Today was the take down of NowHere 2013, and my last full day in London. As the MFA is now officially over, this blog will no longer be updated. For similar artistic musings, follow my new art blog, while if you are interested in the research into custom interfaces and software for live audiovisual performance conducted throughout the last two years, follow my new parallel Creative Computing blog.

Today was the final day of NowHere 2013. At 14:00 I performed Забути тебе - це як дихати водою, before potentially my best performance yet of П at 19:00!

Today was the opening of NowHere 2013! I premiered Забути тебе - це як дихати водою at 19:00, and also performed П at 21:00. Here are some shots.

Today was my performance exam. Although Max betrayed me as my LiVid.m4l.FADR module didn’t fade-out when the Master Fader was lowered in Live, overall I’m quite happy with how it went.

Today I constructed my first prototype frame.

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I’m really happy with it, and think it is infinitely more interesting than merely hanging or nailing prints on the walls. At the moment I am still using two A4 acetates, but tomorrow will try an A3 acetate once the library reopens. The clamps have been sanded down and look quite worn!

I also got the speakers from the department today, and project from MEC. The PA is really powerful, with incredible bass in the room. I listened to Забути тебе - це як дихати водою and made a note of some areas which need to be adjusted.

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I also worked on the performance elements of Забути тебе - це як дихати водою, and thus constructed a Live set for the performance, and assignment of which sections I’ll perform on Mandolin/Voice.

1. Mirror E D A C E riff and improvise otherwise.
2. 1-25 tacet. 25 - 41 strings A B D E. 41 - 57 tremolo + FX A B D E. 57 - 73 A C B C D C E C riff. 73 to end bow A B D E.
3. Mirror strings riff.
4. Mirror VI riff on the mandolin perhaps, played tremolo. Not sure if I can physically manage this for 4+ minutes.
5. To create the hypnotic sense, I will solely play the Am scale on the mandolin. This will start off quite delicate about bar 3, played col lengo, progressing from just the bow, to bow and hair, to hair, and then more sustain, attack etc. End with a repeating A note.

Today I worked on my exhibition. After re-imagining the space yesterday as a grungy-industrial gig venue, it seems impractical to merely display these images as print outs on the walls, as the space is so powerful in itself. Instead I started experimenting with hanging these images as transparencies from the ceiling.

Even from printed using the crappy lab printer (toner) on a4 acetates (joining two to make a3), the results are quite impressive. I then tried a2 (by joining four a4 acetates).

I feel that in portrait mode, a2 is necessary, but that a3 is sufficient for landscape. Landscape more easily references film, but I am really struck by the power of portrait. As the acetates themselves are too unstable to be hung on their own, I bought some acrylic perspex. The transparencies will be sandwiched between two pieces of perspex, held by two g-clamps in the top left and right corners, which will then be suspended to the ceiling. There’s be three in both, two landscape a3 and one portrait a2 in a symmetrical ordering. Although I had a hard time in tracking down 1in g-clamps, I eventually found 4 red and 2 black from a hardware store in Kenttish Town. Tomorrow I will begin constructing these frames.

In the evening I attended EAVI's inaugrial gig at Amersham Arms with performances from Mick, Tom Richards, Atau, and more.

Today I decided to take my space in a more grungy direction.

This was achieved by firstly washing all the walls to try and remove as much of the previous paint job as possible. This worked especially on the real walls where the black dirt from the BA exhibition came through. On the adjacent wall there wasn’t much change so I stained it using tea in a spray can to simulate a leaking pipe in the ceiling. For the door I originally thought about using a sheet to cover it, but felt that this didn’t suit this new grungy-industrial aesthetic and so simply threw putty mixed with water on it.

I think that I’ll project onto the wall infront of the table as this makes more sense for performance (I prefer to look at the screen and perform that way as opposed to be in the limelight). As there is a wall adjacent, people would be able to stand there and observe both the project and I. I won’t use a curtain as I feel this may deter people to enter during the performance. Also, outside of performance times there’ll be an exhibition and dim lighting, thus no logical reason for a curtain.

Today I submitted the self-evaluation and technical studio reports, both of which are accessible from the right-handside of this blog. Within two weeks this blog will thus cease to exist, with all discussion taking place on my label’s newly created blog for creative applications.

Today we were also allowed into the space where I was unfortunately greeted with a half-assed paint job in my room. Whereas before the room was grungy and industrial (and full of earth from the BA show), someone from Arts Education in their infinite wisdom decided to paint over the dirt, and just give it one coat might I add, so instead of grungy or white it is merely dirty looking. I am in a dilemma of what to do. I feel that, as the room also has holes in the walls, it is better to go with this aesthetic, especially as my performance is industrial and glitch.

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I tried washing one part of the wall, and honestly it looks better IMO. The only thing I like about the room at the moment is the one spotlight which gives the room a nice industrial feel.

One other issue I am facing is the dampness of the room which has caused the electrical tape to shrivel-up and ruin the printed images, thus I’ll be adopting nails in the corners of the images I imagine.

Ideologically, I realized that these manipulated images, although digitally and manipulated in an analog way as opposed to the videos which are analog manipulated in a digital way, are initially abstract and then manipulated, wheres the videos are originally standard film which becomes more abstract.

Finally, today I made П available to stream ahead of the planned release this Saturday.

Today was a consolidation day in which I put the finishing touches on my self-evaluation report, technical studio report, made sure all code was uploaded etc. I also started considering the performance of Забути тебе - це як дихати водою. Firstly I updated LiAMP.Send.Beat to LiAMP.Send.Transport which now also sends the current bar

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and I then planned on making a device which triggers a certain clip when a certain bar is reached. However, Live's automation can more efficiently do this, so I created LiVid.m4l.LIVECINEMA

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where the videos are triggered to play via automation

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Although you could argue that directly placing the videos on a Live track would achieve the same end, this allows me to utilize remaining LiVid.m4l modules.

Today was a very productive day in which I finally have a full (audiovisual) demo of Забути тебе - це як дихати водою. I am especially proud of Scene 4 which my most successfully manipulated video section yet, similar in theme to Данные Изгиб, but more more critical thought given to the manipulations.

I do, however, wonder about how to present Забути тебе - це як дихати водою. Initially I just planned on a live performance, with an accompanying exhibition of error matrices. However, after watching this demo video in full, it seems somewhere between Вавилон/Батьківщина and П, which I suppose is what I wanted. So I guess what I am trying to say is, how do I best perform Забути тебе - це як дихати водою? And do I view it as a short film or merely a live performance, and should the film be looped, or documentation of a performance looped?

Firstly, the databent video manipulations could be achieved in Max, but would require multiple bounced layers. Clearly none of the manipulations done in Motion can or need to be replicated in Max. Scenes 1, 2, 3 have no manipulations to speak of (other than saturation) so they are going to be static playback anyway. Scene 5 could be implemented in Max, but where is the pointing in automating the process? Instead real-time control over the opacity of the memories might be a better solution.

Audio wise, I will perform vocals and mandolin, and also some settings on kontrolr. However, the main questions exists of whether the piece should be performed top-down or left-right (i.e. vertically like П, or horizontally like Вавилон/Батьківщина)? From an intuitive perspective, horizontally makes the most sense but then I am reliant on a backing track again. Vertically facilitates the triggering of clips via the launchpad, but as it is much more of a soundscape than П, and features live instruments, I don’t see how this could be feasible. In either case, I can create a new module which triggers events at certain bars etc. (i.e trigger Scene 2 video clip at bar #82).

Getting the balance between audio manipulations, instrument performance, and visual manipulation is key. For instance, I could control the opacity of the flashbacks in Scene 5, but I feel it is much stronger of a statement to perform the same riff on the mandolin over and over again. Personally I’ve found this creates a hypnotic sense, and metaphorically it can be linked to ‘a warm place’ in therapy, or on the flip side, hesitation marks.

For the exhibition, I am still planning on utilizing A3-ish sized prints, strained, and affixed to the wall using (yellow) electrical tape. We will be allowed into the space on Monday so it’ll be interesting to try stuff in the space then. How many prints to use? I think in the region of 10-15 is more than sufficient. I might need to go to A2 size though. I could also hang them using clips and a nail, again once I’m in the space I’ll have a clearer idea.

James Leahy is a London based Irish Artist and Composer. This blog acts as a journal documenting his MFA in Computational Studio Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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