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Assignment #2: the Aural / Visual Stew

February 13, 2014

Assignment #2:

You have the ingredients… now make a stew… The Exciter Stew


1. Turn off all distracting technology. Open your sketchbook


2. Take stock: of the days we’ve spent walking, listening, notating, banging on things, amplifying, mic’ing, exciting objects and exciting spaces, consider what you’ve learned thus far and what floats your boat.


3. Re-familiarize yourself with Russolo’s Intonarumori. They are to be thought of as a jumping off point for the assignment because their method of construction is accessible, they are a product of their moment in time and they questioned conventional assumptions about art and music. You are not making replicas of these instruments. In order to get inspired, you need to do more research on the Futurists and Russolo. Why did Russolo call it the Art of Noises instead of the Art of Music?


4. Draw out many many many many pages of what if ideas. Keep your mind open.  Let things gel for days while you keep drawing.  Drawing is documentation. Ideas don’t keep.  They fade away if we don’t use them.


5. Think of it as repackaging your own bubbler, exciter, growler, howler, etc.  The relationship between concept and personal sensibility will be seen in the materials you choose, how you build with them, and how sound and visual work together.



Week 4: Begin brainstorming in drawing book. Experiment with piezo’s, amps, resonance, etc. RESEARCH sound artists from our gallery and do your own fishing as well. Find heroes and heroines but realize that the project is due in the eighth week.

Week 5: Leitman workshop February 20; gather more tools for your project. Begin prototyping over the weekend (see Prototyping below).  Be ready to hit the ground running by week #6.

Week 6: Drawings in your sketchbook, prototypes and materials are due at the beginning of class.

We’ll have workshop demos and studio time (Demos take up a LOT of time.  Be prepared to use the shop outside of class hours.).

Week 7: work on your pieces in class

Week 8: present piece



This is an important step in pushing your ideas out of your head and into the world. It is REQUIRED.  Begin to collect materials in a corner of your house. You should actively seek out the things/materials that stir your wonder and likewise keep on the lookout for the unexpected.  Your prototype can be pretty darned rotgut but if it works out some of the kinks then you’ve gotten the hang of it.



Here’s an incomplete list of some ways to think about bringing your ideas to fruition:

~You’ll need to adapt materials to your concept.  It may be that you first find objects that can house your sounds. A found object is a powerful start.


~Things (ex.: umbrella, overalls, rolling pin, plate glass) can become a platform or ‘vehicle’ to make the objects have a cohesive personality. They bring a context to the piece and you get extra mileage without having to build from scratch.


~ Objects previously designed for other purposes (ex.: electric toothbrush ~ thanks, Travis) can be worked into your design.

~The outcome may be devices, objects, “instruments”. They may use or inhabit the ‘shells’ of other things: clothing, shoes, chairs, appliances, thus inheriting their packaging.

~The sound/action they make might be in concert with the associations we have with its ‘shell’, it may be in opposition to it, etc.




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