Transduction

In preparing devices for performance I have begun thinking of Gilbert Simondon and beginning to realise his influence over many of the phrases used in this sprawling text so far. Initially, thoughts were based around his writing on ‘transduction’ – use of physical transducers on wooden surfaces is part of the development work I am doing on the drone machines. Feeding the audio signal back into the materials that are generating the sound but through physical vibration – this is still sound and can be heard by our ears but exploring a more visceral connection the materials. ‘Transduction is a process where a disparity or a difference is topologically or temporally restructured across some interface. It mediates different organizations of energy.’ (Simondon, Transductions) Don’t want this to merge into interface studies. The use of transducers in the work brings into question all materials at use – it engages them all in sound / noise making practice. All in the aim for stable resonance between emerging sound and parts – as the mathematician Rene Thom stated ‘All interaction rest, in the last analysis, upon a phenomenon of resonance.’ Rene thom has now appeared again in The Birth of Physics by Serres – first encountered him through Deleuze and Guattari.

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Feedback Cycles

Feedback cycles – sound through material. Using transducers in place of standard loudspeakers enables the user to investigate the acoustic properties of a material or object – a transducer physically vibrates a surface or thing in order to produce sound. Recent tests (by me) have explored the use of a surface transducer in conjunction with the elastic band drone machine. The elastic band drone machine was the resulting instrument built during a ‘transmission+interference’ workshop in Athens where laser light or LED light is shone across a short space towards the surface of a solar cell. In-between the light source and the solar cell is suspended an elastic band on some nails banged into a board of wood. The elastic band is set into motion with a tiny vibration motor and as this band vibrates we hear the low frequency drone of light diffraction across the surface of the solar cell. By then playing the sound back using a transducer attached to the wooden board we are then able to explore resonant feedback in the system – the elastic band vibrates at a particular frequency -> this vibrates the wood -> this travel through all the materials including the elastic band. Further resonance / feedback can be explored with the use of a sound modulated LED as the light source across the elastic band. Need to explore more of Cybernetics – systems feedback. Read Andrew Pickering.

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