Architectural Association (Luis Fraguada)



Oct '05 - Jan '07

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    Laptop Sessions: Transdisciplinary Experiments

    Luis Edgardo Fraguada
    May 19, '06 1:40 PM EST

    Cluster: New Media New Media, Design Systems and Tools
    Curated by Joel Newman, Theo Spyropoulos and Vasilis Stroumpakos

    There was an open call to display some media works as part of the AA Clusters Week. Research clusters have been set up at the AA in order to discuss a wide range of topics. Clusters also aim to involve various people from within and outside of the AA including students, staff, faculty, etc.

    Brian Dale and I had worked on a project as one of our seminar submissions. The project was for the Visualizing Information seminar directed by Vasilis Stroumpakos. The aim of the project was to rewire the way we interpret spaces. The visual is such an inherent part of our ontological understanding of the world, and we wanted to test different methods to inject different ways to augment this understanding. What resulted was CCdB (a name which continues from a previous series of installations dealing with CCTV systems to survey spaces). The aims of the visualization were to have a reactive system which would also have a memory of recent events. Once the person interacting with the installation understands the rules, they can then begin to augment the visual, learn, and adapt their behaviour to make CCdB perform. Thanks to Joel Newman, Theo Spyropoulos, and Vasili Strompaukos for the opportunity to present this work.

    The setup: lappy, Alesis Multimix Firewire mixer, 4 x SM58 mics, projector, processing traer.physics, max/msp maxlink.

    Brian tweaking the processing code.

    Shure SM58 - industry standard. Better than our budget lapel mics, still not perfect for the range we need.


    “attracted to pink”

    “attracted to pink_v2” tweaked by Brian on the spot.

    Watching some vectorized HD video . . . will find out name of artist, interesting methods to track movements through time.

    The Chief: Shajay Bhooshan displaying some work from his AADRL team, manifold.

    Unfortunately did not catch this guy's name, but he had a sweet flash interface to Maya. He set up a system to create branching structures with internal structural elements. Very nice.

    Shot taken by Vasilis of me performing with CCdB. This “performance” was not initially intended, but it turned out to be fun to pick up the mics and get CCdB to react. In the future, we will be looking at different mics to have a better range and sensitivity in order to more accurately pick up the sounds in the space.


    • job job

      hi Luis,
      what aspect of this work would be considered ontological- the data, the coded behaviour in proce55ing? was that a goal of the seminar or something in which you are interested.

      just intrigued - would you consider something like the hyposurface as becoming, not fulfilling itself until actuated

      May 19, 06 2:28 pm  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      what I meant when ontological was mentioned was simply the method by which we understand. And while it has many aspects other than visual, a lot of the input we use to understand space is just that. The reference to ontology in the project was to clarify why the aural was chosen as the means to drive the installation, chosing to reinterpret the inputs to understand our space, and maybe ourselves through a sort of learned behavioral enticement. the project entices us to learn how to affect a space. Please let me be the first to say that our conclusions are only that we are scratching the surface of what could be possible. Many people have dealt with this. But with these tools, it is possible to affect more than a visual . . . the next attainable realm would be atmosphere. After that it becomes an exersise in kinetcs maybe, and in the realm of the hyposurface.

      Our piece has a personality, I believe much like the hyposurface (though I have never experienced it firsthand). we can breed the personality into it. And it is with the interaction that it begins to teach and learn from the input. There is something to what you are saying snowi, an actuation of our piece by the input does make it more, but there is an intrigue that entices, makes me want to see it perform.

      I wish I could post movies, of course, that medium is more appropriate for this. "grassy knoll" is a personality, she becomes when she is evoked. So yes, I guess I would consider our piece as having those properties, although, it draws one in to try and understand the rules which govern her behavior. my apologies for saying it is a she . . . for me, it is the way it . . . I cannot call it an it . . . she moves in a particular way.

      May 19, 06 10:17 pm  · 

      I absolutely love this

      May 20, 06 11:36 pm  · 
      the cellardoor whore

      "what I meant when ontological was mentioned was simply the method by which we understand" ... or rather epistemology. Please, words have specific meanings. You don't need to be a postgrad student to 'understand' that. Ontology refers to the being, the created matter/entities. Epistemology to the study of knowledge and understanding. Whilst the divide between one and the other is a matter of where you situate yourself on the corporeal/mental divide, the very usage of either or both terms still implies such a distinct divide.

      May 21, 06 2:36 am  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      what about understanding our being? Maybe that is more what I meant, how we understand our position in this moment. Understanding needs to be qualified by something no? Again, how we see the world, how we define ourselves within it, how we deal with our existence.

      May 21, 06 4:43 am  · 
      the cellardoor whore

      my being (ontologically) is getting an allergic reaction from your understanding of our being (epistemologically). please, you're an architect...stop pretending to be anything 'more'. pft, self-haters.

      May 21, 06 5:46 am  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      perhaps epistemology is a gateway for asking more general questions of existence, what does it mean to "be?" First - how is it that we can be? Then - what is being? Asking questions might just lead us to wonder why we ask, but it can lead elsewhere. I don't expect all of the users to have that approach or to reach those open conclusions. In fact, much of what we discovered is a need to explore the work further to make it less interpretational and more experience.

      May 21, 06 6:07 am  · 

      "perhaps epistemology is a gateway for asking more general questions of existence, what does it mean to "be?"
      asking the questions of existence, what does it mean to be=ontology just as cellar door whore pointed out.

      (if the beings are "created" it's a whole different story)

      you are really talking about epistemology here. if your enquiry refers to the way one percieve himself, then you might be talking about ontology, it's all about the shift between inner and outer (reductive statement, obviously).

      what i don't understand is how the interaction happens. is it phisical? acoustic?
      and the moment you are able to "begin to augment the visual, learn, and adapt their behaviour to make CCdB perform" then isn't the epistemological value of the enquiry lost, since you are allowing people to interact with the installation, thus influencing the results of your enquiry?

      May 21, 06 8:59 pm  · 

      have a drink guys.

      good work Luis

      May 21, 06 10:51 pm  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      The installation takes the input from 4 microphones placed around the room. The input is analyzed into loudness, noise, amplitude, pitch, low/mid/high frequencies. The values are passed from max/msp to processing where we attribute them to different aspects of the visualization with the intention to generate an alternative visual space.

      I do speak a lot about understanding above, but the intentions we had were to evoke an obfuscation of the visual in order to get people asking Why is space visual. Which would hopefully lead to why is our being here defined through the visual.
      "if space is not visual as I always had thought, then what does that say about my being here?"

      Maybe it is too early (as I said before, we cannot conclude yet, as there are interesting possibilities to pursue) to layer all of these intentions back onto the project, when it has not reached that critical point, but if we are ever going to get there, we need to have these critiques along the way. Appreciate all of the comments. Seriously, they have been helpful in positioning the results thus far, and the ideas to work on.

      May 22, 06 6:34 am  · 

      beautiful code luis. i would love to see how this thing works and transforms. the graphics are gorgeous like an exquisite pen and ink drawing...animated.

      May 22, 06 9:20 am  · 

      hate to break it, but when you say it like that this just sounds like those visualizations on media players. just more beautiful.

      May 22, 06 7:21 pm  · 
      job job

      i didn't mean to open the floodgates of criticism, although your moving target dance (answering a question with another question? please, own your work) was amusing.

      the description of your project really should be couched in its own terms, unless there is a clear connection drawn to an established, well-known word. ex. here and here

      have you ever seen a student start a presentation with a throwaway quote from Kant? it is chilling, especially for the tutor who never heard that student mention Aesthetics at any time.

      May 23, 06 6:11 am  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      don't need to break it to us man, we know! Our original intentions were to go beyond what winamp does, but being that this was our first attempt to do this, we realized that those visualizations can be quite sophisticated on some levels.

      Here are some videos:


      May 23, 06 6:23 am  · 
      Luis Fraguada

      that last one was in response to mhollenstein . . . snowi, it has been a good discussion, and has helped to evaluate the work, thanks!

      May 23, 06 6:25 am  · 

      snowi, did you intentionally post AI definitions of ontology?
      perhaps we should stick to the metaphysical. although architecture abounds with its own artificial intelligence.

      May 23, 06 5:14 pm  · 

      thanks for the video's Luis. beautiful.

      May 23, 06 10:44 pm  · 

      Theo , why are the blogs so banal? Maybe I should watch TV or is it in the nature of the medium? Or maybe I just dont understand? How is /was China ?

      May 25, 06 11:15 am  · 

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