Trace Aureity (2008)

trace aureity

Trace Aureity was an immersive interactive audiovisual sculpture for Second Life by Adam Nash, 2008, specially commissioned by Turbulence, New York.



In this work, I have attempted to concentrate on the sound and music generative qualities of interactive realtime 3D. The work uses 88 separate audio samples from field recordings of ordinary reality: city streets, birdsong, talkback radio, etc. These sounds are harmonically filtered and manipulated (and usually slowed down) according to a rational scale of my own devising, based on a fundamental tone of 77Hz, and proceeding in intervals of whole numbers over seven.

The work is designed for avatars to play within. There are 96 nested rotating objects, densely arranged in a three dimensional grid. When passed through by an avatar, these objects sound. Certain of the innermost nested objects, coloured red, also spawn glowing spheres which fly out at velocity and bounce around inside the work, triggering sounds as they pass through other objects, before they disappear after about a minute.

Because the audiovisual navigable/playable space of this work is so dense, the interactor is rewarded by slowing down their movements as much as possible, since even small movements create differences in sonic output, be that by translation or rotation, since the environment outputs spatialised stereo with depth falloff.

The work is designed to be played, either solo or in groups, as slowly as possible. The contingencies of time-based interaction by people-as-avatars creates a dynamic audiovisual composition, always unique to that moment and those interactors. This may be seen to represent an evolution of the aleatoric composition techniques of Cage and Eno, as well as an enactment of the objets sonore of Pierre Schaeffer. These approaches, among many others, are given extraordinary enabling potential by digital media generally and interactive multi-user realtime 3D specifically.

"the most durable and stable traits of our reality would merely represent a local slowing down of this flowing reality ."
-- Manuel DeLanda, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, p.258. Swerve Editions, New York, 2000

"It is not that music or the world have become incomprehensible: the concept of comprehension itself has changed; there has been a shift in the locus of the perception of things."
-- Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music, p. 133. Univeristy of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1985


trace aureity