Ars Electronica 1999
Festival-Website 1999
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Festival 1979-2007


Sound Drifting: I Silenzi Parlano Tra Loro

'Collin Fallows Collin Fallows / 'Heidi Grundmann Heidi Grundmann

A generative sound installation running continuously from September 4–9. 1999 that will be produced simultaneously and linked up via international network (Adelaide, Amsterdam, Belgrade, Berkshire, Brighton, Graz, Lancashire, Linz, Liverpool, Melbourne, Vancouver, Vienna, and Weimar).

Sound Drifting: I Silenzi Parlano Tra Loro
is an interdependent temporary system of international remote sub-projects, which use a wide range of methods and approaches for the generation and processing of data/sounds to form an ongoing on line—on site—on air sound installation for the duration of the festival.

On site in Linz the sounds being generated and processed at entry points around the globe emerge as an interconnected sound-installation at different festival locations, exploring different potentials of sound drifting through physical spaces—from the immersive to the ambient.

On line the network of the different sub-projects feeding and shaping Sound Drifting from remote locations in Austria, Australia, Canada and the UK becomes transparent and accessible as a virtual installation in the form of a web interface structured and designed by artists.

On air Sound Drifting will be experienced as a radio installation in a night-long programme of radio-art on the cultural channel of the Austrian National Radio. Along with all the on site manifestations of Sound Drifting this on air mix will be fed back live online to the Internet and into the installation on site. Other radio-stations are invited to play their own versions of the installation.

Though the term ”generative”—as soon as sound is involved—is very clearly related to music, the Sound Drifting installation is not intended to be ”music” (although it may contain music). Rather, Sound Drifting is about: networking, communication and collaboration; control-sharing (between artists, users and machines); letting things happen, listening to the world, but not actively trying to decorate the world.

Sound Drifting: I Silenzi Parlano Tra Loro builds on previous Kunstradio on air—on site—on line projects and the research published in Evolution 2.0 CD ROM anthology of Generative Arts (Liverpool Art School / Merseyside Online, 1998). The installation will also be linked to Kunstradio's/Western Front's ongoing WIENCOUVER project.

Musik (IEM), Graz in collaboration with Algorythmics; Alien Productions; the Centre for Animation and Interactive Media, RMIT University, Melbourne; ESC, Graz; First Floor Eastside; Bauhausuniversität, Weimar; John Moores University, Liverpool; Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA); netzklang; radioqualia; SEAM, Studio für elektroakustische Musik at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar; SSEYO Ltd; Toy Satellite and Western Front Society.

Artists include:
Robert Adrian (CAN/A), Roland Bastien (CAN), Shawn Chappelle (CAN), Joelle Ciona (CAN), Tim Cole (GB), Peter Courtemanche (CAN), Justina Curtis (AUS), Tim Didymus (GB), Anna Fitz (CAN), FON (A), Andrew Garton (AUS), Josef Gründler (A), Honor Harger/Adam Hyde (NZ), Eileen Kage (CAN), Robert Klajn (YU), Norbert Math (A), Bruce Morrison (AUS), Bill Mullan (CAN), Roberto Paci Dalò (I), Bruno Pisek (A), Winfried Ritsch (A), Maria Schubert (A), Will Sergeant (GB), sha (A), Markus Seidl (A), Matt Smith/Sandra Wintner (CAN/A), Sodomka/Breindl (A), Aleksandar Vasiljevic (YU), Eva Wohlgemut (A)

Organisation: Elisabeth Zimmermann, Kunstradio.


sound drifting—weimar
Andreas Krach, Johannes Sienknecht a.o.
In collaboration with Bauhausuniversity Weimar, media faculty and the Studio for Elektroakustic Music (SEAM) at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar
sound-drifting—weimar opens the network both as a multi-channel-on site soundinstallation and as radiosculpture. The local sonosphere flows back into the network as a realtime audiostream and becomes available to all other stations in the project.
Dunes and Redundancy
Seppo Gründler
Dunes: An area of sand, ventilators, soundspeakers. The sand is blown at by the ventilators and vibrates with the soundspeakers. The data from the analysis of the audiostream from Linz control ventilators and speakers.
The result is a landscape of sand and dunes, slowly and steadily changing its appearance. A camera broadcasts pictures into the web. The room itself is silent. The original stream can only be heard in the foyer or elsewhere.
(Dunes is part of an unfinished project by Niveau Schweitzer/Stangl/Gründler/Böhm).
Redundancy: Deals with audiocompression. Live sound is MPEG-compressed and then compared to the original. The difference can be heard and is sent to Linz as a compressed audiofile free from losses. At the same time the original is mpegstreamed to Linz.
The Plant Room
Colin Fallows
Liverpool (GB)
The Plant Room is a permanent functioning installation, situated in the attic of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. For Sound Drifting the instruments of The Plant Room are programmed and orchestrated in a special arrangement as they perform their daily flow. Sounds are streamed utilising the same system of microphones normally used by classical orchestras.
Dusan Bauk, Aleksandar Vasiljevic
Belgrade (YU)
We plan to sample some sounds we call ”communication noises” such as water pipes, buzzing of street electric supply facilities and traffic.
The samples are then to be organised into sound fonts (Creative Labs SF2 format) and randomised by the SOUNDER software. (http://www.sounder.com)
A Micí, project by Subtolerance.
Robert Klajn, Gordan Paunovic
Subtolerance / Belgrade (YU)
Belgrade post-war urban noises are picked up by an on-line microphone and streamed live into Sound Drifting. Bare to the bone, those sounds are to be integrated as another channel into the entirety of the on line-on site-on air-installation/soundscape. The exciting technological aura (of cutting edge streaming) is constanly examined by a post-war reality of damaged telecommunication network infrastructure in Yugoslavia. Will the stream survive?
degenerative observations in sound
Andrew Garton, Justina Curtis
Toy Satellite, Australia
in collaboration with:The Centre for Animation and Interactive Media (RMIT University)
Documented sound environments from rural indigenous cultures fragment and decay as real-time encroachment of urban soundscapes invade.
Rural Sound Sources: animistic rituals, sacrifice and ceremony, symmetrical percussion performances from Rumah Sauh and Rumah Jeli, Iban longhouses, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Urban Sound Sources: vehicle and people, dense clusters of sound of uncertain origin from the multilingual streets of Fitzroy, Melbourne.
Matt Smith/Sandra Wintner with Grant Gregson and Spencer Cathey
First Floor Eastside, Vancouver (CDN)
In cooperation with The Western Front Society, Vancouver
Public Piano involves a Yamaha Disklavier (grand piano with a midi interface) playable via the internet. Sounds received online from Sound Drifting will be processed, converted to MIDI code, played by the ”Public Piano” in Vancouver, recorded automatically and, finally, fed back into the Sound Drifting audioscape as high-quality sound-files.
Emilia Telese & Tim Mark Didymus / Brighton (GB)
Mecha -Voices (Create e Distrutte) is a speech engine that assembles a poetry evocative of the work of the Italian Futurists. It is stark and unreasoning, as the machine moves foward without censorship or prejudice. But it parts from Futurism just where it joins it, from the idea of ”words in freedom” and mechanical relations felt as the inevitable influence of progress, as it begins to suggest an entirely new medium, with outcomes and readings that can be universally decodeable.
r a d i o q u a l i a, Adelaide
Honor Harger/Adam Hyde (AUS)
r a d i o q u a l i a are interested in the discourses surrounding the nature of broadcasting. For Sound Drifting r a d i o q u a l i a will look at the radio as a generative device, examining the ubiquity of different types of radio waves, examining the auditory nature of radio, and radio as a resonant form of energy. This exploration will take the form of an audiophonic automaton, which constructs sonic vignettes from actual auditory circumstances. The mechanism aims to generate a type of sound artifice which posits the supposition that radio, like all communications media, is a dimension of conversation, or even, by extension, an adjunct of language.
Roland Bastien, Shawn Chappelle, Joelle Ciona, Peter Courtemanche, Anna Friz, Eileen Kage, Bill Mullan
Western Front Society, Vancouver (CDN)
Silence Descends is a collaborative project involving seven artists from Vancouver. For Sound Drifting, the artists will work with a generative audio system that uses radio style mixing as its metaphor. This system uses long pieces of sound and mixes them with varying degrees of complexity/density.
Will Sergeant
Lancashire (UK)
Will Sergeant will be using the generative SSEYO Koan pro software. and treated Music Mandala programs. He will create a tone poem that lets the listener travel to a planet of water and ice as it flows, cracks and ripples its way through the void, a giant tear drop in space.
Intermorphic Koan^oasis
Tim Cole
SSEYO, Berkshire (UK)
Intermorphic Koan^oasis is composed in real-time by the generative SSEYO Koan system. The Koan^oasis will ebb and flow throughout each 24 hour period. Housed in a webpage, and delivered through the Koan Plugin, the Koan^oasis will be guided and continuously shaped through webpage programming.
dynamo 0.0-1.0
Vienna (A)
dynamo 0.0-1.0 = a generative soundsystem consisting of several soundmodules. The aim is to produce a system in which users are permanently involved in the process, i.e. interventions are possible simultaneously from several terminals. The interventions are integrated in the dynamo's soundgenerating process. A webpage offers itself as a visual interface. The individual modules are exchangeable and extendable.
Andrea Sodomka / Martin Breindl/Norbert Math
Alien City is an entirely virtual city in cyberspace, its aural and visual appearance composed of elements taken from different cities all over the world in different periods of time. Every user's visit in Alien City via Internet causes changes—the city alters, grows, is on the move.
Furthermore every access generates Feedback Agents: parasitical-symbiotic objects on the users’ computer. They merge the personal data with the city's soundscape the user is listening to and deliver it as sound objects to the Sound Drifting installation on site in Linz.
Winfried Ritsch
Algorythmics, Graz (A)
In collaboration with the Hochschule für Musik, Graz, Institute for Electronic Music (IEM)
Soundobjects in the form of soundfiles, microcompositions and live-signals drift independently through a distributed installation.
A very special sociology of sound-objects subject to predefined laws emerges, reducing the human being to the role of a recipient of this world. One could compare the situation to an aquarium with many different kinds of fish; to a contained environment to be enjoyed almost from the outside: the human being as keeper and beholder.