I prepared some example recordings for developing the algorithms and sound situations. These are neither the complete texts, nor the final speaker selections. Thanks to Robin Minard and Alicia Champlin for lending me their voices for these experiments.

This piece is a reworking of a sound installation from 2012 with a similar title, Unvorgesehen–Real–Farblos (Engl. “unforeseen, real, achromatic”). I am currently interested in the dynamics and consequences of coming back to existing pieces and reconfiguring them with new ideas, new context, or new algorithmic embeddings. What is lost, what enters, what is transformed by this operation. It is also an opportunity to try out things, and by giving a new title the old configuration is not superseded or made obsolete. I did such a reworking before in Wr_t_ng M_ch_n_ (2017) which reconsidered various elements of the piece Writing Machine (2011), a similar distance in time, yet different from the project at hand, where this has greater consequences, because the piece’s material is rooted stronger in a particular time and place.

dry signals

 

simultan 1

 

simultan 2

 

Dry sound example from text 1 (unforeseen)

Dry sound example from text 2 (real)

Transition frorm dry to binaural, simultan type 1


Note that in the actual installation, head tracking
is used to calculate distances and orientation towards
the virtual sound sources.

Transition frorm dry to binaural and back, simultan type 2

Technically, the original setup of Unvorhergesehen… is very simple: A couch is placed on a wall of the exhibition space, with three headphones mounted above its left, middle, and right, accompanied by digital prints of 32×32 cm. Each headphones is fed from a fixed media player with an approximate one hour loop.

What one hears on each headphones is a recording of my voice, as I improvise a monologue on distinct topics that affected me at the time. It was the attempt of creating a “performative sound piece”, a study of the articulation of my voice and its rhythmic structure across different recordings on different days, and capturing the spontaneity of “analogue real-time composition” without further editing. The purple coloured prints are self-similarity matrices of the spectral and temporal features of the recordings, despite their resemblance from a distance revealing distinct patterns at close inspection. The recordings took place in the apartment I lived in during an artist residency, with the open windows capturing the city’s soundscape in the background and the voice exhibiting an inside-the-head-localisation due to the use of in-ear microphones.

The three resulting “texts” deal with my understanding and developing of
writing processes, the rhythm of building a daily routine (unvorhergesehen), the refusal to subscribe to a piece’s assumptions on the concept of reality (real), and a dream or memory from half-sleep on the becoming-transparent of the boundary between foreground and background (farblos). What interested me was how these kinds of field recordings could be an aesthetic statement, in their brittleness, in their colourlessness, their non-literariness, in the patience they perhaps require when listening, and how the audience plunges into a discourse at an arbitrary point by putting on the headphones, what happens when they move from one discourse to the others. Various forms of re-entry are integrated into the texts: Addressing the recording situation itself, its play of foreground/background, or one text referring to the other two texts.

The installation will have a stereo microphone capturing the
soundscape outside the exhibition space, adding it to the
headphone signal. Here is a sample atmosphere that you can
have playing along with the voice examples.

 

It is an intimate sound installation for headphones, digital image, and a seating situation, such as a couch. Three discrete “real-time” moments, in the form of soliloquies conducted in front of an open window, provide the textual basis. They examine the creational process, the design and function of sound art and the position of the listener. It is about the balance between a “work” and a reflection on it, about the action of entering the scene at arbitrary points in time, and what happens when you move from one narrative to the other. A quiet and sparse statement on the poetics of sound and voice within a context of aesthetic consumption increasingly dominated by sensation, dramatisation, entertainment, convenience of digestion, and the display of expensive technology.

 

Text excerpts corresponding to the sound example on the left side.
Here text T1 ends abruptly before jumping to text T2. In the final
version, there will be a body T1,2 that contains another text that
semantically transitions between the adjacent texts.

IMU brick (orientation sensor) installed on headphones.