Dance of the Computer Lab

Time Lapse Video with Musical Soundtrack 2009

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Dance of the Computer Lab

The Desk
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At present, there are thousands of webcams or networked security cameras that broadcast publicly over the Internet. A simple Google search reveals countless results for these types of cameras, including many that may not intended for public scrutiny but are catalogued nonetheless by search bots. The ceaseless flow of images from these autonomous cameras is typically ephemeral and unremarked, but provides fertile material for artistic investigation.

In my project I harvest these ambient video streams, using a telematic practice of ‘sampling’ the photographs from the virtual cameras, and transform them into video-music compositions and rhythmic micro-narratives. I meld the found images, which are often disassociated from any recognizable locality, into time-lapse videos, then use the minutiae of these tiny vignettes as a visual ‘score’ for which I compose a tightly-synchronized musical accompaniment. These videos provide a means of visualizing temporary and fleeting moments that are ordinarily invisible in our experience of everyday life. The resulting rhythms of change, textures of image, patterns of human movement, and qualities of light are mirrored by musical motifs that form an expressive, subtle portrait of the original spaces, of which the location remains unknown.

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The Desk

Time Lapse Video with Soundtrack 2009

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The Desk

The Desk
Watch video

At present, there are thousands of webcams or networked security cameras that broadcast publicly over the Internet. A simple Google search reveals countless results for these types of cameras, including many that may not intended for public scrutiny but are catalogued nonetheless by search bots. The ceaseless flow of images from these autonomous cameras is typically ephemeral and unremarked, but provides fertile material for artistic investigation.

In my project I harvest these ambient video streams, using a telematic practice of ‘sampling’ the photographs from the virtual cameras, and transform them into video-music compositions and rhythmic micro-narratives. I meld the found images, which are often disassociated from any recognizable locality, into time-lapse videos, then use the minutiae of these tiny vignettes as a visual ‘score’ for which I compose a tightly-synchronized musical accompaniment. These videos provide a means of visualizing temporary and fleeting moments that are ordinarily invisible in our experience of everyday life. The resulting rhythms of change, textures of image, patterns of human movement, and qualities of light are mirrored by musical motifs that form an expressive, subtle portrait of the original spaces, of which the location remains unknown.

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Manic Barbering

Time Lapse Video With Musical Soundtrack 2009

Berwick Artist In Research

Residency 2009

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Berwick Artist In Research

I’ve been chosen as an Artist In Research at the Berwick Research Institute for this spring.

Here’s what the press release says:

Joshua Pablo Rosenstock is a multimedia artist, musician, and educator based in Boston. His work explores the process of remixing via the creation of new instruments, interactive interfaces, and multimedia installations. With the Berwick, Rosenstock will be working on ‘Shrine to the Funky Drummer’, a multimedia installation that will seek to portray a specific instance of media sampling as an archetypal cultural moment and a lens through which to examine a multifaceted story of creative appropriation.  The ‘Funky Drummer’ is a five-second excerpt from a James Brown song that has been used as the foundation of hundreds of other musical compositions and is one of popular music’s most famous samples.

During his project, he’ll be gathering, creating, and presenting artifacts and ‘holy relics’ that explore the early history of Hip Hop and the creative acts of sampling and remixing.  Rosenstock will be investigating debates about copyright and fair use in relation to Afro-Diasporic musical notions of ‘versioning,’ the fetishistic culture of record-digging, and postmodern theoretical questions about authorship in the age of digital (re)production.

Update: My Berwick project blog can be found here if you’d like to follow along.

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Nomadic Remix Jacket

Wearable Electronic Instrument 2008

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Nomadic Remix Jacket

In collaboration with Florence W. Rosenstock

Two hand-made jackets wired with electronics, forming mobile sound samplers. The wearer circulates throughout the city, collecting sounds. The audio samples are continuously remixed into a rhythmic musical collage that accompanies their explorations. At any point in their journey, the wearer may add a new sound to the composition, which they are encouraged to do by interacting with other humans and by recording sounds specific to their current locale. On conclusion of the nomadic sound collecting journey, the sounds can be downloaded into a cumulative collection database.

This piece re-imagines/re-wires clothing for a globalized, media-saturated era.  It situates the wearer as a sonic hunter/gatherer, exploring and documenting the sonic landscape of the postmodern city.

The autonomous machine embedded in the jackets amplifies the contemporary trends of ubiquitous, wearable electronic devices that constantly reassure us with their chattering voices, and, like John Cage’s compositions, seeks to recognize music in the sounds of everyday life. It weaves together sonic fragments of a multiplicity of voices and localities into a perpetually-remixed soundtrack to accompany the wearer’s journeys into public space.

The jackets themselves represent a trans-global remix of textile traditions, incorporating shibori and other Asian, African, and American techniques, as well as found and recycled materials. Brightly-colored and richly textured, they invite curiosity from spectators and encourage interaction with the wearer.

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PIC SAMPLR 2.0

Electronic Audio Sampling Module 2008

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PIC SAMPLR 2.0

I just finished designing a new version of my PIC chip-based audio module. This version uses the PIC 16F883 microcontroller with an ISD 1420 audio recording/playback chip. It’s always so exciting to design a PCB then have the shiny manufactured boards arrive! This version has been redesigned to use the PICKIT2 for both programming the chip in-circuit, and also for serial communication back to the PC which allows me to simplify the board and eliminate the RS232-TTL converter IC from the design.
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Revenge of the Revenge of the Lawn

Living Plant Installation with Time-Lapse Video 2008

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Revenge of the Revenge of the Lawn

In collaboration with Sarah Fierberg Phillips and Jonah Goldstein

Revenge of the Lawn was commissioned by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as part of its Lawn Nation exhibition, and was exhibited from May 23rd to September 7th, 2008.

Revenge of the Lawn is a durational installation that examines our culture’s estrangement from organic processes and pokes fun at our desire to master the natural world. Revenge of the Lawn presents a typical living room scene made out of furniture that has been reupholstered with soil and seeds. It is a fantasy environment designed to encourage ‘nature’ to reclaim ‘man-made’ objects and permeate the boundary between Indoor and Outdoor, calling attention to the arbitrariness of these binaries. As the tableau of tranquil domesticity is progressively threatened by overgrowth, it calls to mind apocalyptic or science-fiction scenarios. Although the title is campy and the piece’s overall effect is humorous, there is a darker edge that hints at an out-of-balance world in which humans are no longer present.

Revenge of the Lawn is named in homage to the short story by Richard Brautigan bearing the same title.

Revenge of the Lawn was originally created in 2003 but was completely redesigned for the 2008 version. The installation was presented on a public pathway in the heart of Lincoln Park, adjacent to the museum entrance, in a room-like stone courtyard surrounded by native prairie flora and fauna. The sculpture featured hand-sewn panels containing soil and seeds that were upholstered to the surfaces of the furniture. Several other items such as slippers, dishes, and a spoon were seeded as well and contributed to the domesticity and humor of the site. A drip/spray irrigation system was integrated into the installation site. A networked video camera, built into a custom weather- and theft-proof enclosure, took pictures of the growth every 15 minutes and uploaded the images to a remote server, where they were combined into time-lapse video. The resulting videos and live camera feed were viewable on my site revengeofthelawn.com. The whole system – watering, image capture, and video rendering – functioned autonomously with minimal human intervention.

*Documentary Video*

More Videos:

Time-Lapse hi-res (60 mb)
Time-Lapse low-res (15 mb)
Making-of hi-res (8 mb)
Making-of low-res (2 mb)

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Winter Fantasy

Animation with Musical Score 2008

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Winter Fantasy

A snow-day excursion leads to lagomorphic reverie.

 

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big (12 mb) small (6 mb)

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Bumpkin’s Bestiary

Found Material Sculpture/Site Specific Installation 2007

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Bumpkin's Bestiary

In collaboration with Sarah Fierberg Phillips & Jonah Goldstein, with help from Eric Freeman

I returned to plant sculpture, found materials, and environmental installation in a low-tech context as a participant in the 2007 Bumpkin Island Art Encampment. This unusual event, organized by the Berwick Research Institute, Island Alliance, and Studio Soto, took place over labor day weekend on a small island in the Boston Harbor.

Using the metaphor of homesteading as a point of departure, 40 artists in ten groups will embark on new artistic and geographic terrain. With only the materials they can carry on their backs and a short 5-day window of time, the artists will adapt ambitious projects to the challenges and opportunities of an island environment.

Part residency, part survivalist experiment, and fully impressionable, malleable, speculative and reflective, the Encampment allows artists to explore new possibilities, removed from the distractions and discourses of the mainland. Yet, like an explorer with a partially drawn map to be fully formed in expedition, the project presents itself as a microcosm of transparent, possible attributes and actions for a culture stripped bare and invented anew.

Our team built sculptures comprised entirely of materials we scavenged from around the island. Our creations – a giant twig chicken, a goat with internal organs made of garbage, and a rusty metal pig – embodied a Darwinesque fantasy of exotic, mutated, feral creatures on a remote island. The results of the project were documented in the Land Grab exhibition at APEXART in New York City, and featured online at the German art site wooloo.org.

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Sound Parasites Switzerland

Wearable Sound Robots/Soft Sculptures/Performance 2007

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Sound Parasites Switzerland

    Cabled Madness Performance Series, Cabaret Voltaire, Digital Art Weeks Festival, Zürich, Switzerland 2007
The Sound Parasites returned in a 2nd iteration for an international audience when I was invited to participate in the Digital Art Weeks festival organized by Eldgenössiche Techniche Hochschule Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich).

After presenting my research on self-contained digital sound modules at the conference portion, I fulfilled a lifelong dream by performing with the Parasites at the legendary Cabaret Voltaire, birthplace of the Dada art movement and still an exciting venue for avant-garde art. I was part of a ‘wired freak show’ with an international cast of performers who mixed technology with provocation and humor.

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