Stuff (that I haven't gotten around to posting with descriptions
Abstraction, Automation and Subjectivity In Interactive Artwork: An Annotated Bibliography
On the Art Experience and the Natural Attitude
The Art and Craft of Open Source
Sketching landscapes seen through my windows
painting of three places
On narrative, abstract and location: a few
words on location based data in art (pdf)
Mapping: Iceland Inside and Out
Hlemmur in C
application for java enabled cellphones (Midp 2 only). Connects to
PANSE project below (download zipped sourcefiles + .jar)
The SuperGooger will allow you to build a composite
satellite image from Google Maps in whatever size you choose. Google
Maps are created by lining up a number of image "tiles". SuperGooger
lets you choose how many horizontal and vertical tiles you want. So if
Google's limited viewer-window is bothering you, give SuperGooger a spin
(source-code available at site).
The SuperGooger site
Codechat is a chat system based
around code and is intended as a means to discuss the conceptual and
aesthetic implications of coding methods in computer-based works of
art. What I hope to achieve with this is more open discussion between
artists about the importance of code to this type of work. Original
comments will inevitable be technical in nature but resulting
discussions should gravitate away from the technical towards the
conceptual and/or aesthetic, allowing those who do not have an
understanding of the code itself to learn about its implications and
also allowing them to join in the discussion as it becomes less
technical. Hopefully this will help to develope a "language" for
discussing coded artwork.
The Carpenter's Level Dashboard Widget
A PowerBook accelerometer hack that became world famous
Level widget home
An auto-generated, real-time self-portrait. My laptop is
set to snap a photo every two minutes and then upload it to a server.
There it gets vectorized and then "painted" to a web page.
The Self-Portrait Page
Microcodes are very small code-based artworks. Each one
is a fully contained work of art. The conceptual meaning of each piece
is revealed through a combination of the title, the code and the results
of running them on a computer. As works of art these are the creative
work of Pall Thayer. As programs they may be copied, distributed,
modified and used under the terms of the GNU General Public License v.3
or (at your option) any later version. GPL v.3.
The Microcodes website
No imagery available
exist.pl is work of software art based on an
introspective metaphysical and ontological examination of existence and
being from the standpoint of a running process on a computer. The
software attempts to examine its own existence and state of being based
on a variety of known philosophies combined with the physical aspects of
being a computer program.
The Existpl project site
No imagery available
This piece was originally created in 2000 (see below). In
2008 I was asked to recreate it for a solo exhibition at Mejan Labs
gallery in Stockholm, Sweden. The newer version worked out far better
than the original. See time-lapsed video at http://vimeo.com/3000354
miscellaneous other open-source software
Sample image from Sunset/Sólarlag
2008 Nude Studies in Aleatoric Environments
Automated nude studies abstracted through geological
intervention. Simultaneous geophysical interpretations of notions of
nude-ness in the real-time of natural forces. Tectonic ripples through
the core of the Earth.
open Nude Studies in Aleatoric Environments
IRIS-BUD Seismic network
Sample image from Nude Studies...
2006 On Everything
"On Everything" generates a real-time audio/visual
presentation of everything by appropriating material being shared by
the worldwide public in the form of shared images and diaries. The
source material is endless, thus the work goes on forever. Material is
synthesized, mixed and, ultimately, abstracted, to allow for varied
interpretation. "On Everything" knows nothing of the content of these
materials. It reflects everything while reflecting on nothing. That is
up to the viewer.
open On Everything
Sample image from On
PANSE is an acronym and stands for Public Access
Network Sound Engine. It's a streaming audio program with a built-in
tcp server. It's meant to be an open platform for experimental
interactive audio-visual netart and is open to all. So-called "modules"
(clients) can be created using Flash, Java, Perl or whatever else you
can think of. Messages can be sent to it to control the highly flexible
audio that is set up as two 16 step sequencers, a monophonic
synthesizer and an effects generator. But it also streams out numerical
data about the audio being played. This data can be used to control
visual representations. It's very interesting to see how the design of
an interface effects the way people interact with such a project. As
with my previous projects, PANSE is multi-user based, so if more than
one person is interacting with it at the same time, they will see and
hear what the others are doing. This is why I prefer to call them
modules rather than clients. It's like a modular synthesizer where
seperate units control seperate aspects of what's going on. In PANSE,
not all of the interfaces allow control over all parameters. In fact,
currently there is only one interface that allows control over all of
the different parameters.
The PANSE logo (a pansy!).
The Spirograph[d] control module by Neil Jenkins.
2002 Looking for the new universal harmony
This is the next of my 'web-based, multi-user
audio-interface' pieces. In this one, the user has less control over
his own interaction with the work. Some factors of it are based on the
users IP numbers. It's interesting to note that the vast majority of
users play around only with the sound and, it appears, could really
care less about what is going on visually. I had to limit the number of
records that the visual part retrieves on loading, so what you see is
actually the last 80 records and then whatever happens while you're
logged on. To get a really interesting image, try opening the site at
the beginning of the workday, leave it running in the background all
day and then take a look at the end of the day. It's very colorful.
Specific information on the work can be found on
the page itself.
2002 Intercontinental spontaneous jam session
With this project I've gotten back on track with
my audio-visual abstraction work. What ISJS is is a single web based
musical instrument that controls an image on the web as well. The
instrument can be played by many at the same time and it's somewhat
akin to 10 people, playing simultaneously, on the same guitar. The
piece was inspired by an older project of mine that involved sending
midi recordings back and forth between Scotland and the USA and
building up musical collaborations. Some of the material was released
on tape in 1995 under the name, "The intercontinental jam sessions".
interview on soundtoys.net
Icecast MP3 streaming server
a reaction to ISJS
ISJS web interface.
2001 Choirpiece for four computers
This piece was basically an attempt at
"humanizing" computers. In this piece I have five networked computers,
one of which is the choir director and composer and the remainder
forming the choir. The director is composing the music as he goes along
but it's not purely random. This choir has a sense of aesthetics, so
the director is very critical about the notes he chooses. Though he
examines the possibilities of all notes, only notes fitting within a
certain scale are actually accepted. Upon accepting a note, he randomly
chooses a choir member, sends the note over the network and on the
choirmember screen a mouth opens and we hear the note. The whole
arrangment is based on making the computers look somewhat human and
behave accordingly. The piece has been exhibited three times, once at
the the Living Arts Museum in Reykjavik, once at the NIC2001 conference
exhibit in Copenhagen and once at the Atlantic Cultural Spaces
conference E-lounge in New Brunswick, Canada. The first time I
exhibited it, I used a bunch of old Macs and I must say that the
"humanizing" effect worked out best with them. The choir was arranged
in a circle gazing upward at the director who was on a pedestal. It was
quite serene, almost religious. But the computers had a really tough
time handling everything. I ended up having to display the singing
"mouth" in a tiny little window. At the other two exhibits, I used
iMac's. These handled the graphics quite well and the "mouth" was
displayed full-screen. However, the over-all impression was not quite
as good. The iMac's were a bit too "clean" and lacked "personality" and
5 Macintosh computers
Choirpiece at NIC2001, Copenhagen. Photo courtesy of Electrohype.
Choirpiece at Living arts museum, Reykjavík.
In this project I was focusing on coming up with
something that relied first and foremost on the internet. The idea was
to create a constant stream of live broadcasts of the setting sun by
switching from one part of the globe to another at predetermined
intervals. At the same time, each of the broadcasts was creating it's
own unique soundtrack. The reason for the soundtrack was that the
Icelandic word for sunset is "solarlag" which could also mean "song of
the sun". This of course gives this otherwise global project, a
specific cultural significance understood only by Icelandic speaking
people. Another factor was using subject matter that's been attempted
by many but usually turns out a bit kitsch. So instead of trying to
capture a single, definitive sunset moment, I thought, why not just use
the entire thing?
Various participants throughout the world
Screen capture from Baltimore, Maryland.
Screen capture from Reykjavik, Iceland.
1999 Inside a-minor:
In this piece I invite the viewer to experience an
a-minor chord as if it were a three dimensional object. The
installation consists of a white room with a speaker mounted on three
of the walls and a notestand, with an empty sheet of note paper,
standing in the center. When the viewer approaches the room, there is
silence. Upon entering, a low a minor chord is heard, coming from
nowhere in particular. However, if the viewer approaches any of the
three speakers, one of the three notes making up the chord, is heard an
octave higher than the ambient lower chord, making that single note
discernible from the whole of the chord. Thus, by traveling around the
room, the viewer is able to experience different aspects of the chord
as would happen if one traveled around an extremely abstract three
2 stereo amplifiers
1 MIDI translator
1 Macintosh computer
Inner corner of room with notestand and one speaker.
View of speaker and camera used for motion tracking.