[ISEA2020] Artist Statement: Doug Van Nort — GSO: Genetically Sonified Organisms

Artist Statement

This piece creates an evolving interplay, in sound, between various agents that include humans and non-humans, both computational and biological. The physical GSO artifacts are a set of solar-powered ‘creatures’, designed to interact with one another and the larger sonic field in which they are immersed. The means of communication begins as a call/response from a set of simple tones/noises that introduce this new species into the sonic environment. Each creature responds to sounds that are similar to their known vocabulary, evolving their call over the course of months based on the difference found between their own lexicon of calls and those that they hear around them. These artifacts, though, are merely vessels: rather than meditating on the technological objects themselves, though this piece I invite you to listen to this new sonic presence as it is woven into the fabric of an existing, dynamic and diverse acoustic ecology.

  • Doug Van Nort is a sound artist, scholar, electroacoustic composer and improviser. In his work, spanning from professional music to public installation contexts, he creates compositions and frameworks for improvisation that integrate machine agents, immersive environments, interactive systems and experiences of telepresence as conditions to explore the myriad ways that performers negotiate emergent, collective meaning outside of spoken language. Van Nort is currently Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor at York University, where he has founded the Dispersion Lab as a central hub for this research-creation activity. dvntsea.com