How to hack your holiday
Michael Page is an artist/inventor who has been refining an electro-mechanical music sequencing machine for the past few years. After confronting the fact he enjoys performance but not studio recording with his machines, he started thinking about documentation, and how a happening or recording of an event can be the outcome of a project. He believes an event or a recording of an event is something with realness about it and appreciates the real incidental aspects – it all happens in a real place and time and is rich with “free data”, such as room / PA acoustics, performance errors, background noises, birdsong etc.
His project on PIFcamp will tranfer his outlook on documentation to the happening on the camp. Do you know how people’s holiday photos pretty much just show the good stuff? Or when people make their kids catch a Frisbee for a photo, but don’t actually play a proper game with them? Do they do this to conjure some sort of hyper-real hyper-idyllic family scene or something?
Michael’s project will try to remove as much of this bias as possible, by having photos, audio and video taken at arbitrary intervals. A starting point for exploration will be camera set to time lapse mode taking documentation every half hour or so, with the resulting material compiled into a very honest holiday slideshow. The project will investigate the physical process of hacking an audio/video device to record at arbitrary intervals and hopefully start discussion around the subjects of documentation and the consumption of media and experience.
Peter Edwards: Soča Synthesis
The analog synthesizer in the wild
Because of the analog synthesizer’s dependence on electricity it has evolved in a way that is strongly related to the locations where a reliable flow of electricity is available. Namely inside buildings. In keeping with this they have developed predominately for desk top use in clean, controlled environments. This project will question the conventional format of the synthesizer and investigate the impact and inspiration of the outside world (in all of its dirty, rainy, windy and endlessly moving glory) on the format, use and experience of the audio synthesizer.
Each team member will build a simple but powerful “classic” analog modular synthesizer containing 2 VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators), 1 VCF (VC filter), 1 VCA (VC amplifier) and a special sensor interface. This interface allows any of the synthesizers many parameters to be controlled using a wide range of signals from the outside world.
The first goal will be to build a powerful and flexible synthesizer circuit that can be used during PIFcamp and long after. Through this process we will learn about how voltage controlled synthesizers work (and why they are awesome!) and then investigate how our physical engagement with the circuit (knobs, buttons etc.) shapes its functionality. Following that we will use these device throughout the wild, with other PIFcampers, with a cooperative squirrel, with no one at all. Through this we will explore how the activities and life of the forest, river etc. can impact how we create and experience sound….music will be made, unruly fun will be had, synthesizers will get dirty.
We proudly announce that three Ljudmila’s old friends, first-rate mentors and the ultimate experts on their fields will be attending PIFcamp! They are: Lynne Bruning, Marc Dusseiller and Peter Edwards. The Home Team is so far represented by the founding member of Ljudmila and truly versatile hacker Luka Frelih. Can’t wait for more!