Christopher Salter Talk - Auditory-visual-perceptual spaces

Another talk of SonicActs 2010 by Christopher Salter, researcher of threshold auditory-visual-perceptual spaces. ‎'Perhaps then artists, facilitating audiovisual cross-modality through the intertwining of media, environment and perceiver, seek similarly to enstill or render such momentary lapses and quickenings, creating breaks or micro-hallucinations of self by way of techniques that consciously challenge our perception.'

Vimeo Video of Talk

From Vimeo Website


“Sonic Acts is a biannual festival at the intersection of arts, science, music & technology.

In 1968, an unrealized proposal developed in 1968 by visual artists James Turrell and Robert Irwin for curator Maurice Tuchman’s ambitious series of artist/corporate pairings under the auspices of the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which ran from 1967-1971, aimed to explore the transformation of consciousness under the extreme reduction of sensory input. Turrell and Irwin attempted to build a combination between two spaces: an anechoic chamber, a room that absorbs all reflection such that no sound ever leaves its point of origin and a ganzfeld, a visual field without depth or size or what Brian Massumi labeled ‘chaos in the total field of vision.’ In the ganzfeld, Massumi writes that ‘although subjects had difficulty putting what they had failed to experience in properly visual terms, they were relentlessly prodded to do so by experimenters.’ Most described an unfocusable ‘cloud’ or ‘fog’ of no determinate shape or measurable distance from the eyes. Some just saw ‘something,’ others just ‘nothing.’ One acute observer saw ‘levels of nothingness.’

My current artistic and theoretical research explores such threshold auditory-visual-perceptual spaces and how such spaces dynamically alter concepts of body and self. I am interested in where our perceiving consciousness loosely defined as a sensory ‘self’ is situated in these processes of immersion, embodiment, dissolution and reconstitution that arise from our encounters with cross modal perception. This talk will thus examine the repercussions of Turrell’s and Irwin’s proposal to investigate the thresholds of perception in an experiential environment. Specifically, I will focus on the conception of the self and body in both contemporary artistic practices with media coupled with recent concepts arising from enactive cognition. What role does spatiality play in these synchretic perceptions? What happens to the ‘sensing self’ and its embodiment in audio-visual environments that overload or reduce our perception and how does this self expand or dissolve through such encounters?
— Source: '

Christopher L. Salter’s (CA) artistic output and research revolve around the development and production of real-time, computationally-augmented responsive performance environments fusing space, sound, image, architectural material and sensor-based technologies.

This lecture was part of Sonic Acts XIII within a session called Exercises in Immersion. This session was about the following: surround cinema with spatial sound immerses the audience in a spectacle of sound and images. How is this done? What happens to the senses?'

Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" performed in Eurythmy

"Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" is a composition for cello, bayan, and strings based upon Christ's Seven Last Words on the Cross. This is a section of the composition performed in Eurythmy by the Goetheanum Stage Ensemble. For this beautiful film version, the camera work and editing were by Sam Russell with final production by Hagens Recording Studio. Note: this version presents the music and eurythmy of the original performance, without voice-over." source:

Youtube Embed

"Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" is a composition for cello, bayan, and strings based upon Christ's Seven Last Words on the Cross. This is a section of the composition performed in Eurythmy by the Goetheanum Stage Ensemble. For this beautiful film version, the camera work and editing were by Sam Russell with final production by Hagens Recording Studio. Note: this version presents the music and eurythmy of the original performance, without voice-over." source:

Visual Music Aesthetics - Viewing Class in ATRL

December 17th 2011

I brought my Visual Music Aesthetics class to the ATRL in Trinity College, Dublin to view their final assignment work for the class in the wonderful equipped ATRL theatre (Thursday 15th December, 2011). 5 of the 6 students turned up and their work looked and sounded incredible on the big screen with booming sound. It was really great. As we were a small group, the students also showed their first assignment work and David got to play his live performance audiovisual piece (created with processing).



Music and Media Technology Programme:

Student vimeo links 

(they don't have assignment uploaded yet)

David Collier -

Karl McHugh

Peter Sheridan

Saramai Leech -

Sean Byrne -

Tom Canning -



I spent the last week - Monday 5th December to Friday 9th December, attending a full-time week long workshop, held in one of the dance studios in Dance Ireland, Foley Street, Dublin.  The workshop consisted of learning the technology  - Isadora [] to design and realize dance choreography for medie performances.  Troika Ranch Co-Founders, Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello guided participants through a series of compositional problems focused on how to successfully bring performers and visual and sonic media together to create compelling and truly unified works.see: TroikaTronix [] at Dance Ireland []

More information on the workshop:

From Screen to Performance Space

The reason I attended was to explore the use of audio visual works beyond the fixed screen and to explore the possibilities of using audiovisual /visual music works in performance settings and in particular in the area of dance performance.  I will be working on a collaborative project next year using visual music video, dancers, musicians and soloist singers.  However, as up to now, I have only created fixed media works, intended for installation and screening, therefore to work with a performance setting is a challenge.  When Emma Meehan sent around an email to ATRL students about this workshop, I thought I have to do this, even tho I was very apprehensive about the dance part. Emma was very supportive and very encouraging and I decided after that I would make enquiries, explaining my non dance status and if this was ok.  After a few days I got word back from the organizers that they were happy for me to do it so long as I would move and do movement, which I said I would.

Movement argh!!

Again, when it came close to the workshop I was going to pull out, as we got more information about it and there was quite a lot of movement and choreography involved.  I really was nervous.

I was right to be= the movement aspect for me was challenging, but it was the part I really did get a lot out of.  Mainly from observing how the other particpants used movment and how Dawn could at the drop of a hat and out of thin air,  choreograph the most amazing movements and just the whole composition and design part of movement.  However, it was exactly what I needed. My hunch was right for me, I felt I needed to understand dance a bit more from the 'doing' aspect of movement in order to be able to at some stage work with dance performers.  This workshop definitely has provided me with a better understanding of moevment and video that I would never have thought up or envisaged.

Movement Phrases

Despite my anxiety about movement, I really did find the whole area of movement quite wonderful. Watching the dancers create choregraphy movements (movement phrases as Dawn said), they were gifted in embodying movment and dance in every part of their body - face, expressions, fingers, arms, hair, nose, head - all.

My movements I felt were more about making marks and using mainly my arms to make patterns etc.  One of the tasks that Dawm and Mark set us was to create a Light Video that would then become the basis of designing and choreography a movement to this light video - this was where we had the opportunity to learn about the software and about dance and its possibilities for video.  Dawn and Mark had some very new ideas about dance and video, which they shared with us.

Embodied Movement

One thing I did notice was how much I was not embodied in a movement, the movement I made was outside me - nearly like the flailing arms of a bad conductor of an orchestra!!!  However, Dawn and Mark and all the dancers at the workshop were totally embodied their movement, this was something I learned.  Maybe for some this is so obvious but for me to attempt to make movement to video footage (the video acting as the design guide) I was not in it, but several of the dancers were 'in' the movements of their video choreography.  Really wonderful choreographies were created from what would at first appear very abstract footage by the other dancers, how amazed I was.

Highlights of the Workshop

Dawn, one of the presenters - an amazing dancer and dance choreographer, as everything she did, from improvisation to choreography was totally fluid, spot on and quite stunning. The developer of the interactive video for dance software (Isadora) was the other presenter, Mark, so it was quite amazing to be taught how to use a software by the developer himself. The imagination, flair, and talent of the other participants of the workshop = brilliant dancers, all based in dance ireland and so creative. Having the workshop in one of the dance studios in dance ireland - a beautiful space, with so much room and light and windows (tho mainly covered with blinds for parts of workshop) Making friends and contacts with other media artists and dancers Learning and getting to grips as a beginner with the software Isadora Doing the showing as its called, and presenting the work that was done by all in the workshop to an audience. Dawn choreographing the other dancers live and with total improvisation, my video environment.  How wonderful it was to see my audiovisual environment come to life for a few minutes with bodies, composition and movement.

Video Environment

The video environment I created, I have put 5 minutes of it on vimeo,  However, it runs for up to 3o minutes from Isadora.  We were taught to create a patch for the live presentation of the video and to create effecets and all the usual video things.With help of Dawn and Mark, I created a patch for it to be used in a live setting.

For this we were set the task of recording a short segment of video, bringing it into Isadora and then using Isadora to select a loop, and continue to tweak with the power of Isadora to create a short 30 second to 1 minute video environment from which we then choreograph a dance/movement response.  However, it took about 2 days to get the hang of Isadora to do this, but having the task of a performane/show really did focus one in learning Isadora and for me, this was where I learned loads, and am still digesting and processing all the areas that Mark and Dawn covered in this workshop.

For this video environment I took some recordings of piano keys from a piano that was in the studio, which I simply selected a segment and looped it, however, I copied the video a few times, selecting a different duration of the loop segment, which effectively meant that the video was never the same, as there was constant phasing taking place between the four layers, creating similar but different patterns.  I was totally stumped as to how to choregraph this for dance, and was SO DELIGHTED that Dawn choreographed an instantansous movment with the other dancers of the workshop, whom entered into the spirit of the environment and did movements according to Dawns instructions. This was just amazing that on the last day I got a glimpse of what I could possibly work on in the future.  A glimpse, but I was still stuck in my audiovisual world, this was one of the most wonderful things I have experienced with my own work.

Vimeo Excerpt of Piano Keys Phase

Piano Keys Phase from Sounding Visual on Vimeo.

Exploring a video environment with layered phasing loops of video footage of piano keys and processed and stretched audio loops. This video environment at a recent week long dance and video technology workshop using the software Isadora, presented by Mark and Dawn of TroikaTronix [] at Dance Ireland []

I intend to develop these phasing loops to create a video environment for a dance performance


(for archive purposes)


Date: 05 December 2011

Time:10:00 - 16:00


Admission:€50 members / €70 non-members

Teacher:Troika Ranch

The Live-I Workshop is an intensive laboratory for artists who wish to explore the creation of media intensive performances for the stage. As pioneers of the form with 20 years of experience behind them, Troika Ranch Co-Founders Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello will guide participants through a series of compositional problems focused on how to successfully bring performers and visual and sonic media together to create compelling and truly unified works.

Topics to be covered include:

* Effectively integrating live performers and video imagery on stage * Using live video/audio feeds to amplify or re-contextualise performer and themes * Applying notions of film grammar to on-stage imagery * Use of reactive/interactive systems as an intensifier of liveness * Considering alternative projection surfaces and/or materials

A further investigation will consist of constructing computational ‘scores’ from which to generate movement itself. Using editing, filters, loops and other algorithms, both composed and random, participants will create choreography for the live body by interpreting the computer-influenced output.

Throughout the workshop, students will be introduced to Isadora® -- the user-friendly, real-time media manipulation tool created by Mark Coniglio. All students will receive a complimentary three-month license to the software so that they may continue their experiments after the workshop's conclusion.

This workshop is open to those whose work focuses on live performances, whether they are choreographers, composers, theatre directors, or scenographers. Applicants should be comfortable working with computers and moving their own body in space.

We will encourage you to prepare for the workshop by exploring the online video tutorials for Isadora at

Please note that workshop places are limited and will be allocated based on the suitability. Participants are asked to bring their own equipment if possible (laptop, video camera, microphone, MIDI input devices or other sensory systems).


Troika Ranch Website


Urban Echo - Connected Public Spaces

This is a really interesting idea to project one city space into another city space through a physical object that looks like a sign post. An interesting interaction of the physical and the virtual in a public place.

View on Vimeo

Urban Echo






Information from Vimeo Page

"Now that we are familiar with being connected digitally, the physicality of our interactions becomes important again. The globalised communication systems we use everyday exist on a level above our tangible surroundings.

Urban Echo

brings some of this communication back to real locations, connecting public places and therefore people, cities and cultures. It extends space beyond our once concrete parameters.

Webcams allow you to see into another space, mirrors allow you to see your own space. Using billboard screens and cameras, Urban Echo creates a hybrid of these two things, allowing not only see into another city but maybe see yourself transported into another city or culture. A mid point between transparency and reflection, introspection and extrospection.

 Placed in public areas, the screens have a variety of modes. Sometimes they create a recursive loop allowing interaction between people in multiple cities and sometimes they are just a window to another place, that might intrigue a passer by. They can connect regardless of distance, folding locations together and rearranging our perspective of public space."


Scenography - Iduun - Video Mapping

"scenography of the drama Astrée X written and staged by Gildas Loupiac, for a creation freely inspired by Terry Gilliam"

It’s a scenography made of video mapping, with sounds, lights and videos interactivities. To be completely free in following the actors, iduun is using several software, such as Live, Modul8, MadMapper and Max (for the special Monome Module), and makes them work together.

Written and staged by:

Gildas Loupiac


Barthélemy Antoine-Loeff and Alexandra Petracchi

Sound design:

Charles Dubois


Marilyne Morel


Thomas Lequesne, Géraldine Szajman and Etienne Bodi

From the 7th of september to the 2nd of october

(monday and tuesday excepted) at 20 PM.



53 rue des Saules, 75018 Paris / Lamarck-Caulaincourt (12)

Link for more information

Fashion and Technology


Husseyn Chalayan is a multimedia artist who explores media such as sculpture, design or film and places.  His fashion shows are multi-sensory experiences where sound, lighting, and sensors play an important role as the body itself.The clothes do not make me want to create to be taken, but rather of letting yourself go, travel or be shipped elsewhere, as evidenced by Airmail dresses. His imagination and vision of fashion lead the viewer into a futuristic dimension, so to speak toKubrick, where more than a show, it seems to be in flight aboard the "Discovery".

translated from

This fashion item is very inspiring  - its use of light

See newsletter from -

Pure Data read as pure data

Video of pure data by Nicolas Maigret

"Pure Data read as pure data is an audio visual trip through the back of the binary code, and its hidden qualities: structure, logic, rhythm, redundancy, composition... In this video version, as a tautological process, the content of the Pure Data application is read as pure data, directly displayed as sounds and pixels. A direct immersion in the heart of data flows." source: vimeo description of video

Seeing Sound Symposium - Bath Spa, UK

Heading to the Seeing Sound Symposium 2 in Bath Spa, UK, a practice led symposium.  It has 2 1/2 days of really interesting papers, performances and screenings.  Bath Spa is beautiful but alas, I will not have time probably to try out the baths, will instead be immersed in the audiovisual sensations! practice-led research symposium, 29th/30th October 2011

Silk Chroma

My piece Silk Chroma will be screened on the Sunday as part of their curated fixed media screenings in visual music, audio visual composition and experimental film.

More info on the Screenings Programme at Seeing Sound 2

COMMENT - Capturing Time

An idea/topic has been left with me, since the two day DAH institute in TCD and its the idea of capturing time.  Many art forms, only really exist in time, you have to watch them - view the film or video, visit the music concert, play the CD recording to hear the music, watch the actor, watch the dancer.  In digital arts in particular this time aspect is taking very interesting turns, visuals exist only in their appearance in the installation, sounds too.  What was interesting for me, was that in the humanities, there also is a desire to capture time, capture patterns of knowledge discovery, and knowledge access, yet access this time in a non-linear fashion through interesting and relevant information visualisations and information presentations. This time thing, can it be defined  Can one ever catch the present moment.  Catch in a sense the very moment, an idea was found or documented or achived.  Time in this sense, seems very different to the time aspect of art work.  But maybe this grapple with time in both arts and humanities is not so poles apart.  Artists mould time in the creation of new media artworks and objects that exist only in time.  Humanity scholars document time in the accurate archiving of its knowledge objects.

DAH PhD - Short Biography

Hi, my name is Maura McDonnell, welcome to my Digital Arts Humanities PhD website and blog, which I hope to keep regularly updated over the course of the four years of the DAH programme and my PhD research on Visual Music. I am now in the first year of the Digital Arts Humanities structured PhD programme (DAH) in Trinity College Dublin, taking the digital arts strand route, with the guidance and direction of Dr Mathew Causey, director of the Arts Technology Research Lab (ATRL) and my supervisor, Dr Dermot Furlong, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin.  The Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5

I have been involved with digital arts technology since 1996, when I embarked on the M.Phil in Music and Media Technology at Trinity College Dublin. The Music and Media Technologies programme is a joint effort from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Drama, Film and Music, Trinity College Dublin. I have been part-time lecturing on the music and image strand of this programme since 1999.

Painting and Music

In my Keyboard Harmony music classes in NUIM Maynooth in the early 1980s with the now deceased Fr. Noel Watson, he kept saying to me, it is a pity you cannot get a career in keyboard harmony and in art, as he knew I really liked both.  I was quite wistful saying that it is impossible, they are so separate - music and painting, there is no connection, how could such happen, we both laughed at the idea, but he kept saying it and I think I kept listening to him, even years after.  At that time, I only saw that the mediums were physically different, so where were the points of connection?

Then, I did not realise that even at that time, in the early 1980s, the physical material of sound and the physical material of image had already moved beyond their traditional medium.  In their very re representation in analogue and computer form, the medium had lost its constraints of creation.  TV technology art experiments and analogue video synthesis leading to computer imagery experiments from the 1960s onwards had already discovered the pliability of image by manipulating its analogue to digital representation of imagery.  Audio had followed a similar route through electronic representation and manipulation, it also had moved from analogue manipulation techniques to computer manipulation.  Before that in film, the absolute films of Walther Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger, had opened up the medium of film to a more painterly abstract approach. Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky had brought musical ideas into painting. Mechanical devices had been built since the 17th century to explore colour and sound. such as colour organs, that could play colour like music.  Thomas Wilfred from the 1920s created lumic devices to play light and eventually set up his Lumia Institute in New York to explore the art of light.  Again image is explored as a pliable form of coloured light and temporal changes. But at this point, I had not discovered their work or knew of its existence.  Crossing the mediums of painting and music seemed in 1982 totally impossible.

In 1996, I was one of the first set of students on the M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies course in Trinity College, Dublin and here embarked on the journey of discovering sound and music through technology, Ilearned to understand sound from a physics and mathematical perspective and learned how to create sounds digitally with that understanding, to compose music with digital synthesis and to manipulate existing music samples with digital editing and manipulation techniques.  Music as I knew it to be at that point had completely changed.  A whole incredible richness of sound could be created by manipulating sound at its very basic representational level.  It felt like sound had become like painting, sound had become accessible, something that was totally plastic and pliable.

At the same time in doing a multimedia assignment on adobe premiere, the video editing software, I had great fun playing around with the digital image manipulation possibilities within premiere.  Focusing on movement and rhythm as ideas and concept, I could get the images and sound to relate to each other to explore rhythm and explore movement.  No story, no narrative, just an interaction between elements of image and elements of sound.  I realised that I had come home - I had found the connection between the two things I loved most - music and painting, this was just so wonderful at the time, I could not believe it, sadly I never got to tell Fr. Watson, but at this point his words came back to me and I thought of him often.  I never imagined the medium of video and its strong links to narrative and film would have been the place to unify music and art.  This was my own personal journey and discovery.

However, very soon after and since, I have discovered and continue to discover a rich history and contemporary practice for visual music.  I have also discovered, many people like myself who found visual music through exploring creating audio visual works in the computer and also did not know about the rich history for the art, that there were others who were precursors and had also made similar discoveries.

Since 1997 and now, my area of interest and practice in particular since 1997 is Visual Music.

Now that I am fully immersed in the area of Visual Music, I hope to continue to explore its dimensions and its possibilities with the DAH PhD and with the help of my supervisor, Dr Dermot Furlong and the ATRL director, Dr Mathew Causey.

More information on visual music works by Maura McDonnell to date

Visit: Visual Music Works 2011 by Maura McDonnell


Great two days at the first DAH Institute.  Thanks to all the presenters and organisers.  What a wonderful opportunity.  It feels like a utopia of sorts.  Great mix of structure and freedom - (I hope I got that right about the freedom part!) and an incredible mix of lecturers, students, ideas and possibilities. PHOTOGRAPH of TCD DAH PhD Students