Interactive Keyboard Project (Bush Terminal)
by Abraham Avnisan
Interactive Keyboard Project, or IKP, is an acoustic-linguistic keyboard consisting of twenty-one alternating light and dark wooden keys, two control dials, and a record button and indicator light. The Interactive Keyboard Project brings together three interrelated components designed and executed by the artist: the wooden housing and mechanically responsive keys; the circuitry that wirelessly streams user input to a single-board microcontroller; and the software application that interprets that data on the fly.
Conceived as a site-specific installation for Labor Party, a group show held at a 30,000 foot industrial space in Brooklyn's Bush Terminal complex, IKP allows users to activate two distinct sonic registers. The dark keys correspond to the deconstructed text of archival newspaper articles describing a devastating fire that took place at Bush Terminal in 1904. The light keys activate disembodied soundscapes reminiscent of the industries one might have encountered at Bush Terminal in the early twentieth century. IKP's dials control the pitch and volume of the keyboard’s output, allowing for a wide range of acoustic variation. And finally, the record button allows the user to save her original acoustic-linguistic composition as an mp3 audio file.
Download the IKP at http://ndrmag.org