Brighton Mini Maker Faire ’12

I participated in the second Brighton Mini Maker Faire – the “Interactive Festival of Creativity and Invention”, 8th September 2012 at Bighton’s Corn Exchange – showcasing the latest iteration of my Augmented Tonoscope instrument.

From the BMMF ‘About’ page

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. They are of all ages and backgrounds. Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire these thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers.

The inaugural Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2011 celebrated its sixth annual Bay Area event with some 100,000 people in attendance. As Maker Faire has grown in popularity and relevance, additional flagship faires were launched in 2010 in Detroit and New York City. Community-driven, independently produced Mini Maker Faire events inspired by Maker Faire are now being produced around the United States and the world, including Brighton Mini Maker Faire.

Activities for all ages include arts & crafts, robots and engineering, wood and metalwork, electronics, science, tech, music and more amazing do-it-yourself creation.

Highlights from Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2012

Over 7,000 people piled into the Dome for the second Brighton Mini Maker Faire last year, to witness the mind-boggling home-made creations of the best inventors, crafters, hackers and DIY-ers from across the UK – and they got involved: making, experimenting, playing, learning and interacting.

 [UPDATE] On reflection, the details of my submissions to BMMF ’12 seem indicative of my thinking at the time – so I’m including a (slightly revised) version here.

Exhibit Abstract (50-150 words, will go on Maker Summary pages):

As the focus of my PhD research I’m designing, fabricating and crafting a hybrid analogue/digital audiovisual instrument – The Augmented Tonoscope. The sound it makes is also output in a visual form as the modal wave patterns of Cymatics (from the Greek: κῦμα “wave”) – a term coined by Dr Hans Jenny who studied this phenomenon using a device of his own design – the ʻtonoscopeʼ. I capture these cymatic patterns using a compact camera displayed on a 22” touchscreen and augment them by superimposing digital graphics from a virtual tonoscope on the top. I plan to play, record and interact with this instrument to produce a series of artistic works for live performance, screening and installation.

(115 words)

Exhibit Detail (100-500 words, will go on Maker Detail page):

The Augmented Tonoscope is an artistic study into the aesthetics of sound and vibration through its analog in visual form – the modal wave patterns of Cymatics. 

It is a contemporary version of Jenny’s sound visualisation tool – a sonically and visually responsive instrument that produces dynamic Visual Music. Once developed, I plan to play, record and interact with to produce a series of artistic works for live performance, screening and installation.

I plan to share my work to date with the Brighton Mini Maker Faire community and demonstrate my efforts to:

  • explore a real-time relationship between sound and image which is direct and elementary – analogs of each other in aural and visual form; 
  • find an amalgam of image and sound that engages the viewer in a subtlety shifted way – a synchronisation between the senses of sight and hearing that results in a ‘co-sensing’ of a ‘co-expressiveness’, where the mind is not doing two separate things, it’s doing the same thing in two ways; 
  • show that sounds and images can interact with, influence and shape each other from the outset and then throughout all stages of composition, arrangement and mixing – merging the usually separate strands of audio and visual (post) production into a single workflow by devising a means and process whereby audio and visual composition occurs simultaneously. 

I’m also trying to show that it’s possible to:

  • create a custom tool designed specifically for the job – a device that behaves the way I want;
  • develop an intimacy with it so that my interactions become more natural and fluid – like a musical instrument;
  • engage in a design dialogue with the device – allowing it to inform and shape the design process;
  • build serendipity – “the art of making an unsought finding” – into the design process, to uncover its latent potentialities by opening myself to the possibility of the ‘unfound’. 

(307 words)

… and my proposal submitted to the open call – download as PDF from my public WebDisk or read on via Scribd….

There’s a follow up BMMF12 – feedback/discussions/reflections post on my Tumblr Digital Sketchbook.