Visual: Lac St-Anne

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Lac St-Anne was a collaboration done with film maker Richard Cornelisse, shown at Concordia University of Montreal, Faculty of Fine Art. It is an interactive, multi-screen, non-linear audio/video documentary that depicts an experiential portrait of Lac St. Anne located in northern Alberta, Canada. The work depicts the geography, history and people of this region as historical residues. Their narrative exists as largely indirect and fluid, but attempts to illustrate psychological traces of the land, the personal relationship within it, and the sense of mystery that contains it. The intertwining of histories and happenings are meant to appeal to the senses in a manner that speaks to our emotional connections to place, the paradoxes that define it and the possible transcendent realities within it.
The programming for the installation was done in Max. It consisted of a database of interchangeable audio and video clips that can be experienced in a variety of ways. The viewer initially ‘wakes’ the system by stepping in front of a screen. An infrared sensor processes the viewers movements. The viewer is then presented with a video haiku of sorts. A realtime construction of audio and video clips that tell the story of Lac St.Anne. The narrative unfolds through randomized video and audio clips, a montage of audio to video or video-to-video clips in constant reconfiguration. The structure is always participatory, fluid, unique and, to some degree, individualized. Max was also used to track the viewers position and convert that to control data, which altered various aspects of the video and audio narrative. 

Workshop: Experimenting with ideas

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The workshop is where all the work is done. It is a place of constant experimentation where ideas and concepts lead to all sorts of interesting discoveries. This section is meant to be an area where useful tools and patches can be shared with other like minded tech-artists who may find such things useful. It is also a place where tutorials will be posted that demonstrate new tools and techniques.

Visual: The many facets of visual arts

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Computational Arts explores many facets of the visual arts. It seeks to explore relationships between various visual elements within generative design, video processing, and data visualization. By exploring compositions of these visual elements, we seek to not only challenge traditional narratives but also perceptions ourselves. The story of our lives are a multitude of threads that form the tapestry that is humanity. It is an infinite data set that when visualized, illuminates the connectedness of the universe.

Performance: Taking ideas from conceptual to expression

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Performance is ultimately about taking ideas from the conceptual and making them an actual expression. An important part of this expression is the human factor. Although technology can open new creative doors, it takes a human to actually walk through it. The human element can never be replaced and is an essential part of bringing artistic concepts to life. In the future, this section will be a place for performances that showcase the synergy between human expression and creative innovation.

Installations: The intersection of technology and the physical world

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Art installations are the intersection where creative applications of technology meet the physical world. They challenge our perception of how we interact with a space and what our relationship is to that space. It can even challenge our perception of ourselves. One of the objectives of Computational Arts is to explore the use of microcontrollers and sensors to gather information about an environment and what is going on within that space. It also seeks to explore how Installations can also be a performance element within that space.

Conceptual: The realm of ideas

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The conceptual is the realm where ideas float freely. Experimentation takes these ideas and develops them into clear creative objectives. These objectives form the framework that guides expression. This area will document the evolution of ideas as they go from concept to performance. One of the main goals of Computational Arts is to foster collaborations with different artists. This project narrative also allows others to see how the collaborative process works.

Audio: The influence of composition and sound design

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Music composition and sound design are fields of study that are constantly being influenced and innovated by technology. Where once the composer was limited by the physical abilities of players and their instruments, they are now free to unleash their imaginations and render that as an audible expression. These new creative tools give access to sound on such a low level, that one can compose with the most basic properties of that sound. Computational Arts sets out to explore the creation of new musical languages through a combination of tonal and spectral grammars. Taking these musical languages and using them to express improvisation and composition. Most research efforts will be spent on electroacoustic composition and development of musical grammars through applied computational geometry.