Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Plan of attack!

After some organization of my thoughts, I've broken down my thesis into a series of considerations. 'Challenges' puts forth what the, well, challenges will be as I embark on this project. 'Experiments' suggest what kinds of things I might try out along the way. 'Research Objectives' define what academic/artistic/or otherwise relevant areas I might want to look into further, for providing context and direction for my work. 'Precedents' addresses a similar thing, and finally, 'Questions' is just that: Musings that are probably pretty important to the final outcome of my work. So here they are:

Attaching components to the felt substrate
Insulation of circuits
Consistency of power supply across the circuit
Sound design (source, timbre)
Final form of controller(s)

Experiments (with)
Different sorts of conductive traces (graphite, ink, tape, thread, yarn, steel wool, aluminum tape, wire wrap, ???)
Different kinds of insulating materials (rubber cement, layered felt, rubber, hot glue, plastic stitched over, ???)
Layering circuitry on top of itself within the felt
Different felting techniques (wet + dry, flat forms or very three-dimensional sculptural forms)

Research Objectives
Cultures that relate sound to textiles
e-textiles and the like
NIMEs that incorporate textiles or paper even (arguably a textile itself)
Patterns that relate to the nature of sound
Artists who have worked in similar veins (International Fashion Machines, XY Interaction, XS Labs, and a handful of others)
Qualities of sound, specifically the work of Edgar Varese and his notion of 'sound masses'

How will it look?
How will it behave?
How will it sound (similar to the question of behavior)?

From a personal point of view, the only project I have completed that comes close as a precedent is the Loom I constructed for NIME. It was my first attempt to connect my parallel interests in fiber arts and sound.

In terms of someone else's work, I find inspiration in projects completed by XY Interaction and Brian Crabtree's and Kelli Cain's Felt Calculator.

Historically, I am interested in the conceptual work done by Edgar Varese, specifically his notion of 'sound masses' and his musings on what new instruments may offer in terms of sound and compositional capabilities.

XY Interaction also provides a great page of references which are mostly very relevant to the work I'm trying to do.

To be continued...