MAJ: Looking Outwards #4

Admiration: Les Objets Impossibles

Les Objects Impossibles is a live audiovisual concert in two parts, created by Pedro Mari and Natan Sinigaglia (also known as Abstract Birds) in collaboration with Arcadi, Cité de la musique and IRCAM. Les Objects Impossibles visualizes two pieces of music composed by Dmitri Kourliandski in real time as they are performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain. Max-MSP is used to analyze the sound, while vvvv creates the visuals.

I’m fascinated by the use of music to manipulate a semi-realistic 3D-space. I’d be quite interested to see the debugging environment for this impossible object. How was it decided what sounds modify which parameters? How was this impossible object envisioned in the first place?

For more about Les Objects Impossibles, click here. For more about Abstract Birds, click here.

Surprise: City Symphonies

City Symphonies is  a traffic simulator created by Mark McKeague that uses the motion of traffic to create synthesized soundscapes. Processing powers the movement of the traffic, while Max-MSP takes the simulation and turns it into music.

I was pleasantly surprised by the elegant simplicity of this soundscape. As someone who has lived in a city all of their life, it’s refreshingly disorienting to have the familiar vroom of a vehicle replaced with classically synthetic sound.

For more about City Symphonies, click here. For more about Mark McKeague, click here.

What Could Have Been (Or Once Was): Talking Tree

Talking Tree is a project created by Happiness Brussels where a hundred-year-old tree was hooked up to various equipment which measured the tree’s living circumstances. A custom bit of MaxMSP software was written to translate the tree’s sensing information into social media content, which can be found on Twitter, Flickr, and SoundCloud.

Unfortunately, the Talking Tree website is no longer active, so there in no nexus for the tree’s sensing information. I’m a bit dubious of how the MaxMSP program “translates this information into human language.” (See first link) While I enjoy the quirkiness of turning a tree into a social media presence, this project seems too much in the vein of something like a dog with Facebook. (However, if the tree’s custom website was still active, I would consider this project two notches up from the aforementioned Facebook dogs. From what little of it is seen in the video, the website looked quite well designed.)

More information about Happiness Brussels can be found here.

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