Some days I call this an interactive sound installation. Other days I call it a book. It’s likely a bit of both. Intended as the prototype for a larger piece, (packed.) includes a series of plexiglass photographic objects meant to be hung on a “wall” to trigger sound, story, and various perspectives. Created using Max/MSP and a Pic microprocessor, it was a universe to explore; the user’s actions – in what order and amount the objects were hung – triggered up to 18 different pieces of sound, including up to 4 different layers of perspective. The audio, all spoken word, layered as if the user were sitting in a room – from the clarity of the closest conversation to the patterning of the voices far away; the more the user explored, the more the user was able to reveal. The photographs (scans of objects and photos) and story source material, a young woman’s journey to Paris with the American Legion, were given to me by my grandmother. This project was my master’s thesis for the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU.
This project is an experiment in the embodiment of written texts as interactive virtual spaces. Taking inspiration from such disparate sources as the art of Josef Kosuth, the texts and plays of Samuel Beckett, Medieval Cathedrals and Reliquaries, the space investigates the emotional response triggered by sound and virtual environments.
Created in Virtools and 3DS Max, the user simultaneously navigates through both visual and audio landscapes. The physical topography is determined by the same text on which the audio soundscape is based.
Also a web-based piece, it was shown both at the ITP spring 2002 show and as part of a collective installation at Villette Numerique at La Villette, Paris, in fall 2002. Though shown at the ITP show as a large screen, the original intent was to show it within a confined space. I designed the interface for the Villette Numerique group installation as a card catalogue, as seen in the bottom image; the card catalogue was coded by collaborator Peter Moskal.
This interactive documentary installation was presented at the ITP spring 2003 show. The piece is comprised of an 8 minute video loop and 6 channels of audio. The viewer is given the chance to mix his/her own soundtrack of information to authentic source material from the events of 4/11/02 in Caracas, Venezuela.
On 4/11/02, what began as a peaceful protest against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez turned into an event of chaos and horror. By the end of the day, 19 people were killed and hundreds injured by bullets shot by 5 unseen snipers. To this day, no one knows for whom the snipers worked.
The 4/11 installation attempts to give the viewer an environmental sense of what it was like to be both in the midst of the chaos that day and the chaos left in its wake. The video footage, all shot on-site that day (provided uncut by my collaborator, Venezuelan musician/sound engineer Jose Hinestrosa), attempts to weave together multiple perspectives: the street, the media, the military, and palace defenders. The 6 channels of audio represent 6 different sources of information: the spanish speaking media, english speaking media, the sounds of the street, Hugo Chavez (through his speeches), narration (giving context), and a more traditional film-type musical soundtrack. Using the Pic microprocessor, Max/MSP, and old radios, we allow the viewer to control the volumes in real-time, determining the information s/he hears.