Jen Kutler Tag

Presence

(March 2020) I was quarantining intensely during the coronavirus pandemic when Jen Kutler reached out to me asking if I would like to collaborate on a new work that simulates presence and attention over the network.  We have never met in real life, but we started talking on the internet every day. We eventually built a musical structure that implicates live webcam, endoscopic camera footage, biosensor data, sounds rearranged by biosensor data, ASMR roleplay and touch stimulation devices delivering small shocks to each artist. We developed this work at first through a month-long intensive online residency at SAW Video, while in conversation with many amazing artists, curators and creative people.

In Presence, artists Erin Gee and Jen Kutler reconfigure voice and touch across the internet through a haptic/physical feedback loop, using affective and physical telematics to structure an immersive electronic soundscape through physiological response.

Technical diagram for Presence, Erin Gee and Jen Kutler 2020

Presence is a telematic music composition for two bodies created during the Spring of 2020, at the height of confinement and social distancing during the COVID19 epidemic in Montreal and New York state. This work has been performed for online audiences by both artists while at home (Montreal/New York), featuring Gee and Kutler each attached to biosensors that collect the unconscious behaviours of their autonomic nervous systems, as well as touch simulation units that make this data tactile for each artist through transcutaneous nerve simulation.

Audiences are invited to listen attentively this networked session for physicalized affect through the sonification of each artists’ biodata, which also slowly triggers an ASMR roleplay that is actively reconfigured by the bodily reactions of each artist. Music and transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation is triggered by listening bodies: these bodies are triggered by the sounds and electric pulses, everything in the system is unconscious, triggering and triggered by each other through networked delays, but present. Through this musical intervention the artists invite the listeners to imagine the experience and implicate their own bodies in the networked transmission, to witness the artists touching the borders of themselves and their physical spaces while in isolation. 

Technical Credits

web socket for puredata (wspd) created for Presence by Michael Palumbo. Available on Github here.

Biodata circuitry and library created by Erin Gee. Available on Github here.

Electronic touch stimulation device for MIDI created by Jen Kutler. Available on Github here.

Performance built with a combination of puredata (data routing), Processing (biodata generated visuals), Ableton Live (sounds) and OBS (live telematics) by Erin Gee and Jen Kutler.

Performance and Exhibition History

SAW Video “Stay at Home” Residency March-April 2020

Network Music Festival July 17 2020

Fonderie Darling – As part of Allegorical Circuits for Human Software curated by Laurie Cotton Pigeon. August 13 2020

 

 

Darling Foundry Montreal

Erin Gee and Jen Kutler Presence (2020) with Xuan Ye, What lets lethargy dream produces lethargy’s surplus value (2020)

August 13, 2020 – online performances for Darling Foundry, Montreal 

I have been invited to participate in a project by curator Laurie Cotton-Pigeon called Allegorical Circuits for Human Software, a cyberfeminist exploration of Marshall McLuhan’s writing on technology that includes performances and virtual interventions spanning several months from JUNE 11, 2020 – AUGUST 20, 2020 (5 PM TO 10 PM)

I’m very happy to be sharing the performance evening with Xuan Ye, a great Canadian artist working across code, sound, and performance. The programming also includes:

MÉGANE VOGHELL

AVALON

NADÈGE GREBMEIER FORGET

ANNA EYLER & NICOLAS LAPOINTE                           

XUAN YE

 

ERIN GEE & JEN KUTLER

FABIENNE AUDÉOUD

ILEANA HERNANDEZ

NINA VROEMEN & ERIN HILL

EMMA-KATE GUIMOND

 

Cotton-Pigeon writes of our work:

“The notion of mediated connectivity is also present in the performative work of artists Erin Gee and Jen Kutler. As the two artists live in two different places (Gee is based in Canada and Kutler in the United States), they developed a system of sensorial connection without ever meeting in person, which has allowed them to overcome the constraints associated with geographical distance and concretize the “virtuality” of the Internet. Interested in the unconscious and autonomous nature of bodily sensations and their associated emotions, the artists simulate touch by combining an ASMR relaxation technique with the use of DIY devices (Touch Simulation Units) that work similarly to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).”

 

Allegorical Circuits for Human Software has been conceived in dialogue with the collective exhibition FEEDBACK, Marshall McLuhan and the Arts, which will be presented in summer 2021 at Fonderie Darling.

 

 

Network Music Festival

NMF // SOUND WITHOUT BORDERS

July 17, 7:45pm BST (London) // 2:45pm EST (Montreal)

Erin Gee and Jen Kutler: Presence (2020). Streaming music performance for networked biodata and transcutaneous nerve stimulation devices.

Info:

The fourth Network Music Festival will take place online 15-18th July 2020.

Exploring innovative digital music, art and research which investigates the impact of networking technology on musical creation and performance practice, Network Music Festival presents cutting edge musical performances, workshops and discussions.The Network Music Festival took place 2012-2014 at the heart of Birmingham’s (UK) creative community. Responding to the move to online music making during the 2020 global pandemic and with increasing concern in artistic communities about the climate emergency, the festival is returning for a global fourth edition, which will take place entirely online 15-18th July 2020.

The main theme for 2020 is communities near and far. As many people find themselves socially distant, the importance of community is not diminished, but rather transformed. People rely on sound to bridge physical gaps, from singing or applauding out their windows, to connecting with others online.  Our connections, then, are either intensely local, or virtually borderless. We stay in touch with friends and neighbours, but also find that collaborating across the world is not harder than collaborating across town. In this year’s festival, we want to celebrate and strengthen the musical communities people have built with networking tools, as well as exploring the aesthetics, performance practice and technologies around topics such as web-streaming, multi-location performance, collaborative music making environments, accessible and sustainable performance practice and more.

NYC Remote Music Hackathon

I have been invited with Jen Kutler to present the open-source technologies behind our first collaborative work Presence (2020) as part of the NYC Remote Music Hackathon. As part of this workshop we will walk through the various technologies we are using, which include open source hardware and software, in order to allow fellow hackers and makers to create their own wild togetherness apparatuses.

For more information please click here for the event website , otherwise you can check out the live streaming video links below! We are presenting our work at 4pm EST.

 

 

Web Residency: Saw Video

I have been selected alongside three other residents for Saw Video’s Stay At Home Internet Residency.

I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Jen Kutler on a new work for telematic sound and video during the course of this residency.  We are having an insane amount of fun creating feedback systems for music and biodata that integrate transcutaneous nerve stimulation over web sockets.

Over the course of five weeks (April 29th – May 29th), we will meet via zoom/hangouts to discuss readings, media, and art making. Individual web-based studio visits with national scholars, curators and artists will be had, and we will diffuse the artists’ works on May 28th. Please sign up for our newsletter here, and follow us on social media for more information on artists’ diffusion scheduling!

Entanglements Exhibition Chicago

Laughing Web Dot Space is featured in Entanglements Exhibition curated by Her Environment

Saturday – 1/26 through Friday 2/15

Yards Gallery, 2028 S Canalport Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
www.theyardsgallery.com @theyardsgallery

Click here for Facebook Event Page for the Opening

Entanglements challenges both the logical and emotional connections between us and our technology. The tensions that surface from these dynamics are often all encompassing; they seep deeply into every aspect of the human condition. Through accepting that technology is an integral part of our lives, we explore what it means to have a relationship with it.

This show is a collaboration between the curators and the artists in which we create a space where electronics, wires, and artworks are deliberately installed to visualize the complexities and closeness of the human/technology relationship. We are reminded of the global connection that technology can bring with works such as Erin Gee’s “Laughing Web Dot Space” website where visitors are invited to record their laughter and join in with a chorus of other laughs belonging to other survivors of sexual violence. Jen Kutler also uses the power of human connection as her piece “The Other” is a polyphonic textural synthesizer driven by skin contact between two people. The system is able to recognize very subtle changes in pressure and movement, so when two people touch fingertips what comes out of the speaker is a synthesis of physical connection.

The show also explores the very complicated ways in which there is a mutual balance of power and reveals the ways in which the power of destruction can hide beneath the surface of the interface. With works such as Snow Xu’s “Perfecthuman Harasser,” a machine that catcalls human passersby, we see that because we humans are the creators of the machines, our biases show up in the development of technology and can cause more harm on groups that already experience social disadvantages.

Through the dynamic conversations of all of the pieces we invite the visitors to take an experiential walk through our take of contemporary relationships with technology.

Please join Her Environment at Yards for the opening reception of Entanglements on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7pm-11pm.

Artists:
Anxious to Make (SF and LA)
Erin Gee (Montreal)
Hannah Newman (Portland)
Snow Xu (Chicago)
Madeeha Lamoreaux (Chicago)
Sara Goodman and Sasha Tycko (Chicago)
Jen Kutler (New York)