I’m posting this a bit late, but for some reason I totally missed this video. It’s a summary of some of the sound objects built by François Parra’s students in our joint sound-hypermedia mini-course for second year students. This year we split the two-week class into two: in the first week half of the class learned Processing while the other half learned PureData and audio acoustic instrumentation; the following week they reversed roles. While the hypermedia students were making Processing Monsters in preparation for Eniarof, François’ students were making these interesting instruments.

Objects soundscape from François Parra on Vimeo.

From François’ description:

This is a short movie coming from a teaching project in Aix-en-Provence art school. Students build piezo amplified objects to compose a soundscape. They only used piezo mics, motors, a mixing board, speakers. You will see at the end the begining of a program, made to tie a string sound with generative pictures.

To be clear, I had little to nothing to do with the construction of the objects, I’m only in the video looking like the dork I am because I was the only professor present to conduct any sort of critique, which basically consisted of, « uhhh, how does it work? » followed by some random attempt at analyzing physical algorithmic phenomena. But I wanted to post the video here because it gives a fairly typical picture of the experimental method we use in our exploration of machines. Yeah, yeah, I know, plastic babies on a seesaw have that oh-so-art-school stench of ennui, but there are still some valid ideas in most of the instruments. Also, there’s some brief attempt at audiovisualisation, but on a very very basic level. I think we were far more succesful a few years back at approaching this connection, around the time of 8=8 for example, but again these are students who had only been programming for two or three days and these things go in cycles anyway.