Final Install

With a few final adjustments we installed 5 enclosures into the trees at Varuna, the Writers House and Carrington Place in Katoomba. The components were entirely out of sight and each recording was triggered by close proximity with an ultrasonic sensor.

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Revised prototype

After testing we’ve decided to use a larger battery without a solar cell. The Lithium Ion Battery Pack – 3.7V 6600mAh remains charged for up to 100 hours, which we can replace with a charged battery (once a week for three weeks). We’ll also add a realtime clock module to turn the interface off overnight. The signal from the sensor has been changed from Analog to PW (pulse width modulation) running in to digital i/o pin 8, which we’ve found to be more stable then the analog input.

All of this simplifies the signal flow, makes it more stable and means the technology will fit into a smaller weatherproof enclosure with only one external line in from the speaker.

Our revised component design …

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1st outdoor installation test

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First outdoor installation of our prototype. Volume is at a low level (intentionally), the interface is powered by one Lithium Ion battery pack – 3.7V 6600mAh (without the solar panel and smaller battery shown in the 2nd image above).

We are testing the battery duration as of 2pm Sunday the 24th of January, 2015. The interface will need to be active (triggering the audio) from 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week for 5 weeks when it is installed as a public sound installation in the Blue Mountains.

Weather conditions today are cloudy, thunder, with a light rain. Location is our backyard at 66 Prince George St, Blackheath, NSW, Australia.

Prototype for an outdoor sensor interface from sodacake on Vimeo.

Prototype for an Outdoor sensor interface

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This is our latest adventure from the Blue Mountains, Australia. It’s such an exciting project we decided to blog about it.

We’re making an outdoor interactive sound installation that will locate five separate sensor interfaces hidden in and around the trees in a public location. In essence, we’re surrounding various trees with some great technology to tell (whisper) a story whenever someone passes by. Our blogging for now is about the technicalities of prototyping this project.

Ergo here is a signal flow & component chart for the prototype so far.

WT-Signal-Flow

So what are we trying to do …..

Continue reading

ETCETERA

etcetera is an audio-visual display permanently installed at Villa Alba on the 4th of April 2014. The work lifts a corner on the memory of the Villa Alba using text, sound design and video to create a space of things remembered, not by us, but by the walls and rooms. As we enter the installation we watch and listen as the lavish contents of the house pass through the curtains, their descriptions floating on a dark surface, illuminated by the window beyond. Using the 1897 Auction catalogue as its narrative this work focuses on the house’s lavish “aesthetic and artistic” furnishings, described in the catalogue’s introduction as “Superb and costly high-art furniture of the most beautiful description…”. The house today seems filled with mystery, and some of this is slowly being unraveled as more and more of the interiors are revealed. This is what is most compelling, the slow, fastidious process of history being discovered and retold.

Produced by:  Solange Kershaw & Damian Castaldi
Medium: Processing Language, Video projection & Sound installation
Acknowledgement for the sketch kinetic type by Zach Lieberman
Special thanks to Sarah Parker, Amanda Ryan and Villa Alba Museum for their support.

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Video documentation of the first ‘etcetera’ installation for the 2012 Reverie exhibition at Villa Alba, curated by Sarah Parker.

Tambourine Bay

The 3rd Balance-Unbalance International Conference is coming up next Friday the 31st of May to Sunday the 2nd of June. Information on their website includes the following description, “Balance-Unbalance is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities. The previous events held in Argentina in 2010 and Montreal in 2011 provided a powerful platform for reflection, debate, and ideas leading towards Balance-Unbalance 2013, hosted in the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.”

More info at – http://www.balance-unbalance2013.org/

I’m giving a talk and exhibiting this video at the conference. The work has been placed in the ‘Ear to Earth’ sound venue at the Central Queensland University, Noosa.


Low res video

Tambourine Bay is a single channel video installation and an audio visual work for performance. It can be seen and heard as a window into the wild weather experienced in an inner city suburb of Sydney from the 10th to the 26th of January 2012 and represents a transition or dramatic shift in the climate over a 16 day period. Additional audio and text combine with this to reflect on more severe weather patterns across the east and west coast of Australia leading up to the Australia day long weekend.  Read more …

Produced by:  Damian Castaldi
Medium: Processing Language, Single channel Video & Sound installation
Acknowledgement for the sketch kinetic type by Zach Lieberman and code adaptation by Solange Kershaw
Drum & cymbal recording engineered by Ganesh Singaram

On Message (a work in progress)

On Message is a data visualisation work (currently in progress) that looks at political language in Australia.  It has an audio component, and is animated: as the speech is being played / heard, words move around the screen, coming forward and therefore growing bigger as their frequency throughout the speech increases.

The illustrations here are snapshots of the Clean Energy Bill 2011 Second Reading speeches by Abbott (above) and Gillard (below) respectively.

More to come as this works develops!

Balance Unbalance Conference Paper

An audio extract of the paper Damian gave in November 2011 at the Balance Unbalance conference at Concordia University, Montréal.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The full Program is available at: http://balance-unbalance2011.hexagram.ca/?page_id=229

Session #2 – Changing environments Abstracts and Bios are here:
http://balance-unbalance2011.hexagram.ca/?page_id=304

Travel if You Can

Electrofringe 2011 – a performance with projected animation, audio & video interviews, live acoustic and electronic music and sound design.

TiYC is a satirical look at Australia’s international role as a migration nation. The performance animation looks back at the history of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Risk Factor List or RFL, first implemented in June 1991 through to it’s latest update in June 2008. In this context the performance presented three stories told by individuals who have migrated to Australia from Bosnia, Afghanistan and the East Congo democratic republic and the conditions under which they did so. The animation and stories were interspersed with acoustic and electronic musical performance, providing a live soundtrack to the on screen narrative.

Performance dates: 6pm, Friday 30th September & 7pm Saturday 1st October
Venue: Black Box Theatre, Newcastle Community Arts Centre, 246 Parry Street, Newcastle. Contact: ncac@ncac.org.au for more information, or call on (02) 4961 1696

TiYC animation introduction

Video of the Electrofringe festival 2011 performance media projected on stage at the Black Box Theatre, Newcastle Community Arts Centre. The videos include an introduction and a 2 part interview with Merima Pavlovic.
Performance Credits: Interviewees: Merima Pavlovic, Kwabo Batende & anonymous Afghani refugee. Vocals, percussions, sensor interface: Damian Castaldi. Guitars, electronics & sound design: Graeme Rhodes. Theme music: Co-written by Solange Kershaw (sodacake). Sound Engineer: Solange Kershaw. Rap vocal: 6 Pound

The full Electrofringe 2011 Program is online at: http://electrofringe.net/2011/program/