Experiment No.1

plasma speaker, computer, headphones, wood shapes, graphite, sound interface, webcam

Experiment No.1 is real-time data visualization and sonification installation using Open Source Computer Vision (OpenCV) and Pure Data software. In 1888 physicist W. Duddell tackled the problem of humming noise in London streetlights. He conducted numerous experiments with plasma bulbs that were the main light source emitters. The experiments resulted in a discovery where varying the voltage power of a bulb allowed him to control the frequency of the humming noise via a resonating circuit. This did not eliminate the humming noise that he had set to solve, but it did give Duddell an idea to create an electric-powered musical instrument that is known as the singing arc. I used a singing arc in my work to create a musical instrument that makes a sound piece using digital audio waves (sinus, square, and triangle wave) and basic geometry forms as input. One of the goals was to get away from being a composer and letting the system “decide” what the composition will be like. A webcam is filming one of the sculptures which then OpenCV recognizes, the video input is fed to an oscillator to generate a sound wave that is being played back by my singing arc. The singing arc then burns the sculpture which changes data about the shape that is being seen with the web camera and the cycle repeats itself. The sound composition is finished when the singing arc cannot reach the sculpture anymore. The system produced 3 destructive sculptures and 3 generative sound compositions.

  • Eksperiment no1 system explanation
  • sound and object sketch
  • plasma speaker

– 2013 17 October – 24 November, “Synthetic Nature”, Madona museum, Madona, LV
– 2013 23 August – 22 September, “Synthetic Nature”, RIXC gallery, Riga, LV