181-86.

 

Revill, David 1992, The Roaring Silence, Arcade: New York.

 

Winkler, Todd 2000, ‘Audience Participation and Response in Movement-Sensing Installations’, ISEA. Paris.

 

End Notes

  1. There was an unexpected and not hitherto experienced sustained false triggering on a pattern which caused images and sound to appear sparodically throughout the performance. They should only have appeared at the end. return
  2. I prefer the term ‘Data Art’ as defined by Manovich to ‘New Media’, the former term being more relevant where diverse digital technologies are combined in one performance. Although a ‘Sound Art’ festival in this case, the term emphasizes what was important in this project. return
  3. Pritchett. pp. 89-90.
    Revill. pp. 143-44. return
  4. Fels et al. p110. return
  5. Manovich. p5. return
  6. Rebelo. p182. return
  7. See a later discussion of this in the text.
    return
  8. Winkler. p2. return
  9. Rebelo. p182. return
  10. Paine. p297. return
  11. Aviary was written by Tim Barrass. return
  12. www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/ (accessed 10-09-05). return
  13. Fels et al. p115. return
  14. Fels et al. p116. return