Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HUMlab Student Projects from the Summer

Project Soundscape - Interactive sound installation
Johan Grönskog and Apurba Pawar, Umeå Institute of Design
The idea is to create a soundscape for the public to interact with, using digital media to enhance reality as an immersive experience. The concept is based on ​​fun theory (, and aims to make a passerby inquisitive about the ambient visual and auditory experinece of the installation. Initially the passing public would trigger the installation and generate audio / sound feedback combinations with changes in the visual projection. Once engaged, the installation will stimulates the spectator to modulate the sounds and create their own soundscape.

Let's Post-it
Ali Reza Dossal, Umeå School of Architecture
The project is a site-specific exercise that explores the possibility of transforming a space into one big interactive pin-up. Using only Post It Notes the project breaks the two dimensional surface to explore the architectural quality of a space. Using anamorphic illusion each post-it is part of a pixel to form a giant image in space. Viewed pricesely from a particular angle it engages the viewer to identify the image and interact with the installation and leave their impressions on. You are welcome to leave an impression; by leaving a note or a doodle. Speak your heart out on these creative confetti in space.

Composition with a Pump Organ and Digital Technology
Anna Neander, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts
A harmonium that was Previously placed in a church in Holmsund is transformed So that it will listen and react to changes into the surroundings. Mechanics, electronics and digital technology have become links between variations in the river and the body's tones. A composition is created that is an attempt to translate movements in the water into music and to connect older and newer technologies.

Floor Library Screen
Unn Swanström, Master student in Interaction Technology and Design
In cooperation with the University Library, Unn Swanström has created a library search engine for children That is not based on text. The goal with the initial prototype has been to allow access to library content through new types of visualization and interaction .. The project has made use of the floor screened in HUMlab-X.

Persistent Shadows / Painting with Shadows
Jacob Cyriac and Yui Komatsu, Umeå Institute of Design

Pagan Video Project
Petra Henriksson, Umeå School of Architecture, Isaac Falk Eliasson, Master student in Interaction Technology and Design, Mark Frygell and Jonas Westlund, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts
A site-specific installation screen has been created in relation to the HUMlab research project History of Multiple Screens / Multiple Screens as Material. The work is supported by theoretical work on the screen as medium and the history of screens from window and painting to LCD displays and multi-screen environments. The installation, as embedded in the HUMlab space, aims to create a platform for reflection on our relationship to the screen medium.

Note! The Pagan Video Project is open for visitors in HUMlab (main campus, below the university
library): 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Aug 29, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Aug 30, 11:00 to 13:00 on Sept 2, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 3, 11:00 to 13:00 on September 9, 3:00 p.m. to 17:00 on September 11.

Schedule (the presentation order is preliminary):

13.00, in HUMlab, main campus: Presentation and discussion of The Pagan Video Project,
Petra Henriksson, Isak Falk-Eliasson, Mark Frygell and Jonas Westlund
13.30 (ca): Transportation to HUMlab-X Everyone arranges their own transportation.
14.00, in HUMlab-X: Presentation and discussion of Project Soundscape,
Johan Grönskog and Apurba Pawar
14.20: Presentation and discussion of Floor Screen Library
Unn Swanström
14.40: Presentation and discussion of Composition with a pump organ and digital technology
Anna Neander
15.00: Presentation and discussion of Lets Post-it
Ali Reza Dossal
15.20: Presentation and discussion of Persistent shadows / painting with shadows
Jacob Cyriac and Yui Komatsu
16.00 – 18.00: Open Vernissage in HUMlab-X

Monday, August 19, 2013

New CD: Nada Baba and Friends - The Real

A collection of collaborations made between 2001 and 2013 with myself Jim Barrett, Adil Fadi (Funkservice International) and Erik Emanuelsson (Acid Folk, Reggaecide). The basis for each of these tracks is the didgeridoo, but the instrument is heavily sampled, remixed or processed in each. From sampling and looping, to performances in an acoustic chamber to processing using custom made digital tools, the didgeridoo is reconfigured in these tracks to bring new life to its amazing sounds.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Video - "Bodies, Space and the Virtual: A Narrative of Becoming"

Click on the above image for the video stream of a keynote presentation I made in May 2013 on the perspectives and constituents of virtual space. Virtual space is becoming less virtual everyday because we live in it. From the online and shared spaces of massive multiplayer games, to GPS and the augmented and networked technologies of iPhones and wireless connectivity, the peoples of affluent economies realize virtual spaces everyday. What do these spaces mean for our understandings of the body? How can we imagine the body, with its associated territories of gender, sexuality and cognitive awareness, in this time of virtual space? This presentation examines these questions in conjunction with selected examples and proposes a conceptualization of the body based on the virtual as a narrative of becoming. Many of the ideas and analytical concepts expressed in this paper come from my doctoral dissertation work, which will be publicly defended in the Autumn of 2013 at Umeå University.

What is virtual space?
Virtual space is codified space. How I elaborate on this answer in relation to bodies, expressions of identity is related to contemporary discourse. What are the Codes of Virtual Space in relation to the body?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beat Generation Misogynists?

 Jack Kerouac Trying to Remember a Woman's Name (That is Not his Mother)

The so-called Beat Generation was as much a product of the media that despised them as they were of their wild emotions. One point worth making in regard to there every really being a 'beat movement' (when what was described in the books and poems was actually happening and not when it became the topic of Time Life articles), is there were serious divisions between the writers, artists, painters and musicians that could be termed 'Beat' to the extent that several of the main figures had little or no contact with each other after about 1959. 

But the point about art and life being different roads is a good one. 'Howl' is not about men or women in the sense of characters, it is about people living in a militaristic society that practiced judicial psychiatry, which executed people in the name of national security, which imprisoned gays and even lobotomized them. 'On the Road' is about the mythology of the Old West and a eulogy for a freedom that it was imagined to embody. The writings of William Burroughs are a nostalgic longing for an imagined lost world of boyhood (that probably never actually existed), which we view through a language obsessed with the dull sensation and slow time of insatiable drug addiction. Each of these writers was looking at (and living in) the beginnings of the post-modern world, when the fables of progress and freedom seemed to be melting in the exhaust smoke and consumer culture of the 'free world'.

I recently started reading Burrough's 'The Ticket That Exploded'. It is a long poem, a painful clouded hallucination that assembles the ruins of a life that was filled with regrets (dead friends, murder, painful withdrawals, poverty and crime, misunderstandings between strangers in bars and cafeterias all driven on by the need to feed some invisible hunger or need). The cut up technique emphasizes this horror and dream-like quality to the prose and the chaos of the experience.

 By today's standards the writings of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, along with Huncke and Corso could be well considered misogynistic. But what about Ferlinghetti, Snyder, Bukowski, Micheline, Giorno, Di Prima, Waldman and the many writers who published in the 'Little Magazines' or yelled their verse in coffee houses and on street corners? This post-War movement of writers and poets that first broke open the boundaries on the "unspeakable visions of the individual" and commit them to the public gaze made important steps for later artists and writers. Much has happened since then which would not have happened if those initial steps had not been taken by Kerouac et. al.