Through an art demo called (((clang))), Madison artist Andrée Valley and WID researcher, musician and composer Nathaniel Bartlett have crafted an interactive experience that meshes the visual with the acoustical and spatial. The project is a part of WID’s Collision Labs.
“I want people to hear and experience this soundscape, and they can go up and interact with, move and explore something that takes them to another type of mental place than where they are in the normal course of the day.”
— Nathaniel Bartlett
Installed in the southeast corner of the first floor of the Discovery building, the demo consists of two hanging aluminum sculptures centered in a motion-sensored space. The goal, the duo explains, is to create a unique experience in which Valley’s sculptures and the public’s interactions with them prompt Bartlett’s recorded sounds, commissioned specifically for this exhibit. In one instant, a viewer may lift a hand to cue a mellow marimba tone, while in another instant, the slightest spin of the hanging sculptures may trigger a metallic clanging sound.
“The way you might walk up to a physical sculpture and look at it from a couple of different angles and distances — that’s the same effect I want to achieve, but with music,” says Bartlett, who’s partnered with Professor of Composition Stephen Dembski in the UW–Madison School of Music and Professor of Computer Sciences and WID researcher Michael Ferris.
The group has created VIDI, a musical environment driven by 3D motion and expressive actions to power the “voice” of (((clang))). “I want people to hear and experience this soundscape, and they can go up and interact with, move and explore something that takes them to another type of mental place than where they are in the normal course of the day,” Bartlett says.
— Video by Marianne Spoon and Casimir Panawash-Bielinski