Program Note: Six Corners (2005)

By Mark Cartwright, Virgil Moorefield, Jeff Weeter

For the last three years, we have been working together on projects based on the concept of sound influencing image influencing sound. Our poetics of intermedia calls for establishing systems in which the auditory and visual components of our work are not only complementary, but interdependent.

With Six Corners, the process has become quite literal: we have designed a wireless network of four machines, driven by three performers. Three laptops are used as instruments to provide live surround sound processing. The sounds produced are also expressed as moving averages of amplitude and spectral energy and sent to a fourth machine. This fourth machine drives video output to three screens. The images also generate information (average chroma values) which is in turn fed back into the laptops, thus creating a resonant system between audio and video.

Depending on the values sent and received in the loop, it can either achieve homeostatic balance, or erupt into chaotic activity. It is up to the performers to coax the system into the desired mode. Sound and image are both free, yet bound to each other, mirroring the interdependence of the living urban organism we document.

We seek the extraordinary through the quotidian, and to create an immersive experience that refracts reality though a sensory processing system. All source sounds and images were collected at one intersection in Chicago, late August, 2004.

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