Lightscape- Chromatic Nocturne

Year: 2016
Medium: generative sound-image installation, umbrellas, microprojectors, 8-channel audio

Official Event Page

“Chromatic Nocturne” is a generative audio-visual installation in series of Lightscape project, focuses on the relationship between sensory experience and external structures within the city. The daily movings and behaviors in the public spaces shaped our memories of the city. Different streets and routes evoke the variety of urban life, which are the elements that constructed the collective memory. This work attempts to receive and transform the artificial lights during the nighttime in urban areas as the main elements to be represented as the sounds, moving images, and performative utterances. During the execution period of the project, we will collect the images and sounds from artificial light sources and human activities around the city through the changes of light and shadow, in order to explore the relationship between the city as interface and artificial lights, and in what way people perceive it. The route we chose would be like the music notation or scoring and the repetition of the streetlights and traffic lights are similar to the motive and phrase in a composition.

Modern societies and cities maintain their order through quantization and standardization. The lighting system allows people to take advantage of the nighttime to expand the leisure and economic activities, no longer confined to sunrise and sunset as well as seasonal weather and other natural rhythms, also has nothing to do with personal feelings and differences in lifestyle. For this reason, people finally have the ability to follow, to schedule all the tasks in their “daily life” as the routine. There are clear expectations for when to do what. Noise is usually chaotic and disorderly, while organized noise (organization du bruit) is a mirror, reflecting the reflection of society, and has the power to predict the future. How we interpret, organize, reproduce, and use sound is artifacts of ritualized processes. In turn, these aural structures interact with the city in light rich spaces, where people and activities concentrate and take form through sound. People instinctively avoid the dark, using the presence or absence of light to indirectly controlling and disciplining urban sound, thereby creating light’s sensory mirror.

These artificial lights not only play the role of functional instructions, but also the cultural symbols like the collective memory sharing by people living in modernized cities. This audio-visual installation creates an immersive environment that illustrates this “everyday feeling”, at the meantime implies the discipline and regulation behind it. This program will bring together elements of light and sound from different routes within the city, each masking the other, and serving as the basis for visual and aural interaction as manifest in video and installation.

The generative music system developed in Max/MSP transformed the flow of light points in the panoramic video into corresponding resonances, amplified through 8 speakers independently. The changes of the lights in the video trigged sine wave oscillators and produced the ambient sound in different dynamics and frequencies according to its trends and patterns. The moving image will be masked by the parameters retrieved from the field recording that synchronized with the data collecting process. With the multichannel audio configuration, the music comes from various directions in an ambisonic setting, which reflects how individual sensing the surrounding environment.

 

To demonstrate, this track was transformed from the route that I passed by daily during the artist in residency in Laboral Center, Gijon. I recorded all the light resources included the streetlights, vehicles, signboards, alarms, windows…and sonified these data into the flow of sounds. The original installation was in 8 channel surrounded configuration, but this recording was captured by a Zoom H4N stereo recorder.


Lightscape- Masquerade, 2017
Cooperated with Chinese artist Mengtai Zhang (張孟泰), developing in different approaches and forms separately.

“The city is man’s most consistent and on the whole, his most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart’s desire. But, if the city is the world which man created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task in making the city man has remade himself.” -Robert Park

Masquerade is the VR version of Lightscape series, material mainly filmed in New York. This program will bring together elements of light and sound from different routes within the city, each masking the other, and serving as the basis for visual and aural interaction as manifest in video, installation, and performance.

照明系統讓現代社會得以利用夜晚時段拓展休閒和經濟活動。城市中的各種光源,如交通號志、街燈、車燈與招牌,亦是種文化符號,依循著特定的限制與規格,維持秩序並形塑動態的都會夜景。若「光景」是種規訓手段,其中必然涉及權力的結構與分配。

艾米莉·湯普森曾提到,當代社會的景觀,受都市化的影響遠比自然環境為多,處於一直不斷建構與改變中的狀態。人為噪音與光源,變成現代化生活中不可避免的副產品。為了創造安靜的生活環境,如何控制噪音已是今日許多學科的研究目的。光線豐富的地方,會有更多人流與活動,聚集了屬於都會的環境聲響。人們出於危機意識,會本能性迴避黑暗,而對燈光的控制恰好間接控制了噪音,像一面相互規訓的鏡子。

在公共空間中,日常的移動與行為,形塑了我們對於城市的記憶。不同的街道、不同的路線,喚起各種生活樣態,是共構城市集體記憶的元素。當建築樓房越來越多,人工照明更加便利,城市的氛圍卻因此越來越急躁。

本件轉化夜間光景的生成式音樂計劃,以城市做為介面,將個體在城市街頭移動時所感知的光源與噪音,彼此屏蔽、重新合成,透過程序生成視覺與聽覺回饋,以地圖上的路線作為樂譜,沿途的光景成為樂曲。在經由光影與聲音重現城市夜晚的樣貌之餘,我們得以透過其外顯與內涵的節奏去觀察、討論環境、個體與感知間的交互關係。

“Chromatic Nocturne” Sound-image installation
Medium: Generative audio-visual projection, umbrella, LEDs
Place: Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijon, 2016

“Chromatic Nocturne” is a generative composition in “Lightscape” project, focuses on the relationship between sensory experience and external structures within the city. Emily Thompson has written that within social landscapes, whether a soundscape or a landscape, the influence of the city far exceeds that of nature. Moreover, these landscapes are in a constant state of flux.

The daily movings and behaviors in the public spaces shaped our memories of the city. Different streets and routes evoke the variety of urban life, the artificial lights not only play the role of functional instruction but also the cultural symbol which are the elements that constructed the collective memory. Modern societies and cities maintain their order through quantization and standardization. Lighting system allows people to take advantage of the nighttime to expand the leisure and economic activities, no longer confined to sunrise and sunset and other natural rhythms, also has nothing to do with personal feelings and differences in lifestyle. For this reason, people finally have the ability to follow, to schedule all the tasks in their “daily life” as the routine. There are clear expectations for when to do what.

Noise is usually chaotic and disorderly, while organized noise (organization du bruit) is a mirror, reflecting the reflection of society, and has the power to predict the future. How we interpret, organize, reproduce, and use the sound is artifacts of ritualized processes. In turn, these aural structures interact with the city in light rich spaces, where people and activities concentrate and take form through sound. People instinctively avoid the dark, using the presence or absence of light to indirectly controlling and disciplining urban sound, thereby creating light’s sensory mirror. This program will bring together elements of light and sound from different routes within the city, each masking the other, and serving as the basis for visual and aural interaction as manifest in video and installation.

  

Generative Program Screenshot

“Chromatic Nocturne” Sound-image installation in Laboral Center, Gijon, 2016

光景台北 Lightscape Taipei, 2016
Medium: Generative audio-visual projection, TVs
Place: Nuit Blanche Taipei, Art Shenzhen 2016

「光景台北」的路線,重合在百年前的地圖上,正好串聯了台北三市街:台北城、艋舺與大稻埕的軸線。在清代,城內是政治中心、城外是小市民的生活場域;到了日治時代,城內又成為現代主義的實驗場所,公園、百貨店、博覽會和博物館都於此誕生。到了戰後,此區又興起了書店街、相機街、補習街等知名商圈,做為交通樞紐的台北車站則位於此路線的中點。