[ISEA2002] Artists Statement: Squidsoup – altzero 4

Artists Statement

Altzero explores issues to do with control and authorship in interactivity, and what we understand and expect from recorded media, by creating audiovisual compositions that are experienced spatially as well as over time. This is done in a variety of ways, but in particular by trying to evolve audio composition from its traditional form as an experience controlled almost entirely by the composer into one that is determined in part by the will of the listener. The musical experience is transformed into a 3-dimensional spatial journey where the listener chooses the route they take. By transferring the time component of sound into space, a linear path through a piece of music is transformed into an infinite array of possibilities. If one such navigable audio structure is perceived as a representation of a moment of music time in space, then a sequence of these structures represents individual key-frames of an audio animation, highlighting the development of the linear piece over time. In altzero4, each spike represents a single sound fragment (much as in altzero3, where sounds have a physical appearance as columns of bubbles). The whole 3D structure is a soundscape in this case an explorable freeze-frame of a moment of sound. By moving through the structure, listeners hear a dynamic mix of all the sounds within earshot over time this becomes their experience of that moment of sound. Altzero4 consists of several such structures, time slices of a fictional soundtrack. Taken as a whole and explored in sequence, they reveal another dimension to a recording, as the piece can be explored over both time and space.

  • Squidsoup.¬†Formed in 1997, Squidsoup is a London-based art and design group whose work is known around the world. Altzero, their main art project for the last 2 years, has been shown at dozens of events including SIGGRAPH N-Space Art Gallery (LA, August 2001), SONAR (Barcelona, June 2001), and Web3D Symposium (Tempe Arizona, February 2002 and ICA. March 2002). Their work has also been shown at events such as Milia (Cannes), Ars Electronics (Linz, Austria), onedotzero (London) and as a standalone installation at the ICA (London). They were awarded an International EMMA award for Best Online Art and their work has been shown in several online curated exhibitions including ‘bin’ (online art gallery for japanese design magazine Shift) and the Remedi Project (USA).