Sound Installation

week: 
1

Sound Installation

This class is intended for advanced undergraduates and graduates who are interested in the use of sound in an installation context. It is expected that students may come from a diverse set of backgrounds, and as such this course will be to some degree determined by the background of the students, and their specific needs. The course will include critical discussions of sound art and related installation and media art practices: a brief history of the sound/art interface, a brief introduction to acoustics, and readings by theorists and artists such as R.M. Schafer, Sterne, LaBelle, Cage, Lucier, Kahn, Lockwood, Fontana, Panhuysen, Lerman, Neuhaus, Monahan, Kim-Cohen, Kubitsch, Hellstrom, and Wollscheid. The topic of real-life sound installation exhibition and social context will also be covered, with input from the SAIC Exhibitions and Events Department. The course will also cover various methodologies for using/creating sound in installations through tutorials that are designed to give functional knowledge of each particular technique, as well as an introduction to the possibilities these techniques. Depending on the students? backgrounds and needs, potential topics for these tutorials include: basic sound recording and playback techniques, basic sound synthesis and electronics for audio, digital sound recording and editing, the fabrication of mechanical systems which create sound, using MAX (a visual MIDI programming language used for control and for processing audio), basic electronics for environmental sensing (sound, light, motion, etc.). In addition to working on various preliminary individual and collaborative projects during the semester, students will write a proposal for and present an installation as their final project.

Prerequisite: SOUND 2001.

 

Introductions / class overview

week: 
1

Sound Installation Syllabus

Rough Schedule:

The schedule for this class will vary somewhat as we go depending on various unpredictable factors, but roughly will follow this timeline:

Sep 4

Introductions / Review of Semester

Sep 11

Acoustics1 – Vibrating Systems

————

Authorization for portable field recorders

 

Sep 18

Acoustics2 – Resonance

————

Authorization for Basement Shop

Authorization – Sound WS

Sep 25

Decker  out of town –

 

Piezo/Spkr/Wiring/Electronics Tutorial

————

Pro Tools or Logic Pro Tutorial

Project #1 –Resonance / The Physicality of Sound – work

Oct 2

History of Sound Art, Electronic Music, and other
Historical Precendents (1)

Reading/Lecture/Discussion

————

Project #1 –Resonance / The Physicality of Sound – work

Oct 9

 

History of Sound Art, Electronic Music, and other
Historical Precendents (2)

Reading/Lecture/Discussion

————

Project #1 –Resonance / The Physicality of Sound – work

 

 

Oct 16

Project #1 – Resonance – present/critique

————

Project #2 – Transductance – work

Oct 23

Reading/Lecture/Discussion

————

Project #2 – Transductance – work

Oct 30

Project #2 – Transductance – present/critique

————

Project #3 – Soundscape – work

Nov 6

VOTE!!!

Reading/Lecture/Discussion

Final Project Proposals Due – present in class & discuss

————

Project #3 – Soundscape – work

Discussion of Final Project Proposals

Nov 13

Project #3 -  The Soundscape – present/critique

 

Nov 20/27

 Discussion of Reading / Work

————

Work on final projects

Dec 11

Final Project Presentation/Critiques

 

Begin Working on Assignment: 

Acoustics 1 - Vibrating Systems

week: 
2

Morning: (room 522)

Review reading assignment.

Look at basic ideas from Acoustics including Simple Vibration, Resonance, Pitch and Loudness ranges,

Complex Vibrations, Modes of Oscillation and Standing Waves, and the Harmonic Series.

Review Work by Lucier, Monohan, Panhuysen and others.

________________

Afternoon (room 521 & 4th floor)

Authorization for Field Recorders (Robb Drinkwater)

Authorization for Editing Room / Whisper Room (4th floor) (Ethan Rose)

Assignments Due: 
Begin Working on Assignment: 

Acoustics 2 - Resonance

week: 
3

Morning: (room 522)

Acoustics 2 - Review reading.  Resonance, basic Psychoacoustics, loudness and pitch perception,

Doppler Shifting, Beating, and other important acoustic phenomena.

Review work by Monohan, Lucier, Tudor, Young, and others.

________________

Afternoon (basement)

Authorization for Kinetics, Electronics Lab (Ana Yu)

Begin Work on Project #1 - resonance

Assignments Due: 
Begin Working on Assignment: 

Electronics Primer / Pro Tools Primer

week: 
4

Decker - out of town.

Morning: (room 521)

Intro to Audio Electronics - (Nic Collins)

Basic Audio Electronics Assembly techniques and ideas.

All students should purchase an SAIC Amplifier kit prior to class (vending machines, see Ethan or Robb if you have questions)

___________

Afternoon: (room 521, etc.)

Intro to Pro Tools - (Ethan Rose)

Continue Work on Project 1

Begin Working on Assignment: 

History of Sound Art / Visual Art Interface

week: 
5

Morning: (room 522)

Review Reading Assignment,

Review history of Sound and the Visual Arts, look/listen to work referenced in the article, including:

Scriabin, Cowell, Partch, Nancarrow, Cage, Russolo, Schwitters, Schaefer, Stochhausen, Varese, Xenakis and others.

__________

Afternoon: (room 521, sensorium, etc.)

Work on Project #1 (final work day)

History of Sound Art 2

week: 
6

Morning: (room 522)

Continue Review history of Sound and the Visual Arts, look/listen to work referenced in the article, including:

__________

Afternoon: (room 521, sensorium, etc.)

Work on Project #1 (final work day)

Project 1 - Vibrating Systems / Resonance critique

week: 
7

Morning: (room 522)

Review and Discuss Reading Assignment - Jonathan Sterne, intro to "The Audible Past",

one hour of set up time for afternoon critiques

__________

Afternoon: (room 521, sensorium, etc.)

Critiques of Project #1 - Vibrating Systems / Resonance

Assignments Due: 

Transductance 1

week: 
8

Morning - Room 522:

Finish Discussing Sterne's Introduction to The Audible Past.

Discuss the Conclusion chapter to the Audible Past.

Review some examples of Transducer-based work

_____________________

Afternoon:

Work on Project #2 - Transductance

Assignments Due: 

Transductance 2

week: 
9

Morning - Room 522:

Discuss Bill Viola's "The Sound of One Line Scanning".

Review more examples of Transducer-based work

_____________________

Afternoon:

Work on Project #2 - Transductance

Assignments Due: