Mountains of Cinder

Mark Cetilia, Rhode Island School of Design

Mountains of Cinder is a fixed-media work made under the guise of my solo project Apathy and Steel, featuring video generated using custom software written in C++ and GLSL in conjunction with the OpenFrameworks toolkit for creative coding, and acting as a response to an improvised sound work created using Fraktur v.4, the hybrid analog / digital performance system I have been developing and utilizing in live and studio settings since its inception a decade and a half ago.     The current iteration of Fraktur is a hybrid analog / digital performance system consisting of custom software written using the SuperCollider audio synthesis / algorithmic composition platform, live-patched analog modular synthesis, and a variety of commercial and bespoke hardware controllers. Fraktur is wide-ranging in its scope and abilities, featuring signal generation and manipulation using analog modular synthesis techniques, live sampling, audio manipulation, and signal generation using digital oscillators, gesture recording and playback for parameters throughout the entire Fraktur ecology, and creation of data sequences that may be utilized by digital synthesis algorithms or output as voltages to an analog modular synthesizer.    Sound and image for this piece were captured in real time with only minimal editing / post-production.


Mark Cetilia is a sound / media artist working at the nexus of analog and digital technologies. Exploring the possibilities of generative systems in art, design, and sound practice, Cetilia’s work is an exercise in carefully controlled chaos. Over the past two decades, he has worked to develop idiomatic performance systems utilizing custom hardware and software, manifesting in a rich tapestry of sound and image.    Mark is a member of the electroacoustic ensemble Mem1, which the Oxford University Press’ Grove Dictionary of American Music describes as “a complex cybernetic entity, comprised of two human artists plus their instruments” whose “evolving, custom-built systems are as important an aspect of the duo’s achievements as their ever-innovative sound.” He is also a member of the experimental media art group Redux, recipients of a Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields for Callspace, a monumental sound installation that reverses the paradigm through which cellular telephony removes users from their surroundings by networking site-specific sounds to a central listening environment.    Cetilia holds a Ph.D in Computer Music and Multimedia from Brown University and an MFA in Digital + Media from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he currently teaches classes on art, technology and sound. Cetilia’s work has been screened / installed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, UK), the Ben-Ari Museum of Contemporary Art (Bat Yam, IL), Oboro (Montréal), O’ (Milan), R.K. Projects (Providence, RI), and SoundWalk (Long Beach, CA). He has performed widely at venues including Café OTO (London, UK), the Borealis Festival (Bergen, NO), STEIM (Amsterdam, NL), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Roulette (NYC), Goethe-Institut (Boston), Menza Pri Koritu (Ljubljana, SI), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY), Uganda (Jerusalem, IL), the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Sound of Mu (Oslo, NO) and Electronic Church (Berlin, DE).    His sound works have been published by Interval Recordings, Radical Matters, Dragon’s Eye Recordings, Farmacia 901, Iynges, Anarchymoon, Quiet Design, and the Estuary Ltd. imprint, which he runs with his partner Laura Cetilia.