TIM PERKIS PROJECTS
Some Past & Ongoing Works
Openfield (1994) is an interactive
work for the internet, produced during my residency at Xerox PARC. Openfield
continuously broadcasts a live audio space world-wide to users of the internet.
Using web browsers and VAT, an audio conferencing tool, users shaped
the behavior of virtual "agents" who make sounds in this common space and
interact with the agents defined by other users currently working with
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Netfield (1996) An Internet
A collaboration of three Bay Area sound & computer artists, this
piece created a spatial sonic environment accessible to users of the internet.
Twenty five continuous environmental recordings made by Perkins from a
diverse range of environments around the globe are organized into a two
dimensional world ranging from wet to dry along one dimension and urban
to rural along the other. Listeners at internet-connected computers anywhere
can move through this spatialized sound field, using software they download
from this site.
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InterZone Transfer (Rome/Peru) (1995) is one of a series of audio installations, which form a critique on the mythological and nostalgic use we make of recorded natural environments. In each installation a linear space is defined by the interpenetration of two recorded sound environments. All the InterZone Transfer environments are defined by two environmental recordings which form a dichotomy along one or more axes: wet/dry, urban/rural, tropical/arctic, human/nonhuman. In moving along the length of the installation, one moves from one space to the other: the manner of one's going however, is not as simple as fading or mixing from one to the other. Each environment explores a particular style of moving or "morphing" between the sound, which defines an "Interzone" made up of elements of both environments. Sounds heard in the Interzone are computer processed combinations of the two source environmental recordings, and are always an abstracted electronic sound environment, in which there is no representation. The experience of listening to this non-representational complex sound built from the component environmental recordings transforms our ways of hearing the unprocessed recordings. Through embedding nature recordings in a thoroughly artificial context, we are able to hear them in a new way, freed of their function as representations of anything, and revealing more clearly their nature as a peculiar cultural artifact.
In the version (Rome/Peru), presented at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, you are lead from a representation of where you are-- an urban, indoor, public space, perhaps full of concertgoers--through the electronic interzone, to the upper sound environment, a recording of the peruvian rain forest. It's interesting, to my ears at least, that after being prepared by the experience of the frankly fake and noisy interzone, the rain forest recording is almost completely non-functional as a representation of anything: it too is revealed clearly as the hissing and jangling of a cheap loudspeaker, and has been stripped of its mythological content.
The source recordings were made by Philip Perkins and used with his
permission. The electronic interzone material was processed from the source
recordings by computer programs of my own design.
Ongoing work continues with The
Hub, a computer network band I started in 1985 with composer
John Bischoff. In the Hub, individual composer/performers connect
separate computer-controlled music systems into a network. Individual composers
design pieces for the network, in most cases specifying certain properties
of the data which is to be exchanged between players in the piece, but
leaving implementation details to the individual players. The players then
write computer programs which make musical decisions in keeping with the
character of the piece, in response to messages from the other computers
in the network. The result is a kind of enhanced improvisation, wherein
players and computers share the responsibility for the music's evolution,
with no one able to determine the exact outcome, but everyone having influence
in setting the direction. The Hub has also done a good deal of collaborative
work in a variety of electronic media, including the 1988 "Hub Renga" collaboration
involving poets, live radio and internet, and collaborations with
the ROVA saxophone quartet and composer Alvin Curran. The group has
recorded and performed widely throughout Europe and North America, and
Hub work has been supported by funds from the Rockefeller Foundation, National
Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer and the San Francisco Hotel Tax