The duality of things by Bernhard Rasinger

In a referential system an entity always refers to something. That might be a zero point or any other potential, but there is always a point, plane, potential or idea to refer to.
Electric power systems work that way. A potential, away from the earth potential can create over humanly forces. These forces can only be experienced as a manifestation of the potential difference. Something lights up, something turns and moves or becomes warm. The manifestation that becomes apparent is a transformation of energy.

Sound and music work on a referential basis. One beat without another will not become a rhythm, one tone without another not a sense of harmony, a chord or a melody. There is always a second entity that builds the reference. 

At this year’s PIFcamp Bernhard Rasinger would like to explore the principle of reference with the help of oscilloscopes, lasers, modular synthesizers and the horn of a crane. (Whaat?) Join him for the adventure of recording your instrument into the modular laser system to compose a collaborative visual sound piece. 

They say that when you are weightless and floating in space you have to leave something behind to go somewhere. The greater the loss, the greater the impulse.

Text and photo by Bernhard Rasinger

Game Design Basics for Interactive Play & Sonic Game Jam!

Woho! We are announcing the second remote PIFworkshop hosted by Maggie Kane aka Streetcat.media, with a little help from Lovrenc Košenina (Rampa Lab). We are honoured that Maggie, who attended PIFcamp in 2018, proposed to host this workshop on our platform and share it with the community <3

ABOUT

Learn the basic principles of narrative gameplay design for encouraging meaningful user interaction with your work!

This workshop deconstructs game and storytelling/narrative design principles into two days worth of learning that covers various methods you can use to craft an engaging story for your audience!

CONTENT & TIMELINE

*For a more detailed activities description click here*

DAY 1: Game / Narrative Principles + Praxis
Wednesday AUG 5 at 5PM CEST | 3PM UTC

Create a web-based interactive “sonic” story (video game) that captures / documents the sensory elements (primarily sound) of a defined environment within a period of time and encourages purposeful exploration of the interactive play elements.

At the end of the workshop, Maggie will introduce an example project that illustrates the game + narrative design principles learned on day one. Students will receive a PDF worksheet that will help them define their own game + narrative design elements for their own interactive stories.

DAY 2: Interactive Storytelling Platforms
Thursday AUG 6 at 7PM CEST | 5PM UTC

Each student creates a very simple interactive game or experience that utilizes game + narrative design elements from their outline. They will record sound samples from their inspired environment and integrate the recordings with the storybuilding system mechanics on BITSY’s platform.

Students have a chance to make a simple game in a two-day game jam that ends on Saturday, August 8 at noon (Slovenian time). Maggie will be available in between Thursday’s workshop (DAY 2) and Saturday’s GAME JAM deadline to answer any questions / help with specific things on Discord :)

Finished projects should be emailed to hello@streetcat.media, and they will be posted on a PIFcamp Itch.io page for all to play!

HOW TO JOIN

Participation at the workshop is free, but the spaces are limited, so please apply by sending an email to pifcamp@ljudmila.org. The workshop will be accesed via Moodle platform.

The plant node by Dario Cortese

After some minor disturbances in human evolution since the Stone age, finally another age fit for humans, the Plant age, is here. Plants have always been an important part of our life. In fact we are here because of plants, not the opposite. Each carbon atom in a human’s body once went through the plant chloroplast, and was part of a plant. Plants are the beings who rule the world and shape and direct humans’ lives according to their needs. So why not cooperate?

 The easiest way to come in contact with plants is, yes, to eat them and use them in the form of different home made products. Through the Plant node at PIFcamp we’ll get to know the edible wild plants of the area, how to prepare them as food and how to prepare a variety of traditional herbal products (powders, ointments, tinctures, hydrolates). 

We will be publishing short videos with Dario on this topic during PIFcamp so stay tuned!

μπA (micropia) by BEAM TEAM

Project μπA (micropia) is a research between correlation of light (video projections, production of video material) and dynamics of water surface in relation to sound (influences of sound frequencies on water surface) by Stella Ivšek & Anja Romih aka BEAM TEAM (visual) and Črt Trkman (sound design).

At PIFcamp, we will focus on the production of video material based on images obtained using a digital microscope. Images of natural structures and organisms will be modified and projected back onto natural surfaces. We want to realize the project in the form of a simulation of the natural environment also in the gallery space osmo/za. The installation would include a mapped video projection on objects brought from the natural environment and the reflection of light on the water surface, the structure of which is changed by the sound frequencies of modulated sounds of nature.

The presentation may also include recordings of processes and research conducted during PIFcamp.

Blaž Pavlica: DIY ambisonic dome

Ambisonics is a spherical surround sound format, which in addition to the horizontal level also contains sounds above and below the perceiver. Unlike other formats, its channels do not carry signals for individual speakers, but a representation of a spherical sound field, which is independent from the number of speakers. As a result, it allows the sound producer to think about the spherical origin of sounds and doesn’t have to deal with the final sound reproduction. In addition, it allows more freedom in the speaker placement, as signals representing the sound field can be decoded into any sound system.

The format was developed as early as the 1970s, and is recently gaining popularity again. There are three reasons for this:

  • patent expiration, which brought to many open source and proprietary software implementations,
  • the applicability of the format in the field of virtual reality,
  • as the development of sound processing, recording and production quality is reaching a limit, it becomes more interesting to develop sound spaciousness (HiFidelity <HiSpatiality)

The DIY ambison dome will be a matrix of 8 speakers placed on the dome, which was developed and used as part of PifLab and past PIFcamps.

Encoding and decoding will be done by using SuperCollider and Reaper DAW environments. Testing will involve playing, listening to and testing different algorithms for manipulating the sound field and different decoders into an array of 8 speakers. The aim of the project is to document the setup, the necessary resources and the quality of an affordable ambisonics sound format system.

aqua_forensic at PIFcamp

aqua_forensic 2.0 is a project by Robertina Šebjanič and Gjino Šutić, focused on DIY simple water analytics & effect of the invisible pharmaceutical pollutants in water.

#ocean #sea #forensic_oceanography #aqua_forensic #invisible_anthropogenic_pollutants #chemical pollutants (pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, heavy metals, oils) #marine_habitats #marine_ecology #forensic_oceanography #invisible_visible #macro_micro #terraforming #aquaforming #aquafarming #monsters

Project aqua_forensic illuminates the invisible anthropogenic (pharmaceutical) chemical pollutants – residues of human consumption – “monsters” in the waters. The project combines art/science/citizen science in a “hunt for a phantom” and opens the discussion about our solidarity and empathy with waters beyond human perception. It’s a voyage into the relationship between the microbial seas and humans who are aquaforming the water habitats all around the planet. The question is: How do the oceans feel our impact?

During PIFcamp Robertina Šebjanič and Miha Godec will host a proto aqua_forensic workshop and develop an open source tutorial on this topic. Workshop participants will be introduced to the problematics of contemporary invisible water pollutants through practice by the artists. Through hybrid approach (combining science, DIY citizen’s science & art) these topics will be investigated in local environment.

aqua_forensic is supported by Ars Electronica within the EMAP/EMARE project, Projekt Atol Institute, UR Institute (HR), Čistoća Dubrovnik, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and The Ministry of Culture of the R. of Croatia, Sektor Institute (SI), co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

DIY-Soil-Photogrammetry

When photography is used to collect data about physical objects, organisms and their environment it is often referred to as photogrammetry. The observation of changing landscapes through satellite imaging or ecosystem response via stationary cameras is a widely used technique. Nonetheless, direct time resolved photography in the context of soil research has so far not been thoroughly explored.

The use of (sometimes modified) scanners for creating time-lapse videos of root growth, composting, insect behaviour, etc. is well established and often generates highly aesthetic imagery. There are many advantages of using scanners instead of cameras: after some waterproofing, scanners can be literally buried in whatever material you would like to observe. They illuminate the object/organisms only for a comparatively short time and record high resolution images. Also, since they have a fixed focus and a stable distance to the object (none), several common sources of error are eliminated.

During PIFcamp Julian Chollet will experiment with time-resolved DIY-Photogrammetry to investigate soil structure and humus accumulation as part of the ongoing HUMUS sapiens – open soil research program. The techniques as well as the results will be documented and shared with the community to promote open-source approaches for soil analysis and regeneration. HUMUS sapiens represents a compilation of soil explorations emerging from the networks of mikroBIOMIK, Hackteria, and Gasthaus – with the ambition to bring DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIWO (do-it-with-others) approaches as well as an open-source-based “hacker spirit” into soil ecology. Participants are invited to reflect on current scientific discourses and critical societal challenges through hands-on tinkering and curiosity-driven research.

What about PIFcamp 2020?

Dear PIFcampers,

After long and careful consideration we decided to carry out this year’s edition of PIFcamp, but in a (way) different format we are used to. There are several scenarios, plan Bs and alternative options for this year’s realisation, but it is clear that until the virus calms down, quarantine ends and measures in Slovenia and around the world loosen up, the event as we know it cannot be carried out. The safety and health of the participants and the team always comes first, so we ask you for patience and understanding in the next few weeks, when the options for the sixth PIF edition will be clearer.

Unfortunately, due to health reasons, there won’t be any open call for participation this year, but we guarantee that we’ll try to maintain PIFcamp’s diversity and multidisciplinarity of projects, skills and creative approaches, albeit virtually. All of the planned projects, nodes and activities will be announced on the blog, a large part of the content will also be published online.

Hopefully this year’s edition will be a one-time experiment and luckily we see each other again in the standard format next year. Last but not least, the charm of PIFcamp is also the uniqueness of each edition. For all questions and suggestions, we are available at pifcamp@ljudmila.org.

Stay healthy and hack safely,
Your PIFcamp team

Audio-visual laboratory

Composer and musician John Richards (Dirty Electronics) has brought his DIY text-to-noise synth to Trenta. In his art circuit, he is wanting to feed into it various texts and debates taking place at this year’s PIFcamp and displaying them on an embedded LCD screen. With PIF participants he was sharing his knowledge of the electronics, design of electronic circuits and construction of analogue and digital instruments. Also, variants of an instrument he named Bad of Nails were made at his workshop. For the development of which they have used materials found in the camp’s surroundings – bricks, wood, stones and the like. As he said, great fun was had while designing a radical chip for crazy low-level computer music. With minimal resources, it was done together with Staš Vrenko and Klemens Kohlweis and they hope to play it live for us.

Another regular visitor to the camp, Staša Guček, has been further developing her last yeas project MOTHeremin. She has created as many as three theremins for the blind and partially sighted, based on drawings of endangered butterflies of Slovenia. Slovenian interdisciplinary artist and programmer Tadej Droljc has made some serious strides into the development of his latest audio-visual composition here. For a project, we will be publicly presenting for the first time in Ljubljana in December, he made a circuit that can control higher voltage devices via an Arduino and has developed a converter that converts audio and laser ILDA signals.

In the surrounding of the beautiful Soča river valley, the musician and performer Janus Aleš Luznar (Yanoosh) wanted to upgrade his inter-media performance Ictuscordis, the main subject of which is his heart or heartbeat. He tried to create a sensor for sensing the heartbeat of the dancer, which in the future he wants to incorporate into the performance, thus upgrading the visual element of the performance. However, he says, time will not allow him to finish the project, the first version of which was developed last year with the help of PIFcamp.

For his spatial multi-channel audio performance musician Mitja Cerkvenik developed a midi controller with automation. And the continuation of past visual investigations of light and shadow on a moving textile surface has been undertaken by designer Kaja Kisilak and architect Lea Bradašević. Their analogue type of visuals, which for example used to be part of the Loudspeaker Alliance concert performance in the past, has now been upgraded so that the work of stretching and moving the fabric is taken over by electric motors that will create moire optical effects.

Also, other interesting musical and visual experiments are being made on the camp – projects that are one way or another related to music.

Active start

The annual exploratory trips around the camp guided by our wild man and nutrition expert, Dario Cortese, with whom we are getting to know various edible wild plants, have been upgraded this year. We are working to systematically mark the habitats of the surrounding edible wild plants. The first mapping have already taken place on the way to the abandoned village of Lemovje, located on a hill and featuring some spectacular vistas.

This year we strive to establish guidelines for a holistic approach to the understanding of our relationship to food, which has always been an important part of the camp. Some experiments with fermentation and bread baking are ongoing. Also, in a playful way food is also the focal point of a soon to be completed board game. The board game’s originators Grace Wong and Jennifer Katanyovtamant try to encourage its players to try new flavours (natto, durian, kimchi …), to make new combinations of flavours and above all, to talk about food.

Scott Kildall, an American conceptual and multimedia artist, communicates in a very unique way. By positioning various response sensors and creative electronics at different points around the camp and manipulating sound material he is recording here, he is constantly setting new and humorous tones to our surrounding. 

Possible layouts of modular outdoor mobile furniture, that would allow for participants to work, rest or spend some time even closer to nature are of interest to a group gathered around  the Greek architect Olivia Kotsifa, whose prime interest is in co-creating these possible environments of the future. With an enthusiastic group of fellows Olivia has already checked up some possible locations to set the furniture up.

The German nomadic scientist with a background in molecular biology Julian Cholle has immediately buried his hands in the ground. Visiting the camp with a desire to study and explore the soil, which he otherwise does in the context of the open research platform HUMUS sapiens, he took some samples of soil. Examined under the microscope they indicated that the soil around the camp is alive and full of microorganisms that assist in biodegradation.

Although most PIFparticipans work on their projects, there is a lot of collaboration and idea-sharing. The relaxed atmosphere and openness of the participants allow for creative exchange, validation of ideas, as well as solving completely practical and abstract problems.