Second version of website

To meet the big change in the installation, we change the website accordingly. Our main aim is to let user participant in our project through the website and help user understand what we do directly. Here is the home page.

home page

This time  we change the construction of the website totally. Because now the video is the main part of the project. People watch the video that we take from Edinburgh Vault and they hear the sounds collecting and processing from the Vault. Those two factors affect the users’ feelings simultaneously. So we make the video in full screen, which will give more strong feeling to users. All the audio icons on the page represents a sound. When user clicks the icon, it plays the sound. After click it again, the sound stops. When user hovers the sound icon, it shows a menu to adjust the sound. There two parameters: volume and the frequency. Users can drag the range slider to change the volume and frequency to change the sound. The check box is designed for turning on and turning off the frequency effect. The function in the rectangle simulates the functions we play with the radio in the installation. However, the effects made by MAX in the installation are much more complex than what we can achieve in the website. So the result is not perfect.

We also have upload page. After user uploads sounds made by themselves, a new icon will appear in the home page. They can control sounds  and play with them.

The Historical Background of the Vault: Why we take our videos there?

The history of the Edinburgh vaults is surprisingly sketchy. As I look up Wikipedia, it is said The Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vaults are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments. (Wikipedia)

Some historians hold the view that these vaults initially are housed businesses, which left in the 1700s due to the poor conditions. Since the industrial revolution begin, they became the home of poor people. Then they became the shelter of criminals. Many Prostitution, murders happen here. During the 1800s the residents abandoned the vaults and the whole place was sealed with rubble. No records were made, nobody remembered them or talked about them. It wasn’t until the 1980s that they were re-discovered by accident. How could this be? Could it be that they were sealed from the outside world with no record of their existence for a reason? To hide some terrible secret?

To take the video, my teammates and I just get into the vault with the help from the tour guide. I really can feel a trembling in the air. The deathly hush of centuries of pain and immense suffering entrenched within the stones that surrounded us. The unblinking presence of long-dead minds watching the world that had treated them so cruelly, waiting to exact thier revenge. But it just fit for our theme: the distance. You know what, this is the place that we will not usually go to, and we can really find some incredible and maybe uncomfortable stuffs inside such as the unexpected noise, and unexplaind blur when you take some video there( the blur appears in my videos). All of these things are just like the sound we generate  through the radio that is random, unpredicted, and unexpected as well.

As a result, we choose the Banshee as our debut performance  place since the vault is just under this place.

Nowadays, the vaults on the North Side of the Cowgate arch form a series of tunnels and vaults and are mainly used for ghost tours. The vaults on the South side of the Cowgate arch form a venue called, The Caves and The Rowantree, which hosts private events, weddings, private dining, live music, and the occasional club night. There are areas within The Caves that are the remains the buildings, of what was Adam Square, that were demolished to make way for the erection of the South Bridge. The original terracotta floor tiles, a hearth stone, and what remains of fireplace, were found in one of the rooms within The Caves whilst it was being excavated. In another room, within The Caves, a well was found.(Wikipedia)

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, the vaults that make up The Caves and The Rowantree, along with several normally unused vaults, are transformed into a major festival venue hosting over 60 different shows a day.

First version of website

Based on the previous designs, two pages are coded. Here are the previews.

Index Page

Index page is an exhibition for video clips. The largest video is the main playing area. The video itself is silent. Sounds come from controller on left and right side, where six controllers are provided. Each controller is attached to a sound file. Users are able to adjust the volume and frequency of the sound as well as play or pause the sound. All the playing sounds play at the same time, which achieves the function of layering sounds to the video in the installation. Users are expected to choose different video clips from the below video area. Then the chosen video will be played in the main playing area.

Playground PagePlayground page is an area for users to access to all music materials. There is a channel selection on the left side. Different channels can be different styles, or one channel relates to a same keyword. The circle button in the center is the player controller. Users do operations including play, pause and next. The following lines of circle area contains random music materials. I choose two ways of presenting the music materials in the page. The first way is to put materials in categories so that user can find the same kind of materials easily. The second way is to show random stuff to give users inspirations to pick up music clips.

With the big change of the content, this version of website is aborted. Components maybe integrated into the new version.

Video Trailer and brief Introduction of my work by Chen Qu

Here is the link of Video Trailer which I finished in the submission 1 period.

The major part of my idea demorstrating in this trailer is about the theme which is distance. The distance I mentioned here is about the space and time among people both physically and mentally.  That is to say, you can feel more about the psychological and emotional issue in this video like the self-identity, isolation of mind, and some morality. Specifically, I dig deep into the definition of distance, which include more feelings like loneliness, absurdism people perceive. Meanwhile, political issue play a significant role in it as well. I try to create a platform based on various kinds of sound environments and video clips where people can utilize their cognition to understand the some principles how the world operate day in and day out, and try to solve some question like how to tell the distance between the dream and reality, as well as the distance between the peace and war.

Basically, I will take charge of the video part of the radio project, including video shouting and editing. In the first period, I will take some video which are interesting and according to our theme of distance. And after that I will be involved into other people’s work to help the whole group to make some progress. Here is my plan of this project.

2.9 – 2.13 Make the plan of video shooting which include the selection of camera, lens and other equipment, and finish some simple demo shouting.
2.16 – 2.20 After evaluating the demo finished previously, pick up the new ideas which is came up with by the whole group. And make a specific video script and a final shouting plan based on different places and subjects.
2.23 – 2.27 According to the final plan, I will devote into the shouting process. In this week, I will finish the first part of the plan.
3.2 – 3.6 Begin the editing work, try to divide the video material into several category.
3.9 – 3.13 Finish the editing work
3.16 – 3.20 Submit the video work to the group, get some advices, and revise it.
3.23 – 3.27 Finish the work, and apply the video into the installation

 

 

Website Conception by Gao Yifei

“Distance” is an interesting subject. When Dara proposed the idea, he considered to combine different layers of sounds to interpret the meaning. It inspired visual images in my head. Then I found that distance is everywhere in our daily lives. We measure the relationship with each other by distance. We assess an artwork by distance. It depends how much we understand the object and our emotions to that object, which determines the distance.

Then we decide to combine the visual and sound together to show the theme. The website is the digital realization of the project. Not only let users use sounds to explore the distance, but also use visual elements to assist to deepen the theme. Geometric figure displays idea directly, like the distance between two points and the distance from the central point to the edge. These concepts will be reflected on the website design.

Although the audience cannot communicate with each other on the website, they can record their voice through the microphone, and the data will be stored in the database, which will be published online. Much more materials, videos and audios we make during the process, are accessible on the website for users.

The plan for the website is as follows:

1. Index page

All mixed sounds and videos are displayed in the page. Users see various thumbnails of the video clips when open the web page. After clicking a video thumbnail, it shows the video in a light box (the video plays in the center of the screen). There are different areas in the video that users can click on. Each area is connected with a sound file. When the user clicks a certain area, he listens to the corresponding sound in a perspective. Then he can clicks another to listen to another perspective of the video. Besides listening to the music, users are able to modify the frequency and control volume of the sound (introduced later).

2. Sound playground page

A playground is offered for users to access to all the original audio files. There are different color areas to divide these sound files into sections. Users can click different sections to hear different sounds aimlessly. The purpose of the page is just to let users listen to all the sounds interactively.

In addition, a FM player is shown to play the sounds randomly. Users are able to choose different channels to listen.

Functions – Change volume and frequency of the sound

After loading the sound files made by Dara to the website, users are supposed to view different sounds on a page. He can click on files to hear the sounds, and change the volume and frequency of the sound by dragging corresponding controls. It is achieved by using web audio API. It requires the audio tag in the Html5 and some web browsers may do not support all the functions.

Transmission – The Brief

This project is a challenge to make radio. The Transmission group are asked to explore the notion of radio in a number of ways. This can include projects that repurpose broadcast technology, those that question how we communicate information and narratives, or perhaps move beyond information transfer to investigate exchanges that radio comprises – the social connections and feedback loops that it is formed of. The Transmission project is therefore an opportunity to examine relationships fused by media, a chance to interrogate balances of power, explore the voice without a body and discover invisible audiences.

The Transmission group will work together to develop an understanding of radio art as it has developed over the last century, and through this understanding will create their own piece of radio. The forms that this can take are many and varied, but include gallery installations, internet broadcasts, mobile applications, spontaneous public performances, sound documentaries, electronic poetry. Transmission isn’t confined to the radiophonic, visuals and graphics will add an important dynamic to the group.

 

The Transmission project is formed of two major parts:
1.
a) Research into your chosen area and creat a summary of this in a 5 – 7 minute radio essay.
NB this is not a demand for a potted history of radio, rather a contextualisation of your project
b) Short detailed plan for project including a summary of aims detailing technical and aesthetic aspects, a week by week structure of how this will be achieved,  site suggestions and how these are being attained if necessary, how the group will document or plan to coordinate with the roving documentation group including evidence of communication with them.

2.
a) Produce a piece of radio  and corresponding documentation
b) Submit an individual blog style post on an aspect of the Transmission project
You will be asked to contribute via blog posts as the project progresses, this is mandatory to the course.

 

References

Radio and online:
www.ubu.com/sound/radio_radio/

resonancefm.com/

gregorywhitehead.net/

soundstudiesblog.com

www.soundartradio.org.uk

epc.buffalo.edu/

Online writing and articles:
– Bertold Brecht – ‘Radio as an apparatus of communication’. – telematic.walkerart.org/telereal/bit_brecht.html
– Marshall McLuhan – Media, The extensions of man. Radio.
– Cristof Migone – ‘The technology of entrapment’. www.christofmigone.com/html/projects_gallery/TechnologyofEntrapmentOpenYourMouth.html
– Bethanie Nowvinskie – ‘Resistance in Materials’. nowviskie.org/2013/resistance-in-the-materials/
John Oswald – Plunderphonics. www.plunderphonics.com/xhtml/xplunder.html
– Spinelli – ‘Analog echoes’. www.ubu.com/papers/object/06_spinelli.pdf
– Whitehead – ‘Who’s there? Notes on the materiality of radio’. gregorywhitehead.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/whothere.pdf

Books:

The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Walter Benjemen. 1936

Noise, water, meat.  Douglas Kahn. 2001
Wireless Imagination.  Gregory Whitehead. 1994
Sound States: Innovative Poetics and acoustical technologies. Adelaide Morris. 1998.
Phantasmic Radio – Allen W. Weiss. 1995
Audio culture –  Christopher Cox ed. 2004