Getting Meta

Today we read a article by Brown and Sorensen called “Integrating Creative Practice and Research in the Digital Media Arts.”  This is my response.

In my later years I tend to avoid this type of meta discussion of artistic practice at all costs.  In general, I personally fall into inaction when staring down these existential paths.  Still, it’s healthy and necessary every once in a while.

I fell like much of the article was just stating intuitive observations: artist-researchers use intuition combined with experience and observed knowledge of the larger field in order to move ahead.  This ends up getting judged in terms of popularity, lasting influence and future use, etc.  I find this totally true and not very interesting or revelatory.

On the other hand, this was compact and profound: “The production and dissemination of theory is a distinguishing differentiation between our practice-led research and conventional artistic practice.”  I really appreciate the idea of turning individual knowledge into public information through proper dissemination.  This also demonstrates what separates artistic research from other fields- there are different types of artifacts and products that we can create as artists- performances, exhibitions, etc.- as well as theories, articles, and algorithms such as in other branches of academia.

This makes me want to better document and distribute my own work, as well as to take more risks in describing “theories” I derive through the creative process.  It also makes me want to be better aware of my academic surroundings/past, because they basically define the distinction between artists-researchers and traditional artists in this way and it makes sense.  Still, I’d always like to produce and let the work speak loudest for itself, and like I said before, sometimes too much self-awareness can lead to stagnation and the inability to take risks.

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First Draft

First draft for Nime here: Upmixing.

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NIME Outline

Here’s the link.

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Journal/Conference List

1. Computer Music Journal

2. Music & Computers

3. Conference on Digital Audio Effects

4. IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing

5. Nime

6. ICMC

7. AES (audio engineering society)

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10 Related Articles

I’m thinking about using these for my Bibliography:

1. A tracking phase vocoder and its use in the analysis of ensemble sounds

This is an article that dropped in 1983, talking about ways in which to simulate an ensemble, which is basically what I’m still working on here, just with different techniques.  It’s pretty much a necessary thing to reference and it seems that everyone knows about it in this field of study.  (Namedrop Roots)

2. Adaptive digital audio effects (A-DAFx): A new class of sound transformations

This is less related, but may be a direction I’d like to take the research.  The way they introduce what they call “adaptive DAF” is that they kind of give an overview of all the different ways that sound is currently analyzed and manipulated and then at the very end of the article, show an example of their new technique.  Really it seemed more like an overview than anything, but it was quite informative with tons of references.

3. Frequency-domain techniques for high-quality voice modification

4. Perceptual evaluations of voice scatter in unison choir sounds

5. String Ensemble Vibrato: A Spectroscopic Study

Papers like this will serve as a very good conceptual background- it makes everything seem more scientific if you make reference to spectral analysis of physical phenomena (a trick everyone uses in sound engineering).

6. The chorus effect revisited-experiments in frequency-domain analysis and simulation of ensemble sounds

It seems like this is the last really big article on this subject although it was published in 1999 and really left things unfinished, which works out pretty well on my end.  I’ll have to reference this in terms of how my approach takes things further and in a different direction.

7. Timbre differences of an individual voice in solo and in choral singing

This is another spectrum-focussed paper by a certain Ternstrom fellow who seems to be a big name in vocal analysis.  It makes a nice reference.

8. Voice conversion through transformation of spectral and intonation features

9. Voice Solo to Unison Choir Transformation

Here some researchers are trying to do what I’m doing, but aimed only at the voice and through convolution-based techniques that are very limiting.  It doesn’t seem that this caught on because I can’t find many outside references, but it’s interesting work.

10. Analysis and Simulation of Ensemble Sounds

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200C Three Abstract Submissions

Three selections from the previous 20 ideas, to be turned into abstracts and (~hypothetically) submitted to a peer review journals:

1.  To be submitted to Computational Aesthetics which I guess is actually a conference rather than a journal, but… It could also work for Eurographics:

Trend Montage: Automated Portraits of Popular Culture

This work is a study in our communal interests as a society.  It is a two part program which first collects images of the most popular search terms for a given day as taken from Google’s public U.S. trend statistics, and then combines these collected images into a collage.  Face detection, region of interest extraction, and other image processing techniques are used in order to achieve visually appealing compositions without the input of any human guidance.  It is therefore a relatively objective way of portraying our collective thoughts.  When viewed in a series, these collages literally visualize our popular concerns- the stories and characters we pay attention to,  trends we follow, celebrities we idealize, foods we crave, commodities we fetishize, etc.  On a higher level, they also reveal otherwise invisible patterns and cycles in what we care about as a community.
As an exhibit, this work will display the creation of these collages in real-time.  It’s a very visually compelling process which takes somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes to finish, flashing face-detection and ROI extraction steps and positioning of images on the larger canvas as it happens in the program itself.

2.  To be submitted to ICMC (International Computer Music Conference)

Enhanced Decorrelated Audio Upmixing Through Spatialization

Traditional chorusing/upmixing techniques tend to suffer from phase cancellation and/or unnatural delay-time predictability, both of which subtract from the illusion of multiple sources.  This makes much it almost impossible to create a believable, dense, soundscape from relatively sparse input material.  Many times however, stemming from either practical limitations or the desire to create very specialized sonic scenes, upmixing would be a quite invaluable tool were it not for these inherent difficulties.  This project is an attempt to diminish these problems through the combined use of spatialization, moving delay lines, and filtering.  When coupled properly, these techniques can result in a much more “realistic” or believable result which in turn suggest the possibility of many practical applications for music and sound design.

3.  To be submitted to IHC.  (They limit the Abstract to 100 words.)  As far as journals, I think after I completed the project it would work for Artificial Intelligence or Computer graphics and image processing depending on how I slanted it.

Algorithmic Portraiture: Adaptive Online Beauty Crawler as a Model for Genetic Competition

This Project is an attempt to simulate and visually depict the process of genetic mutation through the use of machine-learning algorithms. Multiple agents or bots will be programmed to seek out a particular image representative of an “ideal” human form. Attempting to find this photo, they will travel through their environment, the entire Internet, seeking “attractive” close matches. During this process, these agents will “breed” with pictures they like, creating composites, or mixtures of the new image and all previously collected material (genes). It will be a work of art, a novel computer science application, and a unique tool for visualizing the process of organic reproduction.

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200C Twenty Ideas

We’re trying to come up with ideas for hypothetical conference submissions that we could turn into something real within the next weeks.  This is my shot at that:

MUSIC
1.  Ultrasonic Feedback as a Medium for Improvisation
NIME, ICMC, EMC If I actually composed a piece
2.  Ultrasonics as Wireless Controller for Musical Performance
NIME, ICMC
3.  Decorrelated Audio Upmixing Through Spatialization
ICMC, NIME
4.  Machine Generated Remixes, Their Use and Possible Application
Mobile HCI
5.  Collaboratively Generated Playlists: Collective Social DJ
NIME, ICMC
17.  The Floating Opera: Leitmotives Through the Use of Mobile Technology and the Cinimatization of Real Life

ART
6.  Algorithmic Portraiture: Adaptive Online Beauty Crawler
Artificial Intelligence, Computer Animationa and Virtual Worlds
7.  Trend Montage: Automated Portraits of Popular Culture
Computational Aesthetics
8.  Adaptive Web Beauty Crawlers as a a Model for  Genetic Competition
Ars Electronica if it were a project rather than a paper
9.  Image Stitching for the Creation of Computer Generated Collages from Mobile Video Capture
Mobile HCI
10.  Time and Region of Interest Extraction for Use in Image Collection and Filtering
Computer graphics and image processing
11.  Region of Interest Extraction as Applied to Video Summarization and Analysis
Computer graphics and image processing
12.  “BrushUp” : Automated Enhancement and Profiling System for Personal Photos

SOCIETY
13.  Proposal for Long-Term Education Profile and Spaced Repetition System and Its Affect on Society
educational journals?
14.  Proposal for Online Music Archive (OMA), a Free Collection of Scores and (At Least) Synthesized Recordings of All Music in the Public Domain
15.  Digital Immortality: Emerging Possibilities for Voice Synthesis and Personality Reconstruction After Death
16.  Attractiveness Profiling, Prediction, and the Contentification of Physical Beauty
18.  Machine Moderator: Applications for Speech Recognition, Conversation Tracking, and Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Human Conversation and Debate
19. Twitter as Cheap Fortune Teller
20.  PDA Helping you Score a Little PDA: the Future of Habit Tracking and Suggestion Engines

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