Festival + Symposium Blog
ISEA2006 Symposium
ZeroOne San Jose Festival
Workshops + Tours
Press Center
Contact Us
ZeroOne San Jose / ISEA2006 artworks
Transcriptions PDF Print E-mail
C4F3: Interactive Cafe
Feb 27, 2006 at 09:30 AM

John Mallia


This installation is intended for use as a sign-in/comments area during an exhibit. Visitors to the exhibition may sign a guest book with a pencil amplified by means of an attached phono cartridge, making the physical recording of their signature, information and comments audible to other visitors in the immediate vicinity of the installation as well as more remote areas of the exhibit space. Visitors are also invited to use the two available manual typewriters to fill out survey cards. Short, continuously varied audio fragments of nervous pencil scratchings and dense, pattering typewriter keys are triggered in reponse to the vistors' typing actions and are projected through loudspeakers mounted inside of the typewriter cases.

Media: amplified pencil, 2 (or more) manual typewriters with cases, amplified pencil (with attached phono cartridge), guest book, comment cards, loudspeakers, tactile transducer, dynamic gating unit, amplifiers, table (or shelves).

Sounds of writing vividly evoke the tactile satisfaction derived from the associated mechanical means of putting words on paper. Hearing a manual typewriter stamp impressions forcefully across a surface means feeling the resistance of keys as they are depressed and the recoil of levers and wires as they are set into motion and back again. The amplification of the incessant scratchings of a busy pencil heightens one’s awareness of the friction that flows from point of contact through the hand as the writing instrument moves against the paper. Similarly, the warm hum of an electric typewriter is felt resonating beneath the fingers.

In TRANSCRIPTIONS, the scale at which one experiences the sensations described above is exaggerated via amplification, sound spatialization, decorrelation and tactile vibrations. Recordings of sounds such as those described above are collaged and layered in a dense chorus of purposeful patterings that provide a continuous quiet backdrop emanating from two or more manual/electric typewriters in an attempt to entice visitors to interact with the writing instruments. Similarly, tactile transducers (essentially enclosed speaker drivers that transmit vibrations to a surface), fixed to the underside of the surfaces on which the typewriters rest, cause the machines to jiggle and vibrate mysteriously at sporadic intervals as if they were being typed upon.

As visitors depress keys on the typewriters, sudden responsive gestures emerge in disjointed fragments from loudspeakers mounted in the attached, open cases. This interaction is accomplished by using a contact microphone to send amplitude signals to a dynamic gating unit which, in turn triggers randomly delayed bursts of recorded sound glimpsed from a looped sound file several minutes in length. A pencil, attached to a sign-in station and amplified by means of an attached phono cartridge is projected both near the source and in at least two other locations in the exhibition space through wall, floor or ceiling-mounted loudspeakers at slightly delayed time intervals.

The actions of each writing instrument and the associated responses make contributions to a collective pool of audible thoughts and are experienced tactically as well as aurally. Patterns of articulation emerge resulting in an "abstracted" semantic sphere detached from the language being "transcribed."

The cards or paper provided may contain questions related to the gallery, works in the exhibit, or whatever content the curator/gallery administration sees fit to include.


Last Updated ( Apr 12, 2006 at 01:52 PM )
<Previous   Next>