Archive for January, 2010
For example, carbon has 3 common allotropes: diamond, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement, graphite, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice, and fullerenes, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in spherical, tubular, or ellipsoidal formations.
I love the permutations and simplicity and am imagining an art practice that restricts itself chemically. It would be known as “Atomic Minimalism” and artists would restrict themselves to single elements, varying only their structure.
“Cartoon” by Peter Bowyer
In an important early work entitled “Fill” (1970), Askevold uses two simple props — a microphone and sheets of aluminum foil — to conduct a documented sound performance. Beginning with just the microphone, the artist simply and systematically, wraps the mic with sheets of foil. The sound, at first loud and static-ridden, becomes muffled as more and more sheets are applied. After a period of performing, the screen is filled with the image of crumpled foil, at which point the artist reverses his process.
Via: Oliver Laric
“Visualization of traced rays using a stochastic approach for determining the reverberant sound field”
Anechoic chambers are rooms designed to minimize sound or other frequencies. Some are as small as a mini-fridge, others large enough to hold airliners. The image above is from the quietest place on earth, an anechoic chamber at the University of Salford in the UK. Human ears can hear sounds above 0dBA; the chamber above blocks sounds louder than -12.4dBA.
The designs of these spaces varies depending on the use – for example, the anechoic chamber at the University of Salford is a room floating within another room on neoprene springs. What is consistent, however, are the pyramidal foam pieces stuck to everything, turning the room into a jagged modernist sculpture.
Opposite of an anechoic chamber is the reverberation room, which is designed to evenly disperse sound. Reverberation rooms (and reverb in general) calls for another post. The images below are of forty-nine silent spaces. Some are grand and almost opulent, others creepy and basement-like. Click on thumbnails for larger images.
Via: Compliance Engineering (follow link for full-size image)
After a few failed attempts, I’m feeling pretty good about this hydrophone design. Though this would probably work with a glass jar, Nalgene bottle, or similar but my plan is to use a water-tight aluminum cylinder. It might need some weights in the bottom, but I think the thin aluminum will pick up sounds really well.
I’m especially excited about the easily replaceable cable without soldering, meaning it can even be switched in the field.
I would think best used with a DI box to isolate the hydrophone just in case of leaks, though with some recent and unrelated tests I’ve been doing on the conductivity of water, even a small leak probably wouldn’t zap anything.
Hopefully I can finish up a final prototype in the next few weeks and get them on ContactMics.com for sale very soon.
In preparing excerpts for my video students, I found this lovely passage from “In the Blink of an Eye” by Walter Murch.
… It would be fascinating to take an infrared film of an audience and find out when and in what patterns people blink when they are watching a movie. My hunch is that if an audience is really in the grip of a film, they are going to be thinking (and therefore blinking) with the rhythm of the film.
There is a wonderful effect that you can produce if you shine infrared light directly out in line with the lens of a camera. All animal eyes (including human eyes) will bounce a portion of that light directly back into the camera, and you will see bright glowing dots where the eyes are: It is a version of the “red-eye” effect in family snapshots taken with flashbulbs.
If you took a high-contrast infrared motion picture of an audience watching a film… you would see a galaxy of these dots against a field of black. And when someone in the audience blinked, you would see a momentary interruption in a pair of those dots. (pg. 70)