Monday, 18 August 2014

Floppy Disk Reverb/ Echo

The basic idea is to use a floppy drive to record analog audio. To do this, I used an arduino to turn the drive off and on, and control whether or not we were reading from or writing to the disk.
It is fairly easy to write music to old floppy diskettes because they are made from the same material as audio cassette tape, and the same methods can be used. In addition, an arduino or other microcontroller is not necessary, the same thing can be accomplished using only switches and manual connections.

How to get decent sound out of a Contact Microphone

How do piezos work?
Piezo comes from the Greek word “to squeeze”, which is the basis of how they function. Inside of a piezo material, there are electric charges which are fixed relative to the shape of the material. So, when the material is squeezed, the charges move with the material and create a voltage. This can also work in reverse, such that applying a voltage can cause the material to shrink or expand. A representative drawing of this is shown below.

Figure 2 – Piezo material being compressed and realigning internal dipole charges.
Examples of good amplifier circuits are shown above. You will note the 10kohm resistors in series with the amplifier inputs. These limit the in-rush of current in case of large voltage spikes, and help protect the amplifiers. The diodes on the op-amp clamp the voltage to the supply rails. The JFET has an internal diode, as do some op-amps, so external diodes are not strictly necessary. Although the voltage produced by a piezo can be quite large, the current is extremely small, so the 10kohm resistor is usually enough to protect your circuit.

Figure 4 – Example piezo circuits with high-impedance input, and input protection.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Meet the Volunteers - Thomas Leyland-Collins

The last block of Introduction to Film workshops just ended, and we wanted to thank our wonderful volunteer Thomas Leyland-Collins for the work he did with the group. Here he tells us a bit more about his practice and his experience at Project Ability.

Monday, 11 August 2014

David Dunn - Micro Listening

The Micro Listening Project is an interdisciplinary art and science strategy for increasing the monitoring of our environment through sound. It hopes to provide new inexpensive technologies that can facilitate an increase in our collective environmental sensitivity and discovery of unknown natural and human made phenomena, providing novel tools for sound artist, and contributing towards practical environmental problem solving

Click image above to view pdf. document with instructions on how to make the microphones.
The project focuses upon the design of inexpensive but highly effective audio transducer systems for bioacoustic and sound art monitoring of otherwise hidden aspects of our auditory environment that are not audible through the use of conventional microphones. In addition to these technological advancements for listening, the project seeks to document a wide diversity of sound worlds for both demonstration of the transducers and general aesthetic revelation of our environment. Precise instructions on how to use and construct these devices will be part of this workshop. The devices are designed to allow as wide a distribution of their use as possible by both amateurs and professionals

Sony PCM-D50 Linear Recorder

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Has the sonic world you inhabit ever felt oppressive or invasive? (Bearing in mind that ears are open 24/7). Were the effects of this state physical or psychological, or both? In cases where such contexts are encountered on a daily basis, what strategies can help deflect or disrupt such a sound world?
How can you avoid hearing only what you want (or are programmed) to hear? What kind of training can break the conditioning which limits hearing? How do you break out of your own sonic past and invent a future?

How might you use sound in order to stimulate a sense of collectivity? (Where both the physical and mental are intertwined.) How might collective intelligence be mobilized through sound in a capitalist system which separates and individualizes?

Control / Modulation

Spatial Intervention

Drift Sound Art Festival - Glasgow 1999

For three days in November 1999 (12th / 13th / 14th), Glasgow will be the host for 'drift' - an imaginative, vital and accessible programme of sound art & acoustic ecology based performance, workshops, installations, soundwalks & talks

drift involves people who are concerned and committed to caring for the quality of the acoustic environment through the perspective of their field or individual situation. People who, if they are creators of sound, are sensitive to the relationship between their own sound production and the acoustic environment. drift actively encourages participation and attendance in all of its events from all age groups and walks of life.

United Kingdom & Ireland Soundscape Community

It was in November, 1999 at Drift, a weekend of Sound Art and Acoustic Ecology in Glasgow, Scotland, that the UKISC was formally constituted as one of the first of nine affiliated organisations now forming the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). The organisation's first Annual General Meeting was held in December 2000 at which time it started to accept membership subscriptions and offered the opportunity for members to join "soundscapeuk" an online discussion list. Like any voluntary organisation whose members are widespread and also working full time in other capacities, the UKISC has inevitably taken time and patience to organise and maintain an active agenda over the years.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Dalston Mill, EXYZT, 15 July 2009

Commission description 
EXYZT aim to challenge the view of architecture as an independent field of practice and ‘conceive and organize each project as a playground in which cultural behaviours and shared stories relate, mix and mingle.’

The Dalston Mill featured a restaging of pioneering environmental artist Agnes Dene's iconic work Wheatfield – A Confrontation, 1982, commissioned by the American Public Art Fund, where she planted and harvested two acres of wheat at the Battery Park landfill site in downtown New York. This act of transplanting rural nature into the heart of an otherwise extremely dense urban environment was EXYZT’s inspiration for The Dalston Mill.

EXYZT installed a functioning windmill capable of producing low-voltage electricity and supplying enough power for an LED lighting system and to grind wheat for some of the flour required by a resident baker to run a bread oven. The mill was located adjacent to a 20 metre-long wheatfield planted for the occasion.
During July and August, a programme of events presented by artists and local arts organisations such as Gahu Dramatic Arts, Arcola Theatre and Artburst transformed this previously neglected, overlooked, wasteland into a highly popular place with local people. The addition of a small bar encouraged people to spend time on this site. The project showed how a small, tranquil semi-rural oasis could be created in the midst of a highly urban space, which at the time was dominated by major construction work.

Read more on the Open City website...

The Dalston Mill was an off-site installation that occurred for three weeks in 2009 in the context of the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition Radical Nature – Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009. A disused railway line and waste ground in the East London suburb of Dalston was transformed into a temporary 16 metre high fully functioning flour mill with a community kitchen and bread oven that was open to the public. The project also included a 20 metre long wheat field, a recreation of the artist Agnes Denes’ Wheatfield – A Confrontation planted in New York in 1982. A series of public programs and events were included in the presentation of The Dalston Mill, including theatrical performances by Arcola Academy, baking and cooking classes, urban sustainability talks, ‘green’ workshops, artist talks and a bike-powered cinema hosted by Magnificent Revolution.



Be utopian !

We want to build new worlds where fiction is reality and games are new rules for democracy. If space is made by dynamics of exchange, then everybody can be the architects of our world and encourage creativity, reflexion and to renew social behaviours.

Experiment !

Architecture can expand into a multidisciplinary game where everyone brings his own tools and knowledge to contribute to a collective piece. We do refuse to enter the current architectural practice which serve the building industry. We do deal with the reality of construction. We design, build and live our constructions and host the freedom for visitors to appropriate our projects. We produce an open source architecture that offer an access to basic public amenities and a place for exchange : A physical framework for a direct and immediate emulation between people and space. We wish to incite anyone to re appropriate and get involved with his own social and physical environment.