Open Circuit Potential
Daily life is becoming increasingly mediated by digital technology, leading to an engagement with the world that feels more and more disembodied. Capitalist-driven digital devices marginalise the senses, limiting bodily perception. This research project explores my relationship with computational technologies: physically, temporally and cognitively. I use the physical act of drawing as agency within a system comprised of digital and analogue media. The drawings become information that transitions between mediums, morphing physical states; from body, to code and back into material form again. This reflexivity examines mediation, between myself and technology, and between technologies themselves. The circuit explores the potential within binary opposites: the material and immaterial; real time and the atemporal; deterministic and non-deterministic systems. Open circuit potential is an electrical term for the potential of energy created between two terminals disconnected from an external current. I’ve used this as metaphor for the artwork presented: interconnected works that are semi-independent of the respective worlds they belong to.
The audio presentation on polycarbonate disc converts a hand-drawn recording to a sound recording. Two photographed drawings (one on paper, one on canvas) have been digitally converted to audio using the application Photosounder. The digital sound drawings are then converted back into material form using an analogue lathe-cut recording method. The sound of each drawing was determined by the length of one side of a 12” record, 20 minutes (approximately 2.66 pixels per second). The software references graphical sound techniques invented by early 20th century composers, such as Arseny Avraamov (Russia, 1930s) and Daphne Oram (Britain, 1940s) and her Oramics machine. The resulting ambient sound of each drawing echoes the work of pioneering electronic composer Eliane Radigue (France). Both Oram and Radigue played a seminal role in the development of electronic music, as did many women in the gendered histories of computing, computer art and electronic music.