Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Media Art Unit One - Spring 2012

Dave Hall Generative Audio Interaction 2006

Sound driven visual Motion and Media
(Physical 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.
From wiki

This class and projects will be about the exploration of audio driven patterns and graphics with an intention to create an instalation.

Project One
Circuit Bending and Electronics
Duration 3 weeks

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 – Disassemble and initial tests
Week Three – Adding components for control and interaction.

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

Project Two
Signal Processing and Sound
Duration 3 weeks


Sound signals have been represented graphically for as long as graphics has existed. However with a computer added to the working pipeline its possible to envisage many new and unexplored visualizations of audio data.

The basis of motion graphics is often the relationship between sound and image. However as media breaks out of the confines of the screen new methods and approaches to audio data output are emerging.


We will take our sound source from the first project. Processes it digitally then output it three dimensionally via the laser cutting fabrication process.

Week One - Introduction
Week Two – Strategies for visualizing audio
Week Three – Digital laser output


Project Three
Real-time and interaction or Pre rendered
Duration 6 weeks

For the final part of our project you have two choices.

Option One- Pre Rendered Animation
Using trapcode sound keys you can use your audio signal to generate motion graphics in After Effects. The visual style should be abstract I suggest. 

Option Two- Real Time interaction
Using your sound and circuit knowledge you will hook up your device to
a computer and use the signal to modify / change an image.

Software could be Quartz composer ( for mac ) or VVVV or which ever program you choose.

Final Presentation

Physical Media 2009 from Opi@te Acc on Vimeo.

Duration 1 week