Drone 1 draws on research into the physical dynamics of insect flight and behaviour to question current applications in micro-robotic futures. Applied research in micro-robotics advances the intent to supplement diminishing bee populations with artificial pollinators and produce covert surveillance drones. The impact of these technologies on daily life raises questions both for the present and the future. Does the threat to sustainable ecosystems motivate people to action? Is every proposed solution one that will benefit future generations of both people and companion creatures? How will the application of this research to advances in micro-robotic surveillance technology alter the perception of privacy and influence the autonomy of individuals? Drone 1 is part of a body of artistic work that draws upon research in the sensory and communication behaviour of human and non-human others in order to explore the affective influence of technological applications.
The exploration of a multi-sensorial method of information exchange is informed by an approach to the integration of video projection and electronic sound generation. The video is produced from appropriated segments of research documentation that have been made publicly available by the Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and The Harvard Microrobotics Lab. The images of bees in flight are captured as subjects of scientific experiments. These images are transitioned and eventually replaced by their robotic counterparts. The projected light of this video, in collaboration with participants movements, produce an electronically generated soundscape that is tuned to frequencies specific to the drone of bee flight and communication behaviours.
December 2016. Reclaimed speakers, custom electronics, metal, fabric, magnets, projectors.
Intelligence is a strange output based on a radical imagining of human-computer interaction. This piece asks what form the portrait of a person might take from the perspective of an intelligence where perception, memory, recall and access to information is so radically different from human experience. This work began with a series of drawings that map the data of individual people as they would be stored in the memory of an Iris Recognition Analysis System (IRA). The final work is an interpretation of the data portraits as 3D printed plastic disks that can be played on a Fisher Price Music Player. A short fiction with cumulative dataset drawings contextualizes this participatory piece.
April 2016. 3D printed plastic discs, vintage Fisher Price music player, book
Near the limits of audible sound are vague acoustic territories on the fringe of human hearing. These sonic spaces are teeming with environmental and increasingly with urban sounds that lie just beyond human perception. The audio installation, Subtle Territory, audifies these very low frequency sounds using a custom Pure Data program to isolate live sound from microphone inputs and extend them across the audible range.
In this emergent sonic terrain, environmental resonances are heard as modulating drones and pulses. These distant sounds that include the intermittent quake of storm systems, trains and industrial activity are accompanied by harmonics that emerge from the incidental activity of pedestrian and local traffic. Subtle Territory transforms these sonic resonances into an unfolding acoustic experience of everyday life.
June 2013. microphone, computer, custom Pure Data program, system of public broadcast
In the performance Symbiose, the architecture of the space is activated by live sounds processed in real-time and performed images. Vibrations captured from the space and from the city surroundings are made audible and mixed live into an ambient soundscape. These sounds are joined by multiple projections echoing through the space in a performance that marks the passage of time.
October 2012. microphones, custom Pure Data program, speakers, aquarium, black gum-balls, video recorder, screens, projectors. Performance collaboration by Donna Legault and Veronique Guidard
imPulse is composed of an accumulation of reclaimed audio equipment that is repurposed to generate a physically responsive field. Imperceptible electric impulses from the skin are detected as sound signals and projected into the exhibition space at infrasonic frequencies (below the range of hearing). In this way, imPulse transforms the space between participants and their surroundings through the intermingling of personal sound signatures.
October 2011. reclaimed speaker cones, graphite clay interfaces, computer, custom Pure Data program.
In this multi-sensory installation, a Pure Data program transforms live sound into silent speaker motion by transposing the pitch of ambient sound to sub-audible levels. The resulting movements generate visual and sonic variations through the oscillation of fine ball chains. As the ends of the extensions make contact with the floor they produce an audible and visual interpretation of the sonic field by displacing and redrawing remnants of activity through the gradual erosion of piles of white sand. In this way, the work renders the immateriality of sound as a tangible event by silencing and reinterpreting the data of everyday life.
April 2010. shotgun microphones, computer, custom Pure Data program, amplifiers, speakers, metal ball chains, dust-free sand.
A wearable sculpture using the body and clothing as site to visualize and extend into space the motion of unconfined breathing. This work references the history of bodily confinement in women's clothing designed to corset the body. The dress is altered to free the motion of breathing and extend this motion into the space around the body using fine metal rods that trace the wearers physical anatomy. Subtle sounds are generated by copper wires as the metal rods move in response to the breath.
December 2008. altered velvet dress, sizing, metal rods, copper wire.