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Synapse Leggett

Artists have been looking at what scientists of the day are up to since art critic and social commentator Ruskin’s time. Many have frowned at the notion of artists working with scientists, but artists have always worked with technology of some kind. And modern science, like contemporary art, produces knowledge through ideas. Concept and theory precede method, results are scrutinised critically, and occasionally outcomes are celebrated in public through the market place,...

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SonicDifference_02 Percival

Composer and sonic performance artist Cat Hope (WA) is inspirational. Her works encourage the listener to hear sound anew, creating a magnified soundtrack to a mundane world and giving sound equal status with the visual and encouraging sound to train the eye. In Unravelled, worms are delicately loosened from luxurious hair to the nightmarish sound of lubricous worm activity and in Drive a subwoofer pulses a moist kangaroo skin to the disintegrated sound of a fatal car...

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SonicDifference Priest

The distinct survivalist tone was kicked started by exhibition curator and conference convener, Nigel Helyer in his opening address where he dwelt on hearing as our most basic sense designed to warn us of approaching danger. Our ears offer 360 degree perception while our eyes are limited to 180, but that in our general perception “the eye is master, the ear is slave.” This sense of embattlement floated through the discussions of the day occasionally escalating to...

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SonicDifference Muller

The sound created is like rain on a roof, in fact looking up it is exactly what I imagine rain would sound like on the corrugated iron roof of the Moores Building. Beginning lightly, almost imperceptibly, the rapid staccato tap of the motors on the wires builds in momentum, becomes a torrent, eases away, falls momentarily silent and starts again. There seems to be infinite but minute variation between the tiny individual sounds. The experience involves my whole body. A...

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Sonic Difference Stephens

Entering the historic Moores Building in Fremantle with its uneven wooden floor, rough hewn, whitewashed walls and exposed rafters takes us back to the 19thcentury. It is most apt as Dr Paine’s apparently silent installation has overtones of both an old-fashioned laboratory and a museum. We step into an era when the enlightenment tradition of describing, collating and displaying phenomena according to categorisation was still intact. Paine is at pains to present not...

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Potts RealTime

Which didn’t work! Press Record or Play and all you got was a blast of nasty static. White noise is fine in its place, but this wasn’t it. No worry: surely Nigel himself, a technician/engineer/acoustician (these sound artists are such polyglots) could fix the recalcitrant thing. He jiggled, he coaxed, he gave it a whack, he held it to his ear, he looked into its soul—but the rascally machine just wouldn’t cooperate. So there we were, on the verge of discussing the...

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SonicDifference Percival

Nigel, what are your thoughts in regard to the current status of sound art within electronic arts?

As far as the notion of a biennale of electronic arts per se being read as a biennale of digital arts I find that there is an amazing amnesia built into the whole history of artists working with the technological mode with sound and image or kinetics. There is a lack of a stable or thoroughgoing discourse surrounding those new forms of art. The history seems to evaporate as...

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magnus-Opus

Sound artists Jon Drummond and “Dr Sonique” have done the unthinkable - rubber stamped the “melody” of every possible telephone number combination as their own.

Their Magnus-Opus is a playful way of challenging copyright law, which Dr Sonique - better known as artist Dr Nigel Helyer - says often benefits the “corporates” before creators of artistic works.

Sixteen two-note chords were thrown into an algorithmic generator, which produced 10 billion melodies. “It is not...

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ISEA2004

“Are we all on the way to ISEA?” asks a leather-clad man across the aisle, squinting at me suspiciously.

“Everybody with a laptop bag basically,” confirms his red-haired neighbor, without raising her head from Phénoménologie de la perception. I stuff my notebook into the locker and sit down to reread the website printouts in an attempt to make sense of the program. ISEA2004, “the biggest ever new media culture event” is open for all but aimed at creative practitioners...

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Crosstalk kahn

Faced with the alternatives—come up with the money for separate, insulated spaces; alternate the operation of pieces; put them on headphones; or let them battle it out, the most boisterous wins—this is perfectly valid. It is a bit odd, however, given the institutional connection, since architecture at some point conjures up monumentality, the discarded shells of history lashed by weather and baked mercilessly for generations by the sun, the gaudiness of too many...

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