The Cybersonica 06 Conference is the best place to be in London on Friday and Saturday if you're interested in the theory and practice of how new technologies are shaping and changing the way musicians, digital artists, audiovisualisers and software developers make and present their work.

Tickets can only be bought up until Thursday for the conference, the exhibition of sonic and audiovisual works is free.


One of the works shown at Cybersonica this year is Michael Markert's m3, a virtual music gate, that sensors body movements in a space between two illuminated columns and processes the data in realtime to harmonic and rhythmic music.

The art arises with the interaction of its users and their different and unique behavior in the gate: they can go through or stay in between, shake and bend their body in the gate, dance, stand still or crawl… and listen how their movements are turned into a sound experience.

The gate is operated by a matrix of distance sensors which triggers and alters different sounds. A Cocoa-based software processes the realtime MIDI-Events (harmonize & quantize) and routes the signals to a complex output setup of software synths and beat generators. (video)

Also at Cybersonica this year: Death Before Disko, The melody shredder and shadow monsters.
More on the event in Pixelsumo. Images.

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Cybersonica 05 was so good that i plan to attend the festival again this year.


As part of Cybersonica 06, there will be a two-week exhibition of sonic artworks. These pieces should explore forms of interactivity that move away from the keyboard and mouse and into the physical realm.

If you've developed or if you're working on some interesting project such as an interactive installation, new electronic musical device, physical audiovisualiser, tangible interface or modified game engine, you've got until March 31 to submit it to the festival.

The deadline to submit proposals for Rhizome's annual cycle of commissions is coming up soon as well: April 1.


With support from the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, between eight and eleven new Internet art projects will be commissioned in 2006.

The fee for each commission will range from $900 to­ $3,000.

There is no required theme. The works can manifest offline, as long as the Internet is a primary vehicle in the creation of the work, and the final work is accessible online, whether through a web browser, software, or some other use of internet technologies.

More from Cybersonica.

Chris O'Shea presented another table to add to the list of musical tables. This one has a peculiarity though: it's the first to be open source.

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Sonicforms is an open source research platform developed to improve the research on tangible interfaces for audio visual environments by creating a community knowledge base and open tools for production.

Sonicforms is a repository for others to learn how to make their own interfaces and share their experiences; a set of tools for extending open source software to create these projects and of course it's also a physical installation.


SonicForms will be presented at OFFF in Barcelona, on May 13, 5.30pm. Open Room. The first showing of the installation will be at Submerge, 29th June - 1st July, Bristol UK.

Back to my zealous report on Cybersonica:

Stanza presented his own work and the Sountoys website he's "curating".


Soundtoys provides a meeting point for the community of audiovisual artists and users, an exhibition space for innovative audio visual projects (over 200 projects so far), areas for artists interviews, links to resources, and texts by contributing writers, etc.

Soundtoys is open to artists, designers, musicians, writers and programmers who make (or who are interested in the aestheticsof); interactive web soundtoys, artworks and related texts.

The artist then gave an overview of his most recent projects:

- Sensity artworks are made from the data collected across the city. The data is interpreted then published online to display the emotional state of the city and the information will be used to create installations and sculptural artefacts.


These artworks will represent the movement of people, pollution, vibrations and sounds of buildings, etc. to inform the world and creates new meaningful experiences.

For example, pollution data recorded via sensors located in the street could be used to create audio acoustic files expressing the pain and suffering of the air as it pollutes. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment could be used to create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualisations as the wind shifts direction or the rain increases. Noise monitor levels could be to create sound reactive sculptures.

- Authenticity is an interactive online installation made with live CCTV images from around London.

- Soundcities is an online collection of audio samples he collected around the globe. The sounds are open access, you can add your own and even mix them together.


- for the now legendary Genomixer project, Stanza created online artworks inspired by the human genome sequence and developed from dna profile which are sequenced from his own blood. He also "infected" with his DNA website like the one of the BBC, the ICA and the Tate .

Other works by Stanza: Robotica.
Picture of Stanza hacked from Chris's Cybersonica set.

Another sonic instrument seen at Cybersonica:

Orbe is a kinestheic synthesiser for group musical improvisation, created by London-based interaction designers Amjad Chaudry and Vikesh Bhatt.

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The Orbe is meant for up to five users to collaborate in creating music. The instrument bears no text, icons or reference to any language of either music or synthesis, which frees players to concentrate on hearing, touch, eye contact and dance, for group jamming. You hug one of the translucent globes, move them vertically, trigger sound with button horizontally and listen to the pitch and tone warp.

The designers are exploring possible uses of Orbe by visually impaired and disabled youngsters or simply as a fun, interactive product at parties.

See also

As promised, here's my notes on the talk Golan Levin gave during the Cybersonica festival.


Audiovision and Computation: Landmarks, Paradigms, Futures

The four pillars of digital art, the four core concerns of electronic media artists are:
- Transmediality (tangibility, audiovisuality environment),
- Processuality (generativity, algorithmic processes),
- Connectivity (communication, connection),
- Interactivity (creative flow, play, cybernetic feedback).

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