Name of the work: 3-Phase
Created by: Kerstin Larissa Hovland: animation. performance. video design. new media.
Where: Digital Village
Artist scheduled to attend Art & Algorthms: Kerstin Hovland
Robert Dansby of the California Institute for the Arts discusses this work:
Kerstin Hovland’s 3-Phase is a solo musical and visual performance employing MIDI interfaces and open-source software combining three methods of translation between image, gesture, and music. Three screens illustrate relationships between the performer and the system using a visual sequencer, a Fast Fourier Transform visualization, and animation that reacts to sound.
Acting both an instrument and performance piece that studies three methods for integrating moving image and music in a cohesive stage presence. Each method is represented by a system consisting of an interface, a computer, a projector, a screen, and an animation. Each of the three systems has its own interactive strategy:
I. Sound level and frequency inﬂuencing the image
II. Performer interacting with image and thus inﬂuencing sound
III. The spectral characteristics of a sound ﬁle inﬂuencing the image
3-Phase is an exploration into software as artistic medium to illustrate relationships between auditory and visual perception. It is an exercise in one-to-one mapping of visual and aural environments, essentially software to explore three different directions of visual/audio mapping in digitally created music and animation. The software is key, in fact the code is the piece, and the performance is a manipulation of the circumstances of the rulesets programmed into the code. All of the coding was written by the artist, and literally and ﬁguratively is the core of the piece. One of the overwhelming things about creating a mapped digital/aural instrument is its divorce from the laws of physics that usually govern how what we think of as an “instrument” operates. It is also a question of many representations of data, especially in our current obsession with Data, where Data has a Capital D and is a commodity that can be shaped and analyzed, collected, bought, and sold.
Kerstin describes her work:
As an artist with a background in computer engineering, I am interested in how the integration of of art, performance and technology can represent complex technological systems in an accessible and engaging manner. My pieces stem from analysis of the way technology is used and viewed and how its presence impacts our daily lives. For each piece, I map these interactions as a series of algorithms and visual systems that I extrapolate from and manipulate to create new platforms for expression and organic connections between digital and physical space. I write custom software, design projection systems, create algorithms for generative animations, compose music, and build interfaces that coalesce into installations, performances, and games representing mathematical and scientific concepts as expressive forms. In my piece, Coding System for Reducing Redundancy (2012), I wrote an open-source JPEG encoder and decoder to trace the transformation of visual data from perception to digitally encoded file. I illustrate this transformation in a series of TED-talk style lectures that unpacks the ubiquitous JPEG compression scheme and examines how it works and its implications for artists who work with technology.
In Echo Loci (2011), I explore how visual media affects memory. I use a system of delay loops between live cameras and projectors to confront viewers with recent memories of their movements in space and time. The cameras pick up either the image of the viewer or their shadow as they move between the projection and the screen. The captured image is delayed and projected on the opposite screen allowing a viewer to catch glimpses of themselves and their shadow haunting the loop between the two screens before it is lost in the noise of the system. Luminis Sphaera (2010-2011), an ensemble that performed at the Ruhrtriennale last October, uses astrophysical concepts to create visual scores for interdisciplinary performances that blend music, movement, and live video manipulation. Paper spheres suspended in the performance space catch the video from multiple projectors creating shifting eclipses on the large background scrim while the ensemble performs abstracted stories of stellar evolution, gravitational fields, and interstellar emptiness. 3-Phase (2009-2012) is a solo musical and visual performance employing MIDI interfaces and open-source software written in Processing and ChucK to combine three methods of translation between image, gesture, and music. Three screens illustrate relationships between the performer and the system using a visual sequencer, a Fast Fourier Transform visualisation, and animation that reacts to sound.
The artist: Kerstin Larissa Hovland
I am currently teaching programming and basic circuits to artists and musicians at the Center for Integrated Media and instructing high school students in animation through the CalArts Community Arts Partnership. I will continue to research the role of media and technology in performance and teaching practices to facilitate the accessibility of emerging technology and create space for users of diverse backgrounds and skills to influence the structure and substance of that emergence. By connecting an audience with an understanding of shared technological heritage, I seek to empower a wider user-base to question, create, and determine their technological future.