Posts Tagged ‘ambiance’
Projection mapping is an evolving artform that so far has been mostly an insider phenomenon within the VJing and electronic festival scene, in spite of roots in the longstanding medium of theatrical design and the growing number of competitions and conferences that are dedicated to it (one the most prestigious being the annual Mapping Festival in Geneva). It is frequently paired with DJ acts or used as a promotional gimmick for slick ad campaigns. The medium achieves aesthetic effects, however, whose innovation and significance have not yet been adequately critically adressed. What is the future of projection mapping’s cultural impact? With its knack for transforming irregular surfaces into surreal architectures, it speaks to a new vision of urbanism and the city, as a polymorphous and playful space justified by its spectacular ambiance as much as by its functional value. If we imagine a daily life framed by these dynamic monumental sculptures, what different kinds of cognitive and emotional sensibilities will we see emerging?
In the vein of (immobile) light and space artists from earlier decades such as Dan Flavin or Robert Irwin, Licht makes sculpture from light and shadow. One can imagine an interactive variant where the play of bright, dim and dark is crowd-sourced by an online community, or algorithmically indexed to sensor information measuring the trajectories or body data of the visitors. Or offering a counterpoint to the natural time outside. In any case, presenting new expressive possibilities for data visualization.
The SOUND club in Phuket, Thailand, features architecture that brings a literal meaning to the term immersive. With nothing but round angles, pod-like seating arrangements, curvy corridors and dreamy, shiny, deep blue surfaces, the club recreates a surreal aquarium atmosphere. One can only imagine the synesthetic possibilities if a DJ were to play minimal dubstep, ambient, or deep house. Club architecture is one of many sites of themed entertainment / art environments where the affective potentialities of space are being experimented with and explored. The hybrid nature of clubs as venues for both social and artistic enjoyment – the two functions brought together in a sensual, hedonistic spirit that transforms both the experience of the art and the experience of others – makes them fascinating grounds for architectural experimentation, bringing us back to a Vidler-like (The Architectural Uncanny) notion of architecture as the design of different kinds of in-habiting, of being in space.
Me posing in front of the set I designed for a viral video to promote Fox’s “Rise of Planet of the Apes”, coming out in August, directed by fellow USC Cinema student Thenmozhi Soundararajan. I created some scientific animations and projected them on three layers of scrims, to produce a 3D effect without the stereo. The whole thing is supposed to represent a TED talk from the future. The melty shape to the left is a brain. Awesomely, the fabric we used – voile – added a shimmery grain to what is otherwise an ordinary digital-looking 3D model…
take out your anaglyph glasses to view this in its full stereoscopic glory!
I did the art and sound for the game Gravity Cubes, with Matt Morris and Jason Mathias. Ours is the eerie world of semi-transparent cubes in which the gravity switches on the player every 30s. The game was realized in Unity and is the result of experimenting with what constitutes a compelling 3D space – it turns out transparency and reflections are particularly evocative in stereo, as the viewer receives a rich impression of the multiple layers of objects positioned at different depths.
It started with making the soundtrack for a 3D game. And now I have it edited to a bird video I found on youtube…
Will be projecting 3D animation on a tower at Rhythm and Visions, a live cinema event featuring audiovisual collective D-Fuse
I will be projecting Nano Flow on the tower of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts building, a stereoscopic 3D animation visualizing a flow of nanobots as hybrids between machines, jewels and single cell organisms. The event will also feature audiovisual collective D-Fuse, artists, VJs and DJs Scott Pagano, Brian King, Trifonic, Brian LeBarton and MB Gordy.
I think of the puzzles and spaces of the 1995 Sierra game Shivers as an extension and ambient accompaniment to the game’s soundtrack. No game that I have since played captures mood so well – the sound and feel of mystery, danger, anticipation, uncanniness and solitude. The rooms are themed exhibits in an abandoned museum “of the Strange and Unusual”. They recall a very Museum of Jurassic Technology-ish type of eclecticism, mixing anecdote and legend with fact, preferring poetic allusion to information visualization.
Most delightful of all, various classic puzzles often inspired from ancient devices act as the gatekeepers to the microworlds of each exhibit. Sound plays a key role in evoking the tactile and kinetic qualities of these mind-toys – the sound of clicks and whirs and small metal balls rolling down granite passageways. The patient mechanical unfolding of the puzzle processes the ambient soundtrack, so that solving the puzzle becomes a means of listening to the music, the way dancing offers a solution to a beat. Here, the player experiences the sound of thinking.
shots from a playtest of my installation, Almost Everything Can And Shall Be Cut – a next iteration will involve layering the plastic sheeting to produce stereoscopic effects when the second channel video is projected. For the first video displayed on the monitor, I’m thinking of setting up the plastic tent in a stairwell.
Torus is a bouncing castle, an inflatable tunnel, a crawl space to rest and socialize, and a novel. After enjoying the buoyant properties of the platform at the center of the structure, revelers enter the darkly glowing, semi-translucent tunnel that circles the ring. Comfortably wide, and yet not large enough to allow you to stand up straight, the tunnel is a tautological maze that amusingly, gently disorients. Its elastic, squeaky walls have the consistency of a balloon and make for interesting reclining, lounging, splaying and contortion of limbs. Strangers meet as they crawl or wiggle through the tunnel: talk, experimentally intertwine, explore the space together. A system of fans keeps the air of the labyrinth adequately fresh and oxygenated.
The secret of Torus is in the speakers embedded in its walls: the tunnel is divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant broadcasts a section of a short novel narrated by the novel’s protagonist. Like in one of Borges’ fantastical stories, the novel has neither beginning nor end – it is literally a circle!
The torus itself is a geometrical object with fascinating psychological properties…sound travels elliptically through it, allowing visitors to experience the ambiance rather than the letter of the novel.
Floating Donuts and Pink Pipe Joints: preliminary models for my project to hybridize the novel and the playground
These sketches are first steps towards a visualization of my concept of “ambient narrative”. In this case, the book being read is inscribed in the walls of a warren of floating inflatable tunnels (suspended like a octopus-shaped air mattress from a ceiling), in the form of pressure sensors that, depending on the visitor’s ensconcement in a particular branch of the structure, trigger audio recordings of a story. Each chapter of the book can be accessed in a recombinant rhizomatic way – literally the visitor travels through the story, using her body, its movements and its rubbing against the plush fabric of the tunnels, as the decoding instrument that allows her to gather fragments of the hidden text. The story itself, called “In the Dark: The Story of a Disapearance” is an existential mystery or detective novel that is pieced together by the non-linear meanderings of the reader.
Thater’s work in the past has focused on recreating abstracted immersive environments, using angled projections to transform the geometry of a space, often featuring the animal kingdom:
Diana Thater, Broken Circle, 2001
Diana Thater’s two channel installation Between Magic and Science deconstructs the magic metaphor that drives the myth of cinema and the cinematic apparatus. Not unlike an Andy Warhol film (Sleep, specifically), Thater offers the visitor the casual and yet involving spectacle of a continuous/reiterated gesture. In Thater’s piece, a magician keeps pulling a rabbit out of a top hat, an old cliché circulated in popular culture (including film and animation) that has become something of a symbol or archetype for the magic trick. In the first channel, Thater both dissimulates and exposes the magic trick by promenading the camera around the magician, an investigative motion that, however, repeatedly reveals nothing about how the trick is accomplished. In the second channel, the camera is static and records a “conventional” framing of the action, a tripod shot that references the illusory powers of cinema and its ability to create alternate realities out of “tricks” such as performance, production design, and montage. Both channels are commenting on the different persona or functions of the cinematic apparatus – the phenomenological or documentary camera (reminding us of Dziga Vertov’s kino-eye) and the camera of optical illusions and technological marvels, a device that traces its lineage to magic lanterns and the kinetoscope.
Diana Thater, Knots + Surfaces, 2001
The dramatization of this mise en abime goes deeper than these two asymmetrical mirrorings of the same action, however, since both channels are not projected in the installation space but inside an old Los Angeles theater, which is the footage actually projected for the visitors. Thater seems to be commenting on the layers of imaginary space that constitute the frame or screen of the cinematic mirage – just as the revolving camera is unable to unveil the mechanism or deception of the magician’s trick, so does Thater’s stitching together of the spaces represented in her two-channel piece appear seamless and opaque, hiding the layers of artifice within the totalizing control of the production.
Diana Thater, Between Magic and Science, 2010
And here, perhaps, Thater’s metaphor is too neatly tied up or packaged: the fact that her installation appears so convincingly to be a simple totality, in spite of the complex orchestration of its production, does not offer us a substantial or effective enough experience of the mise en abime she is representing in the piece. The work is more in the story about the work (including the thrilling tale of Thater’s acquaintance with a secret club of Los Angeles magicians) than the work itself, which makes the actual gallery experience a little anti-climactic compared to the curator’s introduction.
My newest track of low-tech music. Enjoy!
I define low-tech and low-fi as a practice of jittery iterations – algorithms recode the same melody to create long looping ambient tracks. Anyhow, my idosyncratic use of the program Reason is responsible for the theory…still deep in the learning process.
my newest piece of low-tech music – enjoy!
Matthew Barney, Cremaster I
text: Margaret Morse, Video installation Art: The Body, the Image, and the Space-in-Between
Morse evokes a piece by Muntadas called haute CULTURE Part I, in which two monitors are placed on each end of a seesaw, thereby making an elegant point, couched in physical terms (physical even as in “physics”, since gravity is employed as an artistic device) about the act of comparing both sets of images. This piece offers an example of what Morse calls “kinesthetic” learning, or the kind of information processing and intuition specific to our perception of the organization of objects in space. Kinesthetic perception is synesthetic and active – it involves visuality, sound, and the haptic in a way that allows each sensorial input to complement, suffuse and correspond to another, and using the entire body, including its own position in space relative to other objects, as a sensory organ. The kinesthetic subject is always hyper-aware of her body/herself as key element in the epistemological puzzle posed by the installation piece: all the meaning that can be gleaned from a space must bounce off of her, her critical interpretation changes and accrues only according to her own changing orientation in space. This unfolding signification is also temporally grounded – in fact kinesthetic appreciation can be defined as a temporalized experience of space, a strange, subliminal experience in which we both critically stand outside ourselves to consider ourselves-within-the-world and have an acute consciousness of inhabiting our bodies, of being materially and psychically connected to the outside world. Morse’s term of “body ego” encapsulates this awareness of oneself as an entity, something that participates in both the object and the subject.
Going back to Muntadas’ seesaw, we can see how the artist’s physical demonstration of a conceptual relationship between the two objects/monitors offers us a uniquely visceral insight into an a priori realm of abstract and critical thought. The kinesthetic argument being made is playful – an analogy more than a declaration. Using the evocative power of objects and their wealth of cultural denotations, an artist can articulate kinesthetic phrases, in which different objects constitute a semantic content and their relative positions (taking into account the multiple trajectories of the visitor) operate as syntax. Objects are further mis-en-abime within the virtual windows of screens and video channels – kinesthetic art erases to a certain degree the ontological difference between what is represented (screen-based) and what is presented (anchored in physical space). The resulting aesthetic and epistemological experience is intuitive and multidimensional, blurring the boundaries between thinking and feeling.
Using Benedict Anderson’s concept of imagined communities as virtual loci that gather individuals into a common cultural space,Susan Douglas (Listening In) reads radio in terms of its capacity, as a social practice, to uniquely constitute (American) subjectivity. Radio’s most obvious affordance is that it allows people separated in space to listen simultaneously, “to experience that very moment of (their) lives in exactly the same way” (p.24). Douglas argues the new medium gave rise to an unprecedented kind of intersubjective intimacy – a linking of inner worlds that occurred not through a meeting of the minds (radio listeners remain anonymous to each other) but by sharing a common (cultural, technological) platform for fantasy.
Radio listeners are bonded by a specific practice of self: as thousands tune in to the same Top 40 song, they cross over together and for a moment into a temporality different from their distracted, fragmented present and experience time as a (musical) signature, as an embodied flow. For the duration of a song, radio holds out the possibility to a fragmented collectivity to perceive themselves as a unique, flavorful being – the kind of communion achieved is not one that can gather a community (radio listeners are experiencing themselves, very closely, rather than experiencing others) but that produces similar and separated subjectivities. Radio-listening Americans live apart but dream together.
Here Douglas’ concept of “dimensional” listening, as radio’s purported affordance that encourages listeners to generate their own powerful imagery to compensate for the absence of a visual world, enters into play. If other media like cinema, where worlds are “given” to the audience for consumption, constitute a vault of imaginary material, then radio trains the subject in the practice of a specific type of imagination, setting up the scaffolding for an inner space that we can freely populate. To “develop an ear for radio” means to gain access to “a repertoire of listening styles and emotional responses”, to be attuned to different inner worlds that we can switch on or off (in this sense, prefiguring the advent of portable music players as mood-regulating devices). In the 20s before regular programming this might mean tuning in to imagine a ionospheric topology projected from the disparate stations the ham could reel in; in the 30s it could mean regularly conjuring the presence of an entire cast of fictional characters from a soap drama. Douglas argues that in exploring the “spaces” of sound – by promenading our consciousness through the rippling folds of rhythm or timbre in music, by stalking the unfolding story of a voice – we are really spelunking in our own depths.
The term “training” characterizes the kind of self-building radio enables in the sense that listeners (according to Douglas) become emotionally attached to broadcast material, especially if they hear it repeatedly: “the more we listen to certain kinds of music, the more we learn to like it.” (p. 32) – in a quite neurological way, Top 40 songs imprint themselves on our mind, giving shape to our subjectivity. This emotional sculpting modifies the listener’s sense of time in significant ways. Radio creates privileged temporal moments for the listener, a more intense experience of the present that accompanies the listener’s exploration of their inner space. Over the course of a life, these privileged moments call to and ricochet off one another – mental states or moods jump across one’s temporality, seeding the self with fragments of past incarnations, reliquary fantasies. Douglas emphasizes that radio almost from the beginning was marked by nostalgia, by the longing for a disappeared moment that a broadcast song could briefly bring back into the present. In this sense dimensional listening is not dissociable from another term Douglas uses, “associational” listening, or the forging of correspondences between the flow of our lives and the soundtrack that accompanies it, meaning that daily routines – e.g. doing laundry while listening to a jazz tune on the radio – are dyed with the color of a sound that can make an initially undifferentiated slice of everydayness remarkable. This quality in radio emerges from its difference from the gramophone as a listening practice – the fact that radio temporally mapped out a listener’s day (starting with regular programming) with scheduled sound. As manufactured sound and especially music became ambient (as consequence of ubiquity) they started exercising an unprecedented level of influence on people’s lives.
Douglas also investigates the fascinating history of the beginnings of radio and the social significance accorded the new technology at its inception, particularly around the relationship between radio and a collective desire for the existence of a tangible spiritual dimension, a longing for the unchartered and unknown that characterized both radio’s marketing as a mechanical “medium” (a notion that interestingly recontextualizes media in terms of spiritism) and the practice of DXing. Radio uncannily symbolized, more than the phonograph which was an inscription device, the utopian possibilities of technology as interface between different ontological realms, as a transducer that could allow for communication between what was previously considered incommensurable: the living and the dead, humanity and the extraterrestrial, invisible world of the airwaves, two individuals separated by vast distances. Douglas points out that in endowing radio with this mystique Americans were engaging in a search for meaningful connection, a sense of existential and communal belonging that, at least in the collective Western imaginary, had been lost in the turn to mechanized, serialized, fragmented modern life. DXers, poetically dubbed “distance fiends”, developed a form of radio practice that engaged the technology not only as a commodity fetish but also as, literally, a medium, a means of accessing different possibilities of signification through the exploratory use of the technology’s affordances. Before the more commoditized modes of dimensional and associational listening, tuning in to the radio was also a game played across the virtual landscape of the airwaves as DXers would fish for the disembodied voices that stood in for real-world localities.
Douglas’ discussion of DXing as a poetic practice weaves into her general investigation of radio not only as a locus for a cultural imaginary but as a technology that crucially enables imagination – which raises questions as to how other sound technologies have been and might be imaginatively used. If the commodity-use of the record, the tape, the MP3 player have trained us to meaningfully experience sound in certain ways that have constituted our subjectivities according to certain common cultural (capitalist) patterns, then what other cultures (and other subjectivities) with potential to challenge or re-organize capitalism emerge as a result of exploratory, imaginative use? Radio leads us into a consideration of contemporary countercultural (but also massively embraced!) practices around sound technology, namely DJ and remix culture…
“The variety of noises is infinite. If today, when we have perhaps a thousand different machines, we can distinguish a thousand different noises, tomorrow, as new machines multiply, we will be able to distinguish ten, twenty, or thirty thousand different noises, not merely in a simply imitative way, but to combine them according to our imagination.” (The Art of Noises, Luigi Russolo)
Remembering what it felt like dancing to drum n’ bass at club last week, I found it useful to consider the mental “attitude” at work in the activity of dancing to as opposed to listening to music, and, in the context of x’ “Music as Technology of Self”, to wonder what kind of mood-modifying agency is at work on the subject’s part in the act of dance, where the body seems to spontaneously achieve an intimacy and immediacy of communication with the mind’s capacity to recognize and organize aural patterns. In the specific case of electronic music, dancing seems to involve an enactment of the music, a physical tracing of the contours of the different elements at work in a sonic landscape: an inverted act of ventriloquism, where rather than giving voice to a (inanimate) body, a body is given to the voice. Drum n’ bass, with its rapid-fire snare drums and broken beats, subwoofers meowing like torpid, hungry cats, creates a kind of atmosphere that lends itself, if not to the spiritual, then to a form of spiritism – the dancers mechanically jumping from beat to beat are automata controlled by the poltergeist haunting the PAs.
Here the particular “aura” of machine-music, as envisioned by Futurists such as Russolo in The Art of Noises, is articulated: the distinction between euphony and disharmony breaks down in the face of the possibility of infinite variations in timbre (different species of noise) and the futility of any form of sonic taxonomy (and therefore, arguably, of categorical judgments about value or taste in music, but this opens up another can of worms). The programmability of the rhythm – bringing to us the hard fact that all digital music is the product of an algorithmic process – creates a backbone, a tensile, resilient structure that supports the volatility of tone and timbre, which is then free to open up a space of mobility, of play to which the body responds. One of the exciting things about electronic music is not that it always produces an arena for free play (most of its forms are subject to the same sort of cultural patterns embedded in other forms of popular music) but that, as a technology, its particular affordance is to produce experiments in procedurality / procedural forms of experimentation. Dancing to drum n’bass feels nothing so much like solving a problem, a result of harnessing the self to a technological framework which momentarily brings the dancer to a higher form of phenomenological enactment – solving the problem of time / temporal existence via body, allowing the body to function as an uncanny inscription device / Ouiji board.
From website “Create Digital Music”
Brainpipe is a psychedellic journey down the neural pathways, a long, strange trip into the minds of an unusual band of independent game designers. And while some games demand muscular graphics cards or brilliant flat panels, this is one that requires playing with headphones. The immersive sense of the descent down this brain’s pathway is entirely dependent on its sound. While even big development houses often license sound engines, the band of hard-core designers at Digital Eel also rolled their own interactive audio code to make the sounds fully seamless…..
Peter: Let’s talk about the game mechanic. Some of it feels familiar – this descent through a cylindrical pipe – but there’s something quirky and unique about your take on it. How did you settle on the interaction mechanic?
Iikka: This was quite literally the first thing I programmed for Brainpipe. We were trying to come up with a new “short” game after putting another larger project on the back burner because we didn’t have enough free time to work on it. Within a few hours I had the basic control scheme and the moving pipe running on the screen. This is similar to how some of our other short games (Plasmaworm, Dr. Blob’s Organism) got started; the first prototype is something you can play with. After that there were tweaks of course, but the feel stayed much the same…
We were talking about music right away and how the sound, the intensity of the patterns and colors on the pipe walls, and the speed of traveling through the pipe should all work together. [We wanted] a kind of triple whammy to suck the player in deeper and deeper — a strong, cumulative effect…
Making sure each obstacle has a sustained sound so you can hear it coming in the distance in front of you and then hear it pass by and recede with Doppler shift certainly adds to the audio illusion.
I think the kicker is the way the intensity ramps in the game. It’s sort of like a rising sawtooth waveform-shaped thing. During each level, the intensity, the speed increases, Then, between each level, the intensity drops to give you a breather before the next level begins. Each time the intensity drops, it is still at a higher intensity level than during the previous level break, and all of this ramps upward.
The sensation of synesthesia is something a handful of game designers have tried to achieve. What are some of the games that have inspired you? Are there games you feel have reached that fusion of sound and visuals?
Iikka: My personal influence is the “demoscene” that I was a part of when I was younger; it’s a subculture of programmers and artists using computers to create non-interactive but real time audio-visual experiences.
Rich: For me, LucasArts’ adventure game, The Dig, with its seamless looping of various Wagner themes and so on. The music would morph as scenes changed. It was an amazing piece of work.
The music from Star Control II innovated with music and visuals, and it directly inspired the music for Strange Adventures in Infinite Space and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. The idea that each alien race should have their own theme music came from there (though this kind of thing is less unusual now than it was when SC2 was originally released), as did the idea to attach separate and distinctly different music to each thing, category of thing, item, window, pop up announcement –every action in the game and every flick of the interface … like a toddler’s “busy box” of sound.
Back to Brainpipe, other areas of music outside of games inspired us as well. Aleatoric, musique concrete, avant garde — stuff Bill just naturally creates and stuff I’ve always loved since I was a kid. [I checked] out the LP’s at the library by Stockhausen, Varese, Morton Subotnick, Ussachevsky, all these wonderful pre-synthsizer electronic sound and found sound composers. And the records were awesome because they were always in pristine condition — relatively few others ever checked them out.
IN a show put on by noise performer Kawaiietly Please – in which we participated, not listened, or perhaps listened to the point of participation. She started by taking her microphone for a walk around the venue’s small room, picking up vibrations that fed into a distorting filter in her computer, amplifying white noise. It was painfully loud, but only when the beats kicked in four to the floor did our organs start to thump synchronously against their skeletal cavities. Kawaiietly Please creates an event that uses sound as a dilating instrument, opening up the minds/bodies of the audience via their ears: in front of the stage, a giant white stuffed gorilla lies in an inflatable kiddy pool, its belly stitched with black cables. Kawaiietly Please tiptoes towards it, the cacophony around us lending an intense stillness to the scene. Then the sound begins to bark at us like a rabid dog and she pulls out the cable from the stuffed corpse – she struggles, the clothy flesh resists – and some of us impromptu jump on it and start tugging too. The sound – damaging feedback, harsh static, thereminish vibrations – throbs across our muscles as we pull, pull and finally – yes! – we tear. The monkey explodes in a shower of stuffing and glitter, an entire horde of smaller creatures spills out. We go nuts. Now we have something to lay our hands on. The noise that throws us about like rag dolls gives us back what is our own – our impulse to be kinetic. A double acceleration: the movement in time that is sound galvanizes a symmetry-response momentum in extensio – everything snaps (in place) with the thrashing of our bodies.
We dive to the floor, grabbing stuffed animals, pulling them apart solitarily but more often engaging ferociously in tug-a-war: I grab an arm, you grab a head. Soon enough we are fighting each other. Not knowing how it came to this, I am on the floor being dragged around by someone who is battling me for the limb of a teddy bear. The kicking and screaming I do is much more than liberating: this synesthetic simultaneity of hyper-loud sound, cuddly texture (the plush, soft, squeezable bodies of the animals) and violent muscular resistance (the propelling motion of the tugging) is driving me insane with fun. Kawaiietly Please weaves in and out amongst us, jerking her head back, rubbing herself against the floor with scattered petticoats, feeling up the PAs – ghostly in the red light, flitting in and out of the decibelic tidal wave like a hummingbird. We roll her in the rubbery folds of the kiddy pool (the excitement of tactile/sonic texture peaks), mock- suffocating her. She is buried beneath the blue plastic while we throw bits of stuffing and animal parts as though they were flowers.
The noise abruptly ceases: we clap, we shriek, we instantly miss it. She emerges, bows. For about an hour afterwards a number of us are still twitchy – we vault rather than climb onto chairs, we hop rather than walk, laugh rather than bother with coherent sentences. A warmth suffuses us, stretching our mouths in toothy smiles. We want more of this extreme friendliness.
From architecture and design magazine website Blueprint:
“Clear transparent tubes feed plumbing pipes with compressed air. These create a chorus of howls and moans. It is sort of like an out of tune harmony but isn’t displeasing, almost like the cry of a stream-train but not intrusive. This is apt for the Roundhouse, as it was built in 1846 as a Steam engine shed. The sounds become a reawakening of the haunts of its previous existence. It gives significance to the user of the building, as if our own experiences and lifetimes within that building become infused into the very make-up of it. This user-building relationship is highlighted by the operation of the installation, where the building only speaks when the user touches the keys of the pump organ to feed it.
If the large, round room is empty when you enter it, the installation is silent. One may feel timid walking to the pump organ, with its yellowy spotlight and the massive room to play to. The words ‘Please Play’ painted on the floor offer some encouragement. Most people are generally shy when playing musical instruments to an audience, but the pump organ cannot make a formal tune: the sound it generates is more like the clunking noises made by old, creaking heating systems in houses. The instrument itself is like an exaggerated version of the solitary church organ, usually played alone because it is only in tune with itself and not with other instruments.” (Elice Catmull, August 2009)