“Just Representations?”

“Just Representations?” is a “piece” that was originally conceived to be part of the exhibition of impuls 2015‘s workshop Composition beyond Music at esc median kunst labor, Graz, Austria. at the opening, which took the form of a 1-hour performance, 7 participants, Mariella Bachmann, Shao-Wei Chou, Megan Ihnen, Helga Karen, Stefanie Mirwald, Benjamin O’Sullivan and Primož Sukic, were spread around the gallery, and using their smartphone’s cameras set to selfie mode, they stared at their own faces as they were reflected in their smartphone’s screens, while a sound collage made up of different representations of our physical and digital worlds was played from their smartphones’ loudspeakers. after the performance, the exhibition ran for 2 more days and “Just Representations?” was realized in a different version, in which the sound collage was only heard from one smartphone hung on one of the gallery’s walls, functioning as a mirror, but also as a “photo booth”. click here to read a review of the performance by Robert Winkler (in German). below are the photos that were taken by the visitors.

as i already planned the initiation of CompositionCloud before i participated in the workshop,1 it should not be too surprising that “Just Representations?” is both the last “piece” i created before i began to focus solely on CompositionCloud and the first (and for the moment, the only) “piece” i integrated into it. in fact, its 2 versions mentioned above – or 3, as i actually count the SoundCloud track as a third version of it – already demonstrate some of the modularity that CompositionCloud possess, which means that these different versions can be described as different combinations of the same components: the sound collage that was played on the smartphones; the activity of staring at oneself in the screen of a smartphone; and the notion of representations, which links between the sound collage (made up of representations) and the activity of staring at (the representation of) oneself.

moreover, these components (or components of these components) can also be linked to other ideas in CompositionCloud. first, there is the use of smartphones as sound producing objects, such as the iPhone 4 with the broken screen that produced a variation of filteredNoise2 in MUSIC FOR ONESELF v1, as well as the iPhone 4 mentioned in the collection objects4JamesSaunders, producing electromagnetic waves translated into sound by a radio. second, the collage structure is evident in CompositionCloud both at a local level, for example, in the structure of the video etv-HK_Rg and as a possible way to approach interpreting diagrams in d1-7_sxschVR-Nikel, and at a global level, that is, in the way ideas co-exist in CompositionCloud, resembling an ever-changing conglomeration, a dynamic collage; and third, the image of staring at oneself in the screen of a smartphone playing sounds that represent one’s own sound world (one’s own music), can be linked to the notion of music for oneself, a link that was, as a matter of fact, the concrete motivation i had for integrating “Just Representa­tions?” into CompositionCloud in the first place and organizing a performance of it at Music for Oneself (this time by 5 participants, Mariella Bachmann, Oded Geizhals, Eleni Ralli, Christian Smith, and Lucia Carro Veiga, who were spread around the main corridor of floor -1 of the Jazzcampus of the Musik-Akademie Basel).2 below are several photos from the event, taken by Lilach Hason (click here for more).

to produce the sound collage, i used the soundtracks of the 100 most popular YouTube videos worldwide on February 20, 2015, as well as 10 field recordings of various nature and city sounds downloaded from https://www.freesound.org.3, 4 10 channels were created (originally intended to be played on 10 different phones), each consisting of random se­quences of 10 to 1010 ms long extracts from a different set of 10 soundtracks, accompanied by a different field recording, arranged in chunks ranging from 2.5 seconds to 17 seconds, and separated by pauses. click here to download the Max patch that was used.

1 although CompositionCloud can be traced back to some of the ideas i had in the summer of 2013 (read why i stopped writing “pieces”), i started to begin working on it only at the end of December 2014, after finishing another “piece”, Stains, and i really found how to do so only in March 2015, about a month after the workshop, which took place in the middle of February 2015. (back)
2 before Music for Oneself and after impuls 2015, “Just Representations?” was also performed in ZeitRäume Basel 2015 by 10 participants: Shira Agmon, Mariella Bachmann, Juan Pablo Orrego Berríos, Tobias Krebs, Stefanie Mirwald, João Carlos Pacheco, Eleni Ralli, N. Andrew Walsh, Yiran Zhao, and myself. unfortunately, no documentation is available from that event, except the poster i designed for it. (back)
3 here are links to the videos sorted in alphabetical order: 11 Epic Facts About Lefties; 16 Everyday Things That Are Oddly Satisfying; 25 Random Places To Stick A GoPro; 25 Years of Photoshop; 50 AMAZING Facts to Blow Your Mind! #17; 80 Facts about the ’80s – mental_floss on YouTube – List Show (247); 100 Years of Beauty Episode 3 Iran Sabrina; Adult Wednesday Addams The Haircut S2, Ep 4; Afroman Slaps Female on Stage (Full Version); Amazing Selfie Proposal (2015 proposal of the year); Ariana Grande – One Last Time (Official); Ashton Kutcher’s Huge Prosthetic Penis – CONAN on TBS; Audio Technica ATH-M70X Review!; Austin Marathon Hyvon Ngetich Crawling to Finish; Banana Slugs: Secret of the Slime | Deep Look; Basketball stuck on rim in final seconds of game; Beckett — a Quinn Martin Production (old version); Beloved – Thug Notes Book Summary & Analysis; BlackBerry® Passport Highlights – AT&T; Blur – Go Out Cantore Thundersnow Montage! – #ItsAmazingOutThere; Celebrity Jeopardy – SNL 40th Anniversary Special; Chvrches cover Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River in the Live Lounge; Conjoined Twin Challenge; David Letterman interviu cu Dakota Johnson despre Cele 50 de umbre ale lui grey; Daughter Allison Williams Speaks out on Brian Will – Seth Mey; Disney / Pixar’s UP! Dog House – SUPER-FAN BUILDS; Does Bill O’Reilly Have His Own Brian Williams Problem?; Dog walks other dog; Don’t You (Forget About Me) – A Tribute to 80’s Teen Movies; Dubai Flow Motion in 4K – A Rob Whitworth Film; Fashion Week or Photoshop; FBI director James Comey on cell gathering; Fox 5 News depicts Obama as rape suspect, apologizes; Game – of; Gerry Graf: 35 Years From Now; Grandfather Goes on TINDER Dates; Heads – Up; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC5-qHjyyxw; Honest Trailers – Dumb and Dumber To; Iggy Azalea ~ Trouble ft. Jennifer Hudson Lyrics; Ingrid Michaelson | Time Machine (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO);
Introducing Neptune Duo – You’ll Flip Over This; Is It Irrational to Believe in Aliens? | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios; Jack Ü – Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza) (Missy Elliott Remix); The bicycle parking in Japan; Jimmy Fallon Surprises Fans at Ben & Jerry’s; Joe – Biden; Jon Stewart responds to Seth Rollins comments from Raw; JUST STOP ! – Too Cute !! Cat uses extreme measures to stop brother’s scratching !; Karl Pilkington Marriage Proposal; Tobacco: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); LG– ——.; Lou Reed on Guns & Ammo | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios; Man – caught; March – Update; Markiplier Reacts to 6 Million Fan Music Video; Mom and Kids Drifting in a Minivan – Momkhana Famous Footwear; My – cat; NASA | SDO: Year 5; New Invention – Flow: Honey on Tap Directly From your Beehive; new magnet joints test, blue hummus; Omarion Ft. Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko – Post To Be (Official Video); Passion Pit – Lifted Up (1985); Ping Pong Trick Shots 2 | Dude Perfect; Postpartum: The Trailer; Rayman Smashified – Making the Leak; Reply To WhatsApp, Hangouts, And More From Your Computer With Pushbullet On Android; RIP Fortress Fallout 😦; Rosetta’s closest encounter; Sandboarding Supertramp Style – Play On in New Zealand! in 4K! | DEVINSUPERTRAMP; Save The Bros; SDSU Women’s Golf Team Trick Shot Video; Sea Lion joins family on Santa Barbara kayak – ORIGINAL VIDEO; Sesame Street: Terry Crews is an Artist; Simply Delicious Shower Thoughts with Cookie Monster; Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave [OFFICIAL VIDEO]; SMARTER EVERY DAY AND SPACE!!!! – 129; ; SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED E1 true augmented reality; Stadium Series webcam surprise visitor; STAR TREK: VOYAGER CAKE – ft. Neil deGrasse Tyson – NERDY NUMMIES; T-Mobile Q4 and 2014 Earnings Call: Behind-the-Scenes Livestream; Taylor Swift Sings ‘Shake It Off’ with Paul McCartney & Jimmy Fallon; THE – HUNGER; The Talkboy FX Plus Recording Pen; This Is Your Brain On Extreme Weather; Thundersnow! – Songify This; Tosh.0 – Daniel’s Super Bowl Rant; TweetDeck: Get Started with Teams; #WITHOUTMUSIC Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars; Watch What Happens When We Give Karlie Kloss a GoPro at New York Fashion Week – Vogue; Whats – Upp; When – You; Why Makeup Isn’t Superficial | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios; Why are NPCs still racist? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios; Why Is My Tongue Stuck to This Flagpole?; Why Vaccines Work; Will It Burger? Taste Test; Wiz Khalifa & Iggy Azalea – Go Hard or Go Home [Furious 7 Soundtrack]; Zach LaVine Throws Down the -Space Jam- Dunk- 2015 Sprite Slam-Dunk Contest. here are links to the samples taken from freesound.org: Nightingale song 3.wav; Bar Crowd – Logans Pub – Feb 2007.wav; TottenhamCourtRoad.mp3; SummerEveningInMyGarden.mp3; 20071104.forest.04.binaural.mp3; natural night sounds in Boquete.wav; Yet Another Bar Crowd – June 2007.wav; A Walk in the Forest – Promenade en foret.flac; Tawny Owls 2.wav; TokyoStreetAtNight_120.wav. (back)
4 ideally, however, the sound collage of “Just Representations?” would have been created from a constantly updating pool of sounds, that is, not from the soundtracks of the 100 most popular YouTube videos world­wide on February 20, 2015, but from the most popular ones at the moment in which “Just Representations?” is being played (the field recordings should be updated as well, consisting of the most recent sound representations that are created of our world). (back)

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