Ethnic Diversity in Sites of Cultural Activity

Ryo Ikeshiro, Bath Spa University

Stand in front of the webcam to be racially profiled by the computer! Are you more likely to be waving a flag at the Last Night of the Proms or to the unofficial ISIS anthem, or is the gay anthem Go West more your soundtrack?

Ethnic Diversity in Sites of Cultural Activity poses the question of whether computers can be racist by highlighting the potential for discrimination of face recognition technology. The work locates faces, detects skin colour and alters the sound and image produced depending on the ethnic diversity of the visitors to the exhibition. Different music is selected depending on where the work is exhibited. The project has been presented in the UK, Austria, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Korea and Japan.

Through a crude racial profiling of visitors, it draws attention to an increasingly common technology which is an example of how a seemingly neutral entity such as a computer can reinforce existing power structures. The context of a playful interactive installation is also a reflection of how we rarely focus on the ways in which software functions, instead becoming preoccupied with the interface; most software are prepackaged “black boxes” inaccessible due to their proprietary and closed nature. In addition, it is not completely infallible as with most software and it may be possible to trick the algorithm e.g. by visitors covering parts of their face, using make-up or changing lighting conditions which they are encouraged to do.


Ryo Ikeshiro is an artist, musician and researcher working with audio and time-based media to explore possibilities of thinking through sound. He is interested in the artistic potential of computation and code as well as their cultural and political dimension i.e. both the aesthetic possibilities brought about by the technology and its wider context. Techniques of sonification – the communication of information and data in non-speech audio – are harnessed in an artistic context, with algorithms and processes presented as sound to investigate computational creativity and the relationship between the audio and the visual. In addition, the manifestation through sound and technology of issues of identity and Otherness is explored. Comparable processes to sonification are also used, such as ideophones in East Asian languages – words which evoke silent phenomena through sound. Ryo’s output includes installations and live performances in a variety of formats including immersive environments using multi-channel projections and audio, 360-video and Ambisonics (spatial audio), field recordings, interactive works, Teletext art and generative works. Recent themes explored include echolocation, computer vision, artificial intelligence, algorithmic bias, sonic branding, urban regeneration, singing voice synthesis, 3D-printing and engraving, mental health, noise, emergence and non-standard synthesis. Ryo has presented his works internationally in a wide range of contexts including exhibitions, festivals, concerts and screenings as well as academic conferences. He was part of the Asia Culture Center’s inaugural exhibition in Gwangju, South Korea, and his TeleText art pages have been broadcast on German, Austrian and Swiss national TV. He is a contributor to Sound Art: Sound as a medium of art, a forthcoming publication from ZKM Karlsruhe and he is featured in the Electronic Music volume of the Cambridge Introductions to Music series. He has a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London. The topic explored was real-time data sonification and visualisation – or live “audiovisualisation” – of emergent generative systems within the framework of audiovisual and computational art. He also works as a lecturer.


Hye Young Sin, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany

Time-piece is based on a six-meter-long structure of honeycomb paperboard. Dried plants, a stone, needles, erasers, wine corks, a metallic brush and cable-ties are combined with electronic devices. Those small motorized objects make subtle sounds by touching the cardboard in their different ways. Each sonic movement slowly changes by time due to a gradual decline of batteries and gains a new rhythm after the power supply changes. This sounding dynamics are contrasted by the visual linearity. 

To arrange and combine the mundane with the electronic, especially using the batteries, is inspired by the film Le Bonheur(1965) which questions individual role and social function in terms of family dynamics, as Agnes Varda, a director of the film, mentioned, “Each of us is unique but replaceable. If a woman fulfils her functions as a wife, mother, cook, and gardener, the family does well. Every woman may discover her identity, her talent and her place but she is replaceable insofar as she fulfils her social function.”   


Hye Young Sin Born 1988 in Seoul, South Korea lives and studies in Cologne, Germany 2016 – Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln) 2007 – 2014 Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea / Bachelor of Arts in Information and Culture Technology / Bachelor of Arts in Consumer Science.

Communicating Vessel: Portal of Emotion

Christian Groothuizen, University of East London

The object is 3D printed from data sourced from a series of field recordings made by the artist. The recordings explore sound’s complex relationship with architecture and the built environment. The work describes both the exploration through making of real objects and a nascent enquiry into ‘Sound Objects’ as phenomenological events, drawing from Pierre Schaeffer’s view that the Sound Object, ‘is a kind of phenomenological quest for the essence of sound’. These investigations form the basis of an investigation into architectural space, sound and memory.

In his Ten Books of Architecture, Vitruvius (80 BCE to 15 BCE) describes how bronze ’acoustic urns’ were placed amongst theatre audiences to enhance the vocal performance of actors on stage.

There are no known extant examples of this Greco/Roman technology. With the rediscovery of Vitruvius’ writings in the middle ages, many stone chapels, throughout France and England, were constructed with stoneware urns placed within the walls to obtain a similar effect. Modern scientific analysis shows that the effect is negligible. A recent theory suggests that the vessels were employed as portals to communicate with angels.


Christian Groothuizen is a New Zealand born artist, working and living in London. He has been described by Creation Records founder Alan McGee as ‘a bit of a space cadet’. He was a founder member of the 80’s Indie rock band The House of Love, after the band’s demise in the mid-nineties he studied architecture and became a full-time educator. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Fine Art at the University of East London. His interests are in sound practice, listening, field recording and exploring the phenomenological and emotional role of sound and acoustics within the built environment.

F 18W T8 G13 865

Dawid Liftiner, Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Audiovisual Performance // 12 Minutes 10 x Fluorescent tube, Arduino, relays    F 18W T8 G13 865 is a highly concentrated audio-visual performance with a self-built instrument. Through a digital interface via software, Arduino and relays, fluorescent tubes are turned on and off controlled by the performer. Only the sound and noise produced by the tubes itself are recorded and (without manipulation) amplified. The high pitch sounds from the starters, the low hum from the ballast. What you see is what you hear, and what you hear is what you see. When the tubes are turned off, the performance is finished.


Dawid Liftiner  *1986, in Austria, currently based in Cologne / Germany.  In my works I explore sensory and synaesthetic states through hand-built electronics harnessing the essential properties of light and sound across installations and performances.   Since 2018 I cooperate with the Neue Musik Ensemble ElectronicID as a light sound artist. Also, I am a co-founder with Stefan Tiefengraber of the curatorial soundart project radio433.     Formal Education, 2010 – 15 University of Art and Design Linz / Austria, Time-based and Interactive Media, BA 2015 – 16 Chinese Culture University 中國文化大學 Taipei / Taiwan (R.O.C.), Mandarin TOCFL Band B 2016 – now Academy of Media Arts Cologne / Germany, Media and Fine Art, Diploma.

Stars and Stripes

Jim Hobbs, University of Greenwich

Thirteen years ago, prior to moving to the UK from the States, I received a “Freedom Pack” from my wife’s brother This package contained all sorts of patriotic bumper stickers, badges, fridge magnets, and of course, an American flag. Stars & Stripes is a deconstruction/reconstruction of that flag – mathematically measured and structurally assembled using a very strict recipe: 50 stars, 13 stripes, two grommets, and a shitload of American spirit. The accompanying sound is a combination of a new score produced by Mordant Music with live overdubs from the film’s 16mm optical soundtrack.


Jim Hobbs (b. 1975, USA, Lives/Works UK) Jim Hobbs’ work utilizes a variety of media including 16mm film, video, installation, site-specific work, drawing, sculpture, sound and photography.  His work and research investigate the personal and social implications of loss, oblivion, history, memory and the subsequent acts of remembrance/memorialisation.  The work bears particular focus on how the use of architecture and monuments become a type of physical manifestation of that which is absent, and how these “stand-ins” can be used, manipulated, etc.  More recently, his work has moved into the realm of filmic installations, utilizing film as a time based material and medium to investigate these concerns. Intrinsically interlinked with this is a constant questioning of the role of the analogue within the digital age – how it functions, if it can override associations with nostalgia, and notions of the quality of image and how that relates to memory.  He has exhibited his work internationally in various museums, galleries, public spaces, and festivals.  Most recently he has toured the project (I)MAGESOUND(S) in the USA and Europe including Walter Bruno Auditorium, Lincoln Center at New York’s Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Danish Film Institute. He is the Programme Leader for MA Digital Arts and Senior Lecturer for the School of Design at The University of Greenwich, London, UK.

Hands Feed Roots

Brigid Burke, Independent Artist,

Based on the transformation of old buildings and sounds that are deconstructed into sounds and interwoven rhythms that depict a race against time and reaching the finishing line. Computer generated sounds have been mixed with clarinet, glass, traffic and air to create this energetic and pulse driven work. The visuals transport the viewer with snapshots of both degenerated line drawings of the buildings; that are fractured and contribute an ever-changing landscape of urban living.


Brigid Burke is an Australian clarinet soloist, composer, performance artist, visual artist, video artist and educator whose creative practice explores the use of acoustic sound, contemporary new music, technology, visual arts, video, notation and improvisation to enable cross media performances. Her work is widely presented in concerts, festivals, and radio broadcasts throughout Australia, Asia, Brazil, Europe and the USA. Currently she curates SEENSOUND a monthly Visual Music series at the LOOP Bar Melbourne – She has been a recipient of an Australia Council Project Music Fellowship and numerous new work commissions, Artist Residencies – USA, Australia and Singapore. Also most recently she has presented her works on the Big screen at Federation Square Melbourne, Tilde Festival, ABC Classic FM. and International Media Festival Prague, ICMC International Festivals, Generative Arts Festivals in Italy, Asian Music Festivals, Tokyo, She has a PhD in Composition from UTAS and a Master of Music in Composition from The University of Melbourne.

Accumulator # 4

Jeremy Welsh & Michael Francis Duch, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

This work follows a series with the same title (Accumulator 1,2, 3) etc as well as realizations of works by Pauline Oliveiros, Michael Pisaro, Hanne Darboven, John Cage and others. All of these combined live music for double bass with film/video. Works have been exhibited, performed and presented at conferences in Norway, Austria and Ireland.


Jeremy Welsh (1954, UK) is a visual artist and professor of Fine Art. Has exhibited internationally since the late seventies. Formerly exhibitions coordinator at London Video Arts (later known as The Lux) and former director of Film & Video Umbrella, London. Resident in Norway since 1990.

Michael Francis Duch is a professional musician and associate professor of musical performance. He has worked with many renowned musicians within contemporary and improvised music and is a member of leading Norwegian ensemble Lemur. Duch has released several solo and collaborative albums of own and others’ music and is a member of Scottish/Norwegian avant-rock band Amor.


Paul Klooren, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

It is a short abstract narrative that was made using a mixture of filmed footage and hand-drawn elements that were then animated. All the sounds (except for the song in the middle) originate from a guitar.  


Paul Klooren born in 1994 in Tallinn, Estonia. Currently studying audiovisual composition in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and works mainly with filmed footage and animation.

Environment Built for Absence (an unofficial/artificial sequel to J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise”)

Tivon Rice, University of Washington

Beginning in late 2017, the demolition of the Netherland’s Central Bureau of Statistics office created an extreme type of slow cinema for railway passengers travelling between The Hague and Amsterdam. Over the following year, as the building was methodically deconstructed from the top down, I visited the site each month to document the gradual erosion. Using a drone and a digital mapping process, photogrammetry, I created an archive of virtual 3D models.    As the building’s architecture and its inevitable collapse were reminiscent of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 High Rise, I further sought to accompany this scene with the voice of a machine learning system trained on the complete corpus of Ballard’s writing. This recurrent neural network generates texts that describe the materials, invisible bodies, and possible narratives residing within the broken grounds of the building.    The resulting film combines digital animation and the voice of the machine learning system. It debuted at the 2018 Modern Body Festival in The Hague’s Theater de Nieuwe Regentes, a former swimming pool built in the 1920’s.    Made possible by The Modern Body Festival, Yukun Zhu, Google Artists and Machine Intelligence, Maxwell Forbes, and the University of Washington Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media. Narration by Kevin Walton.   


Tivon Rice is an artist and educator working at the intersections of visual culture and technology. Based in Den Haag (NL) his work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital culture and asks: how do we see, inhabit, feel, and talk about these new forms of exchange? How do we approach creativity within the digital? What are the poetics, narratives, and visual languages inherent in new information technologies? And what are the social and environmental impacts of these systems? These questions are explored through projects incorporating a variety of materials, both real and virtual. With recent films, installations, and A.I. generated narratives, Rice examines the ways contemporary digital culture creates images, and in turn build histories around communities and the physical environment. While much of Rice’s research focuses on emerging technologies, he continuously reevaluates relationships with sculpture, photography, and cinema. His work then incorporates new media to explore how we see and understand a future thoroughly enmeshed in new data/visual/production systems. Rice holds a PhD in Digital Art and Experimental Media from the University of Washington. He was a Fulbright scholar (Korea 2012) and is currently an Artistic Researcher at the Delft University of Technology. His projects have travelled widely with exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Taipei, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and São Paulo.

Trotters and Boogie Stomp Pink

Stuart Pound, Independent Artist


We trot towards a riddle.

Boogie Stomp Pink

This boogie dance performed by William & Maeva was downloaded from the internet.  Vertical sections taken from each frame are arranged into 24 panels to show pattern and movement across every second of it.  First shown at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in Sept 2017.


Stuart Pound lives in London and has worked in film, digital video, sound and the visual arts since the early 1970’s. Since 1995 he has collaborated with the poet Rosemary Norman.  Video work has been screened regularly in London and at international festivals.