MUSick IN THE SPiRAL LoUnGE
The music is in your blood - the
art is in motion
installation that utilizes fractal music, blood probes and proximity sensors,
and fractal architecture based on African settlements. the piece is an
experiment in psychogeography: Is fractal organization, being adequate
to describe many natural systems, any type of natural or preferred state
for human social
organization? In other words, left in a fractal space, listening to
fractal music, will people arrange themselves into fractal patterns?
his excellent book African
Fractals, Ron Eglash shows a number of examples of fractals in
African settlement architecture. The Spiral Lounge would be inspired by
these kinds of spaces, for example the enclosures of the Ba-ila of Southern
case, the large ring at the back would be the blood sensing area (more
on that later). The large ring in front of it would be the bar, serving
coffee and alcohol. surrounding the ring would be couches, booths, stools,
etc. One of the purposes of this layout would be to study and document
the various social patterns that emerge from it.
the main area, there would also be position
sensors mounted in a 3-dimensional 2-armed logartihmic spiral pattern,
much like the milky way:
of these arms would shift slightly to the left, then slightly to the right,
mirroring the "ringshout", a traditional African-American dance in which
people stand in a circle and shift in a spiral pattern first to the left,
then to the right... this dance is thought to have come from ancient African
groups, among them the Dogon, and mimics the movement of the Milky Way.
In Egypt it was known as "The Dance of Nut, The Dance of the Stars". Nut
was the goddess of the sky.
take position information and translate it into visuals that look something
like this painting by Cory Ench:
III. BLooD MUSiC
be seen above, blood vessel trees are fractal. The second part of this
project would take measurement from a volunteer, or from pre-existing blood
samples (taken as guests enter -- a cover charge), using flow
probes and agar.
the blood flow is measured, the appropriate
equations for determining the amount of self-similarity in blood flow
are used for a compositional transform.
measurements of the blood are mapped onto musical parameters to create
a fractal music that should
be somewhat pleasant.
a third fractal equation, some of the information from the position sensors
is slowly merged with the blood samples of all those present. In this way,
the visual and aural compositions are reflections of the social
Jackson March 2003