2015 Tag

Erin Gee - Larynx Series

Larynx Series

(2015)

inkjet prints on acid-free paper

34″x 44″ each

These vector images are derived from endoscopic footage of a human larynx. Within the images I discovered what looked like abstract musical symbols in the margins. These silent songs of the computer rendered throat have also been transformed into choral songs for four human voices, premiered at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Saskatchewan, in 2015.

Erin Gee - Swarming Emotional Pianos

Swarming Emotional Pianos

(2012 – ongoing)

Aluminium tubes, servo motors, custom mallets, Arduino-based electronics, iCreate platforms

Approximately 27” x 12” x 12” each

Swarming Emotional Pianos is an installation that features a large, looming projection of a human face surrounded by a set of six musical chime robots.

The projected face is that of an actor (Laurence Dauphinais or Matthew Keyes), who for 20 minutes moves between extreme emotional states of surprise, fear, anger, sadness, sexual arousal, and joy in 5 minute intervals. During the actor’s performance, Gee hooked the performer up to a series of biosensors that monitored how heart rate, sweat, and respiration changed between her emotional states.

The music that the robots surrounding the projection screen play as the actress moves between emotional states is in reaction to these physiological responses: the musical tones and rhythms shift and intensify as heart rate, sweat bursts, blood flow and respiration change in the actress. While the musical result is almost alien to assumptions of what emotional music might sound like, one might encounter the patterns as an abstracted lie-detector test that displays the unique internal fluctuations of the actress that move beneath the surface of her large, projected face. Does emotion lie within the visibility of facial expression, or somewhere in the audible made audible, the patterns of bodily sensation in her body? Is the actor sincere in her performance if the emotion is felt as opposed to displayed? Micro bursts of emotional sentiment are thus amplified by the robots, providing an intimate and abstract soundtrack for this “emotional movie”.

Emotional-physical outputs are extended through robotic performers as human actors focus on their internal states, and in fact activate their emotions mechanistically, as a means of creating change in their body, thus instrumentalizing emotion.

Custom open-source biosensors that collect heartrate and signal amplitude, respiration amplitude and rate, and galvanic skin response (sweat) have been in development by Gee since 2012.  Click here to access her GitHub page if you would like to try the technology for yourself, or contribute to the research.

Credits

Thank you to the following for your contributions:

  • Martin Peach (my robot teacher) – Sébastien Roy (lighting circuitry) – Peter van Haaften (tools for algorithmic composition in Max/MSP) – Grégory Perrin (Electronics Assistant)
  • Matt Risk, Tristan Stevans, Simone Pitot, and Jason Leith for their hours of dedicated studio help
  • Concordia University, the MARCS Institute at the University of Western Sydney, Innovations en Concert Montréal, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Thought Technology, and AD Instruments for their support.

Swarming Emotional Pianos (2012-2014) Machine demonstration March 2014 – Eastern Bloc Lab Residency, Montréal

Erin Gee - Vocaloid Gig At Nocturne (X + 1)

Gig Vocaloid

A performative, distributed video-text band from a dystopic future where the human voice is lost and pop music reigns supreme. Virtual voice is key component for the synthesized pop star. Dancing, costumed performers carry tablets that display the human larynx and song lyrics as they dance in sync.

GIG VOCALOID is a virtual pop band that had its first performance at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montreal in February 2015 at X + 1: an evening of Internet-inspired art.

The project is inspired by virtual pop stars such as Hatsune Miku, which exist equally as distributed visual media avatar (holograms, merchandise), and as digital software tools for public, fan-based synthesized vocal creation. GIG VOCALOID is also inspired by boy and girl pop bands, whereupon individual voices and musicality are often superseded by a pop “character.” This is especially true in Japanese pop group AKB48, which has 48 female members whom are voted upon by the public for the right to solo singing and “leadership” within the group.

In this pop music context, celebrity character, fashion and visual appeal is more important than the human singing voice itself, which is often replaced by synthesizers and pitch correction. GIG VOCALOID invokes a fantasy posthumanist future where the human voice is lost, subjectivity is dead, and everyone is celebrating.

Externalizing the human voice outside of the preciousness of the human body, the human larynx (typically a hidden, interior aspect of vocal performance) is displayed prominently on tablets. “Lyrics” to their song flash aleatorically through these videos, which enable humans performers to be the support for digital artwork. GIG VOCALOID re-localizates the voice beyond the borders of the flesh body in an infectious avatar-dream.

GIG VOCALOID thrives through multiplicity, otherness, and inauthentic copies, so the band exists through 5 anonymous core members whose identities are not essential.

GIG VOCALOID consists of five masked characters: Cheerful (the leader, they like the colour red and to make a statement) // Timidity (shy and graceful) // Twinkle (cute, optimistic) // Lolo (wild and crazy, the rebel) // and Grace (sophisticated, stoic, strong). Each of these masks is without a fixed gender.

 

Erin Gee - Vocaloid Gig At Nocturne (X + 1)

Nocturne (x + 1)

Nocturne (x + 1) at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal // February 20th, 2015. Reviews and interviews at Creator’s Project: Spend a Night at the Museum, Surrounded by Digital Art and BOOOOOOOM magazine.

“X+1 at Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal. For the next Nocturne du Mac (Friday February 20) :

X+1 unfurls the universe and aesthetics of net art and web culture. For this Nocturne evening, the walls of the circular architectural space of the Rotonde will be enlivened and filled with a profusion of images. Networking and exchange activities, along with many different creations by local and international artists, will merge together before being retranscribed in a unique, immersive, visual experience.

The originators of the project⎯Erin Gee, Benoit Palop, Sabrina Ratté and Tristan Stevens⎯have invited artists from their personal networks who, in turn, have each invited another artist, a method of selection that emphasizes URL social activities and the open source, exponential nature of creation in the Internet age: hence the designator X+1.

As part of this event, Sabrina Ratté and Roger Tellier-Craig will put on an audiovisual performance at 8 p.m., which will be followed by a performance by hybrid characters created by Erin Gee. Max D. (Deglazer) will move about the space and project his creations live throughout the evening.”

Participating artists:

Morehshin Allahyari, Anthony Antonellis, LaTurbo Avedon, Jeremy Bailey, Masha Batsea, John Boyle-Singfield, Brenna Murphy & Birch Cooper, Jennifer Chan, Max D. (Deglazer), M. Plummer Fernandez, Adam Ferriss, Carrie Gates, Émilie Gervais, Erin Gee, Claudia Hart, Anna Hawkins, Faith Holland, Zahid Jiwa, Alex M. Lee, Sara Ludy, Claudia Mate, Lorna Mills, Adriana Minolti, Sam Newell, Maryann Norman, Aoto Oouchi, Eva Papamargariti, Lorena Prain, Sabrina Ratté, Rafia Santana, Nicolas Sassoon, Tristan Stevens, Roger Tellier-Craig,  Josh Tonies, Reid Urban and Krist Wood.

View the Press Release

GIFs to Have Sex By

GIFs to Have Sex By, curated by Faith Holland at Transfer Gallery NYC and Digital Sweat Gallery (online), July 11-25, 2015.

(From Creators Project)

Faith Holland takes over Brooklyn-based Transfer Gallery through the end of this month, with an unexpected extension of her Technophilia exhibition—a compilation of GIFs, each by a different artist, entitled, GIFs to Have Sex By—appearing as a one-night-only screening and performance July 11. Soliciting pieces from more than 40 prolific media artists, Holland brings a participative and social aspect to the show, one that reflects on open and networked internet-era creative practices. She asked the artists to not specifically go for sexual explicit content, but instead encouraged a creative freedom and flexibility that ended-up subtly depicting the main theme.

GIFs to Have Sex By’s full lineup includes:

Morehshin Allahyari, Alma Alloro, Anthony Antonellis, Andrew Benson, Gaby Cepeda, Oliver David, Mark Dorf, Adam Ferriss, Dafna Ganani, Carla Gannis, Carrie Gates, Erin Gee, Emilie Gervais, Jeremy Haik, Claudia Hart, Tycho Horan, Georges Jacotey, Daniel Johnson, Nicole Killian, Michelle Leftheris, Rollin Leonard, Rea McNamara, Michael Mallis, Rosa Menkman, A Bill Miller, Lorna Mills, Adriana Minoliti, Paula Nacif, Eva Papamargariti, Christian Petersen, Antonio Roberts, Sam Rolfes, Rafia Santana, Talia Shulze, Yoshi Sodeoka, Miyö Van Stenis, Tristan Stevens, Katie Torn, V5MT, Angela Washko, and Giselle Zatonyl.

Read the reviews on Art in AmericaThe Creator’s Project, AQNB, Dazed, ArtFCity, and Flavorwire.