suNEARth – Interconnections in frequencies

suNEARth is an interface translating radio sun observations into compositions with field recordings collected on Earth. A composition follows a linear data spectrogram which is translated into sound using visual pattern recognition. The algorithm searches through the collected and archived field recordings and finds the best visual matches in the audio spectrograms. In this way, the sun observations are not compressed to the audio spectrum but rather manifest in recognizable recorded sounds or a total mess, as the sun and Earth can be.

The interface was developed by Gianluca Elia and Francesco Bigoni and was part of the objectives for PhD research addressing sun-Earth cohabitation by Pepa Ivanova.

Pepa is inviting PIFparticipants to perform the sun collectively. Anyone willing to record sounds, describe and categorize them, as well as try the interface or even advise on improving the methods and upgrading the code, can join. Other types of data recordings using spectrograms as output are also very welcome.

Scrolling Soil by Saša Spačal

In the current era, characterized by a diminishing empathy towards the non-human agents of our ecosystems, the essence of our relationship with the soil is under scrutiny as well. The “Status of the World’s Soil Resources” report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2015, illuminates a paradox: while our understanding of soil has reached unprecedented levels, the proportion of individuals directly engaged in soil cultivation has declined significantly across the globe1. This trend has profound implications, especially considering that approximately 95% of the nutrients in our food supply are derived directly or indirectly from soil, which possesses the inherent capacity to nourish plant life2. The disengagement of the majority of contemporary humans from the living cycles and agrobiodiversity of the Earth is arguably a consequence of prioritizing productivity and profitability, highlighting a pressing need for reconnection with the very ground that sustains us.

In response to this challenge, the intention of artist Saša Spačal is to leverage soil chromatography as a method for environmental engagement during the upcoming PIFcamp. This will be achieved through conducting soil chromatography workshops and the creation of large-scale textile soil chromatograms, which will serve as sound scores. Subsequent research will focus on the conceptualization and preliminary testing of a sound instrument designed to interpret these textile scrolls, transforming them into a performance tool that vocalizes the soil. This endeavor seeks not only to cultivate a renewed interest in the substrate that nourishes us but also to underscore the critical role of soil in sustaining life on Earth through sonic storytelling about hyperlocal underground communities.

  1., accessed: March 13th, 2024 ↩︎
  2., accessed: March 13th, 2024) ↩︎

Modulating Time

Modulating Time is a collaboration between artists Lizzie Wilson, Alex McLean, and Mika Satomi. Together, they will explore connections between e-textiles and live coding, including modulating time in live coding performance through movement tracked via sensors and machine learning.

Mika is interested in developing a physical wearable device that senses the tempo and pattern of the wearer’s movement. Lizzie and Alex are looking into how the tempo and pattern can be extracted from the sensor data and incorporated into live coding processes to create interesting music.

We are excited to host this project at the 10th PIFcamp and look forward to seeing the outcome!

Kubus & Mindful Food Design

As part of KUBUS Fransisca Tan will offer insights into her work as a food experience designer and creative producer. Join her for sensory explorations connecting food, ecosystem thinking and mindfulness. 

She will dedicate some of her time to further develop and prototype on two of her ongoing projects: ArtEO: Environmental Data for Artists & Wild Flower Festival.

Activities will be curated on-site, depending on interest and requests by the group. These may include: sensory walks, scent design, eat design, ice cream interventions, flower conservation & rice paper sculpting, climate data & arts workshop.

Kubus base

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An experimental platform with open ends – a temporary laboratory is to be created

KUbUS bASE is an interdisciplinary and process-oriented platform that invites continuous transformation throughout the week. The open cube can serve, for example, as a workshop area, living room, performance space, sound installation, and projection surface. As a social sculpture, the base invites site-specific participation. For PIFcamp, it seeks to explore new formats and invites people to linger, participate, and exchange ideas.

KUBUS is inspired by the activities and spirit of Setzkasten Wien — a workshop, residency, and performance space in Vienna that has developed its experimental approaches over the past ten years. Initiated by Stefan Voglsinger, the project aims to create space for collective practices and experimentation.

Stefan will bring the following projects to be shared as a collaborative process or workshop:

  • Analog 16mm shooting, developing, and projecting film
  • Building a reactive network of solar-powered pulsing triggers with solenoids, motors, and relays to resonate the steel surface of the bASE sculpture
  • Field Recording Trips using self-built microphones and sharing knowledge about sound recording and experimental music

Cellular automata and sound composition

Michael-Jon Mizra is interested in how cellular automata can be used to aid musical composition and how to perform and control various synthesis processes, such as additive and subtractive synthesis, granular synthesis, and other synthesis processes based on signal modulation. He is inspired by the simple rules that lead to great complexity in systems such as Conway’s Game of Life (GOL). In the GOL, there is a grid of cells, and each cell can either be dead or alive depending on how many other cells surround it. With each step forward in time, the cells update, and a world takes shape. The beauty of this system is that one cannot predict, from the initial conditions, whether the world will enter a stable state or continue to change for eternity. This unpredictability inspires him as a tool for performance and composition.

The traditional medium through which an audience may experience the GOL is sight and visualization. He is challenged by translating this in a meaningful way to sound, considering it a tension between the temporal and spatial dimensions. It is possible to “go up” a dimension, look down upon the grid, and see the whole as an interaction of the parts. But music is a temporal phenomenon. It’s not possible to “go up” a dimension in time and “hear” how there is no beginning and no end. Instead, we must listen and make deductions; what happened before implies what may happen next. We must search for patterns and store information for later retrieval.

Mizra hopes to find answers—answers gleaned not from tackling the problem head-on but from approaching it from an angle, allowing him to uncover something new.

Ionospheric Antenna by beepblip

The ionospheric antenna is a large copper coil designed to capture the crackle of solar electromagnetic radiation. We will build three variations of different sizes to test which one best captures the music of the stars, faint electromagnetic events, and inaudible atmospheric very low frequencies. During summer storms, it should also enable the sonification of ‘whistler’ waves, which can interact with radiation belt particles and cause them to precipitate onto the ionosphere.

beepblip (Ida Hiršenfelder) is a sound artist and archivist. She makes immersive bleepy psychogeographical soundscapes and is interested in bioacoustics, experimental music, and sound spatialisation. Since 2021, she has been developing a series of interdisciplinary sound works such as “Empathic Atmospheres“ which addresses the agency of non-organic others, and “Translating Critters” which explores the potentiality of non-human-animal language translation. She completed her Master of Sonology studies at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (2023). She also runs workshops for inaudible sound detection, such as electromagnetic detectors, hydrophones, ionospherics, and ultrasonics.

Circular Chromatography by 2024 PIFresident Julian Chollet

Soil, earth, dirt, mud… the stuff we walk on, sit on, sometimes even sleep on. It’s where we grow our food and bury our dead, the foundation that makes our planet livable for everyone – except maybe some water creatures. This mysterious substance is everywhere, yet most of us rarely give it a second thought.

This years’ PIFresident Julian Chollet would like to take you on a journey to explore this underappreciated world beneath our feet. Using Circular Chromatography, it is possible to transform a spoonful of dirt into a vibrant image that reveals the composition of the soil: minerals, organic material, microbial activity, etc.

From sampling to chroma development, the two-day (~4 hours each) hands-on exploration will have plenty of breaks and time for discussions. The workshop is still in an experimental phase, so your feedback and ideas are highly appreciated!

“Sonifying frequencies” by Bernhard Rasinger

Elektrosluch Mini City is a DIY kit of Elektrosluch, an open-source device for electromagnetic
listening. It allows one to discover sonic worlds of electromagnetic fields, surrounding our every step.
Just plug your headphones & explore. Concept & electronics were developed by Jonáš Gruska.

Elektrosluch Mini kit is easy to assemble; there are very few components to solder. It’s a very good
start to pick up your basic soldering skills and start reading a schematic. Bernhard Rasinger will guide
you through the workshop. Be sure to bring headphones with a TRS connector!

And always remember to let there be a comparator at the input!

p/q – Rational number decimals as rhythmic pattern

In this project, Ingo Randolf is searching for repeating decimal numbers to use the repeating patterns as rhythms. To do so, a pattern-recognition algorithm finds repeating patterns in a brute-force method of dividing prime numbers. These patterns will then be used as input to a rhythm machine.

Rational numbers are numbers that can be written as a ratio of two integers (e.g., 1/3). Some rational numbers are decimal numbers that either end after a certain number of digits (e.g., 1.25) or repeat (e.g., 0.3333…).

Prime numbers are integers only divisible by one or themselves. Every non-prime integer can be composed of prime numbers. Prime numbers are the building blocks of the realm of integers.

He will explore what kinds of rhythms come out of this experiment.