‘lo everyone. I feel like I’m beginning too many posts with “just a heads up,” but just a heads up on what I’m up to this summer, or at least what I’m up to outside of building electronics, doing whatever I do for the state university I work at and fluffing the nest for the ever-approaching birth of my daughter come September. Namely, I’ll be amplifying water currents out in California, transferring the vibrations electro-mechanically to writing utensils and pulling prints with them in a quasi-steampunk attempt at mechanical synesthesia, or something in that ballpark. For those into reading, I’ll post the abstract in a second, but for those more into times, places, and events, I’ll be doing said things twice – once on July 10 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and again on August 3 At Battery Townsley at Fort Cronkhite, overlooking the Marin Headlands. Both are part of MEDIATE’s Soundwave ((6)): Water, San Francisco Innovative Art and Music Biennial. It’s been nearly two years since I was last in California – looking forward to heading out and doing whatever Californians do. Not to mention the artwork.
Hydroprinting II is a semi-autonomous, performance/installation designed to explore the connections between current and tidal movement by way of a constructed visual output, utilizing abstract audio processes and custom-designed hardware. For this piece, I intend to construct three hydrographs, fashioned after analog seismographs, modified for input to be derived from the San Francisco Bay. Each device will be used to impel the movement of a stylus on paper, much in the same fashion as a seismograph or a polygraph, however, there will be no set period for each device, allowing for the potential for individualized measurements of tide and current, unique to the operator of the device. Over the course of a set duration (30 minutes for performance, with option for extended installation upon request), the audience will be invited to participate in the creation of unique art prints, on location, as part of an open-ended performance/installation designed to bring awareness to the interrelations between our ambient surroundings, the environment and our own aesthetic derivatives therein
Prior to to the performance, the hydrographs will be assembled on site using materials easily found in Bay Area, consisting of a rigid vertical frame with a moveable boom, suspended in stasis via spring and counterweight, with the dimensions approximately two meters tall and one meter wide. At the end of each boom will be a customized holster, designed to hold permanent markers, which can be swapped for the sake of color and tip density. Attached to sliders on the far end of the boom will me moveable plexiglass art-boards, designed to permit the pulling of prints without hindering the view of additional audience members.
Powering each hydrograph will be a small amplifier affixed to the base of each device, designed to best relay the signals taken from a submerged hydrophone on an extended lead to a transducer fastened to the apex of each hydrograph. Similar to the principals of a spring reverb, signals from the hydrophones will be used to activate movement in the spring. However, instead of reintegrating the amplified signal with the original, each spring will convey movement to the boom, facilitating the creation of prints.
Each amplifier will also contain an additional audio output for direct amplification over a larger PA system to allow for direct amplification of the hydrophones, as well as contact microphones integrated into the booms of the hydrographs, intended to amplify both the movement of the spring, as well as the direct sound of the physical act of printmaking. During the course of the performance, I intend to create a site-specific mix, incorporating these six sound sources, as well as the immediate ambient sounds of the location, further integrating the space, the devices and the environment in which they were constructed.