Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Physical Media II

Advanced and experimental theories and techniques of analogue and digital media.


Preface and Introduction

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration, typically on the surface of a plate, diaphragm or membrane.

Direct ocular viewing of vibrations involves exciting inorganic matter such as particulate matter, pastes (both magnetic and non magnetic) and liquids under the influence of sound, although recent research has extended the range of media to include organic matter and the range of viewing has been extended to include the light microscope.
The generic term for this field of science is the study of 'modal phenomena,’ named 'Cymatics' by Hans Jenny, a Swiss medical doctor and a pioneer in this field. The word 'Cymatics' derives from the Greek 'kuma' meaning 'billow' or 'wave,' to describe the periodic effects that sound and vibration has on matter.
The apparatus employed can be simple, such as a Chladni Plate (a flat brass plate excited by a violin bow) or advanced such as the CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries within sound and music.

This class and projects will be about the exploration of audio driven patterns qand graphics with an intention to create an instalation.
Project One (Of Three) "Signal Processing"
Tim Steer “This has been a day of solid achievement”

Project One (Of Three) "Signal Processing"
Each person will buy two or more battery powered electronic
audio devices. (Must be battery powered). One will be a
speak and spell machine the other will be up to you.

Week One – Introduction
Week Two – Disassembly and initial tests
Week Three – Adding components for control and interaction.
Week Four – Circuit development
Week Five – Final presentation

Note. As well as buying electronic audio devices you will also need soldering irons and various other components.


Project Two (Of Three) "Cymatics and the Graphics of Sound"
Olafur Eliasson "Your Negotiable Panorama"
During this stage of the project I will teach you the basics of ableton and cubase. These programs will be used to drive an interactive Cymatic surface. This will be a five week project. We will explore physical and softeware based audio responsive components and visualisations.

Project Three (Of Three) "Interaction, Installation and Space"

OpiumBlue "Colapse of the Wave"

During the last part of the project each student will develop and instalation.

Note. As well as buying electronic audio devices you will also need soldering irons and various other components.


NOTE - All students are required to have a blog at (not naver). Also any movie footage shot should be uploaded to This footage should then be embedded into your blogspot. You will be expected to upload work for assessment every week.
The final output of this class will be an instalation in a pre defined space at the end of semester. Failure to present will mean fail.
You will need to have some experience with video cameras and editing software to be able to do this class.You will also need to be prepared to learn and experiment with new software.