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Vibration Sensitive 2

September 16, 2012


This portrait was taken while working during the summer 2012. I was building an immersive system informed by my interests in thoughtful interaction design, sensory motor coupling, augmented reality, and story telling using sensors, Processing, and Java; here I am game basing my sound art practice.

In the portrait I am questing resonant differences, with a microphone made with a suction cup, between the stars cast on the floor from a window in a room in my home. I live off the bay in Miami, FL and my home is elevated off a limestone ground. On gusty days, drones emerge; here I am roping the stars.

When I recently discovered that I had a major conflict in my schedule between my invitation as a guest artist to the 2012 International Symposium of Electronic Arts and a novel  game, simulation, animation, and media computation program I have been appointed to develop for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and could not attend the 2012 ISEA to perform, I quickly turned the work I was doing this summer into an autonomous system. The thought was to turn the work I developed over the summer into spongiform for the site we would be performing at, the University of New Mexico’s Duck Pond, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. If I could not be present to perform, I could have a computer on site, in my place, that would represent a psycogeographical mapping of my presence in my home, recontextualized as a multiplicity of versions for the pond. I thought this project would make for a unique alternative ecosystem to Duck Pond. It would contribute, to the Duck Pond environment, an alternative evolution and morphology; for example, alternative to that of a tadpole or mosquito in a pond. It would also contribute to the discourses that emerge in my processes re-envisioning art, technology, and nature.

However, after mulling over handing an autonomous self over to my colleagues, David Dunn and Gustavo Matamoros, I decided against handing the project over to anyone because I became attached to the work and felt I could not part with it. I need to be part of the system to close the loop, to feedback; otherwise, it would not be a work of art. In my art, I am tuning into intimacy and perspective. During the development of the project I was conscious of my own environment’s affect on my emotions, the behavior that emerged, and therefore the meaning that was produced. Cognizant of the seeding that occurs in my processes, I came to the conclusion that without my physiological and psychological presence in my system, sending a computer over to perform autonomously for me would equate to no more than having my colleagues press play on a sampler I engineered using computer science, to be subsumed by their contributions to the performance.

Rene Barge



Vibration Sensitive

September 5, 2012


Above is a photograph I took during 2006. It is a birds-eye-view of my table top while making vibration sensitive microphones. I use them to produce post-arranged sound work. I have typically worked with them out-of-doors and on occasion have used them to explore acoustic phenomenon in architecture, such as liminal zones in buildings, and structural engineering, such as bridges . They are delicate and break easily; however, the seismic delicacy in these microphones are a pleasure to note cognition in life forms and forms brought to life. I make them in order to merge with my environment and later post-arrange; pass along from one experience to the next. The process of recording for me is a way to merge with my environment and become part of an organization already present. Never to reach an end, my records are points of departure. The moment I record, phonographic or photographic, my record becomes part of a relay organized as a network of processes interacting to reach a beginning.

Rene Barge