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Last changed: 2012/03/06 10:57


Projets (2009-2012)

Peter Sinclair

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Bio Peter Sinclair

English version

Thesis (PhD CRiSAP University of the Arts London) :

Using real time data flux in art – the mediation of a situation as it unfolds.
RoadMusic – an experimental case study'''

The use of real-time data in art raises a specific problem: How can the work be dependent on external flux and simultaneously have form that we can consider as artistic. The practice driving this research is called RoadMusic. The project uses a small computer based system installed in a car, which composes music from the flux of information it captures about the journey as it unfolds. Time, immediacy and the everyday are recurring questions in art and music and I review historical practices that address these questions. However, the art of sonifying data extracted from the environment is arguably only as recent as the computer programs it depends on. I review different practices that contribute towards a corpus of sonification-art, paying special attention to those practices where this process takes place in real-time. I discuss where RoadMusic fits in this spectrum. To deepen my interrogation of the specificity of an art of real-time I consider philosophical theories of the fundamental nature of time and immediacy and the ways in which the human mind ‘makes sense’ of this flux. After extending this scrutiny via theories of system and environment, I proceed to extract concepts and principals leading to a possible art of real-time flux.

Ph.D. CRiSAP Creative Research into Sound Arts Practices, LCC London College of Communication, UAL University of the Arts London

Research director : Angus Carlyle

Realisation : RoadMusic

RoadMusic AutoSync revisits the common experience of listening to music while driving in a car by replacing sounds normally provided by media - radio, cd or mp3 player by an installation which produces sounds from the action of the drive itself. Gear changes, vibrations, road surface, become the instruments playing music unique to each trip.

The idea is to be done with listening to recorded music in your car and instead to have a live sonic experience in which music is created from your ride for your ride. Sensors gather data about bumps, curves, accelerations and braking while a camera analyses the visual scene. This data is used by custom software, on a dedicated on-board computer, (AutoSync) to generate sound. RoadMusic is a new art object, participating in a very recent art form - artistic real-time sonification. Sinclair is specifically interested in the situation of the car ride in which we are "traditionally" estranged from the audio environment through which we travel.

Sonification, which in scientific terms designates the use of sound to display data in a non verbal form, can be used to create music, replacing or completing the notion of authorship with a sense of time and place. Maybe, in the not too distant future music generated from situations will become widespread. (Sinclair is currently guest editing a special edition of AI&Society dedicated to artistic sonification & environments. To be published in 2011).

With RoadMusic the road becomes the score, the driver becomes the musician, and the music becomes the sound of the situation. These artistic concerns find added pertinence with the advent of electric and hybrid cars, which poses the question: what sound does an electric car make?

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version française

Réalisation : RoadMusic

Le principe de RoadMusic – AutoSync réinvente l’expérience très commune d’écouter de la musique en voiture, en remplaçant le son produit habituellement par la radio, le lecteur cd ou mp3 par une installation qui produit des sons à partir de l’action de la conduite et de la voiture elle-même. Changements de vitesse, vibrations, état de la route, deviennent ainsi les instruments d’une musique propre à chaque voyage.

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