“Catch 22 goes online” was done in collaboration with composer Juan Pampin. The piece explores the concept of acoustic telepresence, and emerged from a particular line of inquiry: what would happen if we could experience the echo of our own voice coming back from an unknown remote site?, would the acoustics of the remote location be encoded in our returning (and transformed) voice?, and finally, how could a work of sound art be site specific but at the same time transcend its own locus?. In this piece, the concept of recursion and feedback (ever-present in the Catch 22 saga) has been extended to the domain of space: a 3D audio feedback loop was used to overlay copies of the acoustics of two remote sites, dissolving them into a new sonic space. As the acoustics of the locations were mediated by the Internet, it was also our intention to reveal the immaterial presence of the network, letting it imprint its own “traits” to the sound. In other words, the echo returning from thousands of miles away could be experienced as the embodiment of the Internet itself, its delay and unstable conditions being incorporated to the sonic world of the piece.
Beside working as an installation piece, “Catch 22 goes online” was also explored as an experimental telematic performance venue. Stuart Dempster performed a long improvisation session from Seattle interacting with the system and with visitors on the Cleveland site. Other musicians from Seattle and Cleveland were invited to participate at scheduled jam sessions throughout the exhibit. [text and schematics courtesy of Juan Pampin]
Live recording featuring Stuart Dempster improvising with the system at the Seattle site:
Produced by Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington,
Project Art In Situ (P.A.I.S.), Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).
Seattle Team: Chad Kirby, Jonathan Lyon, Mike McCrea.
Cleveland Team: Teresa Riccardi, Mike Telin, Chris Yewell, Thomas Knab.