BOX BOX BOX

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Ferguson, John
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2019
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Abstract

Research Background: BOX BOX BOX revolves around three self-built portable electronic instruments and foregrounds the unique affordances of DIY technologies while suggesting new aesthetic approaches. Although conceived initially around just one instrument, called “BOX”, two other instruments “HST1d” and “Beat Machine v 0.3” play an important role and continue the DIY agenda. The intention with “BOX” is to communicate the inner workings of the instrument and the decisions/gestures of the human performer via 48 LEDs which are frequently orientated towards the audience. “BOX” has no visible controls on its outside surfaces but hides light and a control interface within, an accelerometer built into the lid acts as overall volume control and provides a link between sound, light, and motion. Research Contribution: The project highlights the tension between tactile gestures and complex remappings; physicality is celebrated but the potential of self-animating systems that are difficult to navigate is explored. There is a clear obsession with circles, loops, and patterns. The overall goal is to foreground a variety of autonomous and manually operated systems that combine to force the performer’s attention to the matters at hand. The software is written in Pure Data and runs on an iPad via Mobile Music Platform, this is controlled by bespoke laser-cut hardware. BOX BOX BOX is an inherently improvisational work but is structured by interactive behaviors and sonic systems. Research Significance: In 2019 BOX BOX BOX was 1. accepted to the Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media (GLEAM) Festival and performed at Glasgow University (UK) 2. presented as part of an Electronic Music concert and invited artist talk at Derby University (UK) 3. the various BOX BOX BOX were presented in a Lecture/Demonstration at the Orpheus Research Summit at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (BE) 4) presented (somewhat informally) at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver (CA).

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Creative and professional writing

Performing arts

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Ferguson, J, BOX BOX BOX, 2019

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