Emergence Lab at Duke Media Arts + Sciences Rendezvous

2015-02-24 10.28.03 am

This Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Emergence Lab (headed by media artist Bill Seaman and composer John Supko) will be taking over the Duke Media Arts + Sciences Rendezvous. If you don’t know their work already, be sure to check out Seaman and Supko’s collaborative album s_traits (also available on iTunes and elsewhere), which has been getting a lot of attention in the media lately — including a mention in the New York Times list of top classical recordings of 2014:

‘S_TRAITS’ Bill Seaman, media artist; John Supko, composer (Cotton Goods). This hypnotic disc is derived from more than 110 hours of audio sourced from field recordings, digital noise, documentaries and piano music. A software program developed by the composer John Supko juxtaposed samples from the audio database into multitrack compositions; he and the media artist Bill Seaman then finessed the computer’s handiwork into these often eerily beautiful tracks. VIVIEN SCHWEITZER

In their Generative Media Authorship seminar, which I have been auditing this semester, we have been exploring similar (and wildly different) methods for creating generative artworks and systems in a variety of media, including text, audio, and images in both analog and digital forms. The techniques and ideas we’ve been developing there have dovetailed nicely with the work that Karin Denson and I have been doing lately with the S-1 Lab as well (in particular, the generative sculpture and augmented reality pieces we’ve been making for the lab’s collaborative Manifest Data project). I have experimented with writing Markov chains in Python and javascript, turning text into sound, making sound out of images, and making movies out of all-of-the-above — and I have witnessed people with far greater skills than me do some amazing things with computers, cameras, numbers, books, and fishtanks!

On Thursday (at 4:15pm) several of us will be speaking about our generative experiments and works-in-progress. I will be talking about video glitches and post-cinema, as discussed in my two previous blog posts (here and here), while I am especially excited to see S-1 collaborator Aaron Kutnick‘s demonstration of his raspberry pi-based eidetic camera and to hear composer Eren Gumrukcuoglu‘s machine-based music. I also look forward to meeting Duke biology professor Sönke Johnsen and composer Vladimir Smirnov. All around, this promises to be a great event, so check it out if you’re in the area!

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