Composer Steve Reich spoke about Music as a Gradual Process, where musical compositions are themselves processes, and sought to make these processes audible. A process in this case is a set of rules or parameters over time, devised pathways through which to send sonic material. A kind of labyrinth, which will give form to a composition.
For my two week long Floating Reverie, I will be creating processes in response to another participant, Tegan Bristow’s experiments in code. The resulting loops of sound might be seen as an echo, an extension of a process, a process informed by another process. I find it fitting that Bristow’s works are created in a programming language called Processing…
Bristow was very conversant with me around the intentions of the residency programme and her possible participation in it. The discussions we had are reflected in her essay at the beginning of the Floating Reverie 5 YEARS 2014 – 2019 publication. What quickly emerged in these discussions was my interest in the use of the platform to start conversations between the artists. Bristow and Orecchia decided to work closely together, establishing a network within their production. It is important to note that Bristow’s and Orecchia’s residency can be read as one process exploration. While the residencies stand on their own, they are connected. This cross-residency collaboration was the first and has been the only one thus far. Bristow and Orecchia took the existing framework supplied by Floating Reverie and “further establish rules or guidelines” (203). For Bristow’s residency, she created several code experiments—each day writing a different code and then using that day’s code, ‘following it’. The generative graphics, code and data that she created were then passed on to Orecchia who in turn used his own software to generate sound based on these data variables from Bristow’s generative code. There is a connection and network that forms across time, data and location between the two processes, intertwining their practices in order to generate and a single form. Both artists used Tumblr for their residencies, Bristow using an animated GIF to represent her generative pattern, with accompanying captions or descriptions of her approach and actions. Each day building and changing the code slightly as it evolved and making it available and accessible. These daily activities resulted in an archive of code, patterns, and iterations of her concept. Her habitual generation allowed Orecchia to respond similarly. He used visuals (based off Bristow’s generated patterns or graphics), his related and generated audio, and a description which related to process, instruments or graphic. Orecchia’s residency was the first sound-based residency and because of the nature of Tumblr and the performativity of the daily upload, something almost magical occurred when viewing his residency. His residency had the added constraint of Bristow’s data which allowed for variation in his iterative exploration to occur in sound. As the days developed or emerged, sound would playback at different rates, based on file size and internet strength. This meant that each day or each viewing formed a new composition for the viewer based on completely different data. As a curatorial exploration on sound, this changes the way artwork is heard and experienced.
To view the Post-Digital 2014 II, click here.