Auto, Crack, Slimework and the Seven Leg Spider (with Tim Wright) ISEA2008 Proceedings, Singapore, 2008

John Richards and Tim Wright discuss their work Auto, Crack, and Slimework. These pieces explore the juxtaposition of old and new technologies, and new artistic possibilities produced by collaborative creation. The systems developed for these pieces are looked at in detail. These include: the Cymatic Controller (a DIY mechanical wave driver that vibrates conductive material across a ‘prepared’ Chladni plate); the Automaticiser (a copper plate etching that doubles as a touch controller); and the Pure Data (PD) patch, Seven Leg Spider (a performance tool that acts as a nexus between digital and analogue domains). The design of these systems draws on the different disciplinary knowledge of Richards and Wright. The presentation includes a discussion on Richards’ use of the term dirty electronics, physical objects of desire and fascination, the post-digital and the relationship between the visceral and virtual; and Wright’s use of the ‘studio’, dance music techniques and computer algorithms. Furthermore, the works presented in this discussion reveal a symbiotic relationship between sound, image, found art and sculpture. This relationship is also discussed as a point of departure for further investigation into hybrid technological systems.

Some of the issues raised by the collaboration are: to what extent there is a synaesthetic connection between the visual representation of the objects, the prepared Chladni plate and sound; the use of sound as a controller for visual phenomena; the relationship between object, system, and human interaction; and how such systems as the Seven Leg Spider can be used as a conduit for creative work using old and the new technologies.