Science and Technology in Cultural Context
DAW06 Poster Sessions

Digital Art Weeks

Committee & Contact






Digital Parcours




Last update: November 03, 2006, at 01:26 PM


Etsuko Maesaki (School of Art and Design, Zurich)

This project is a sound installation based on the Japanese 'Suikinkutsu'. Suikinkutsu, or Water Harp is a unique feature of Japanese gardens, where it is used to enhance the garden with the sounds of dripping water. It is constructed from a large earthen jar that has a hole in the bottom of it. The jar is buried upside down in the ground next to a water basin. When the water seeps into the jar from above, the drops form and fall, making a sound somewhat similar to what you would hear in an underground cave. The Water Bell Project itself is a computer driven electro-acoustic installation, in which the frequency of water drops is triggered by the temperature of five select oceans. The amount of water in the pond, which surrounds the all of five vessels, is not triggered by natural forces as in its traditional counterpart, but is triggered appropriately by the price of oil in Japan. In Japanese gardens many sounds are made by the use of water, thereby providing an additional spiritual or just relaxing dimension. Therefore, many attempts are made in order to imitate or modify the sounds of wind and water.


Art Clay (Digital Art Weeks, ETH Zurich)

The Digital Art Weeks of the ETH Zurich in collaboration with the Stereolith Company sent out a call to sound artists for two channel soundscape works with duration of less than 10 minutes in length. The works then chosen for presentation from those submitted were selected on their ability to “evoke” the presence of things or beings in space to the extent in which the each work “immerses” the listener into a completely imaginary sonic environment. The intention of this paper and demo session is to provide the authors of the works with a public platform and to acquaint the reader-listener with the Stereolith loudspeaker system, which offers such artists a unique tool for the reproduction of their works at a fraction of the power, the cables and cost of 5:1 and 2+2+2 systems.


Thomas Frey & Ingmar Nebel (Computer Systems Institute, ETH Zurich)

“SideViews Images” are created by using the SideView Program, which slices a moving image from any direction desired, so that it is possible to view a film from various perspectives in the form of a still image. The viewer sees the entire film in the form of a single still image. Conceptionally, the resultant still images can be seen as a result of a process of “drifting”, which is not only a term coined by the French Philosopher Jean-Francois Lytotard -who employed it to help him to embrace existing and unavoidable contradiction in his work-, but it is also a term that has made its way into general society by its adoption to describe a style of car-racing developed in Japan and now practiced elsewhere. Images created with the SideView Program stand conceptually for a meeting point between moving and still images by having a still image that emphasizes a concept of movement by literally “drifting” through moving image. Technically, it could be said that the program applies an algorithm to “drift” thru films at any angle or angles just as a race-car on a track in order to create stunning still images of such driftings. This paper shows how the program works technically and discusses aesthetic issues involved. The SidesWays Website Project, which is a simpler version of the program that lets any internet user “drift” through their own films and send the resultant still images further as eCards for their own amusement.


Zeenath Hasan & Richard Widerberg (Medialab, University of Art and Design Helsinki)

The everyday sounds that we experience are produced outside of our own volition. The capacity to capture sounds, however, was not possible till the invention of electro-magnetic recording devices in the early twentieth century. Since then, the separation of sound from its source, and the capability to play it back, has made it possible to listen to sounds outside of their original context. The mobile phone is also a medium through which sounds are heard outside of their original context. However, the normative definition of the mobile phone as a medium for communication has restricted its potential as a medium for sounds that exist outside of the immediate tele-communication. In this design and research project, we explore the potential of the mobile phone as a medium of communication beyond its currently dominant role as a transmitter of sounds. The design space for exploration is the mobile phone as a digital networked medium that is appropriated by social networks to communicate across boundaries of time, space and context. We thus propose the design of the mobile phone as a medium for the exchange of everyday sounds within communities and across socio-cultural contexts by mobilizing the potential of the mobile phone as a tool for the re-production of everyday sounds. The project adopts a collaborative design approach. Participants are gathered around the immediate design objective and introduced to an initial design concept in the form of a working prototype in order to have a common point of reference for dialog. The emergent design concept is a result of interactions with the participants and of the observations made by the project team.


David Kim-Boyle (Dept of Music, University of Maryland)

The author describes a recent work for cello and computer in which an open-form score is generated in real-time with a MaxMSP/Jitter patch. The materials that are described in the score are drawn from five different sonic groups. These include the Courante of J.S. Bach’s Second Cello Suite, various sustained harmonic gestures, resonant tones produced by bowing on the tailpiece with bowing pressure and speed varied to explore different timbral and dynamic characteristics of the sound, continuous noise tones produced by bowing on the bridge with similar variations in bowing technique applied, and silence. During a performance the cellist reads the score from a laptop computer although rather than remaining fixed the score is radically transformed in real-time with various distortion techniques. The sounds produced and musical gestures performed by the cellist are processed and transformed in real-time by a separate computer with MaxMSP. This computer also controls the score generation computer via a wireless network. During the performance the computer operator/performer builds complementary musical textures by triggering various samples taken from historical political speeches, Bach’s Second Cello Suite and numerous other musical excerpts. These are also subjected to various transformations during performance. Of particular interest during the composition of tunings was a musical model based on the idea of an old-fashioned radio tuning into different stations, sometimes pausing, often moving on. This model is realized in the ways in which transitions between sonic groups are delineated.


Dennis Majoe (Computer Systems Institute, ETH Zurich)

The potential health benefits of Tai Chi are well known in the Far East however in the West, there are various myths about its basis, and the widespread uptake is limited as a competent teacher is required in order to obtain the full benefits of the form. This work will study the relationship between the underlying benefits of Tai Chi, fundamental elements of Tai Chi teaching and combine computer and motion sensor systems to study a practitioner’s Tai Chi movements. The research objective is to program the Tai Chi teaching process within a real time computer sensor system, whereby students can learn the basics and possibly attain a high level purely through the use of an automated but intelligent system. Mathematical algorithms will be developed in order to extract motion features, to automatically identify Tai Chi movements and to study the performance so as to quantify the students progress and provide feedback.


Kristina Eschler (Design2Context, HGK Zurich), Urs Hugentobler (VonRoll Inova, Zurich), Stefan Kern (CSE Lab, ETH Zurich), Anja Meyer (Anja Meyer und Judith Gessler Architektinnen, Zurich)

Urban space whispers. Memories and adventures of everyday life wait to be discovered and collected in someone’s common-place-book. The UrbanWhispers project treasures these memorabilia and shares them with the open ears of the audience strolling through the city. UrbanWhispers approaches the subject of perception of urban space through story-telling by composing audible pictures and scenes on the fly from pieces out of an active archive of the mental state of the city. The listener is guided in an ambiguous way and unique stories develop throughout the explorative walk - very unlikely to be told a second time. We present the narrative concept and the design of a prototype system running on a WIFI and GPS enabled Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The PDA carries a local copy of the common-place-book that is compiled and edited with a specially designed graphical editor.


Julie Andreyev (Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver Canada)

Two projects, Four Wheel Drift [remix], being performed for DAW 2006; and VJ Fleet [redux], being performed for SIGGRAPH 2006 examine urban culture through the use of cars as interactive, experimental VJ/DJ platforms. During performances, audio and video of the city are repositioned into the public, and that which is private—the space of the car—becomes public and a tool for commentary about the city. Andreyev's work in progress, in coproduction with Banff New Media Institute involves an interactive, automotive LED skin for performance.


Martin Fröhlich (University of Applied Science Arrau)

Px1m0d is a freely programmable interface that communicates via midi-protocol. It is based on an open source diy midi-controller project. In short, it is a midi-keyboard with 64 keys; each key is a lamp and can be unplugged and plugged in another key-socket, in four different directions.

Copyright @ ETH Zürich
Page last modified on November 03, 2006, at 01:26 PM