artworks

Earthworks

Documentation of Earthworks at SonarPLANTA, 2016

2016
5 channel computer generated animation with 4 channel surround sound
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Watch a film where Semiconductor discuss the ideas and processes behind Earthworks here (made by Tom Thistlethwaite/Fabrica Brighton): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkg38zms44Q&t=255s

Watch Semiconductor in Conversation with Laura McDermott, Creative Director of Attenborough Centre of the Creative Arts, on the occasion of Earthworks at Fabrica, solo exhibition, 2020

Earthworks is a five channel computer generated animation, which creates an immersive experience of the phenomena of landscape formation through the scientific and technological devices that are used to study it.  Masses of colourful layers are animated by the sound-scapes of earthquake, volcanic, glacial and human activity, recorded as seismic waves, which form spectacular fluctuating marbled waveforms.

Semiconductor have employed the scientific technique of Analogue Modelling, which uses layers of real world multi-coloured particles and application of pressure and motion to simulate tectonic and seismic forces. As the layers become deformed they reproduce the generation and evolution of landscapes in nature over thousands of years, revealing them to be in a constant state of flux.

Semiconductor have acquired seismic data captured as a result of land shifting and forming, from all over the world. There are four distinct sections to the work, each using a different set of seismic data. This includes; glacial, earthquake, volcano and human-made seismic activity captured at La Planta quarry, Spain, to represent the Anthropocene, a new geological era influenced by humans. The data has been translated to audio to form the soundtrack of the work, and simultaneously control the animation of the layers. The data as sound directly sculpts the image, re-animates the landscape, and reflects the symbiotic relationship between landscape formation and seismic vibrations. The seismic audio is rich and full of the intricacies of the dynamics of our planet in motion.

By using seismic data to control the masses of layers Semiconductor are not only playing with the idea that it is these forces that have shaped landscapes, but also that being an event that occurs beyond a human-time frame, landscape formation can only be experienced through scientific technological mediation of nature. It produces information about time, space and phenomena that no human consciousness could possibly have witnessed. It is as if we are watching hundreds of thousands of years played out in front of our eyes, enabling us to bear witness to events which ordinarily occur on geological time-frames.

By adopting the analogue modelling techniques, the work celebrates the revelatory capacities of modern science and technologies to create a kind of technological sublime, whilst simultaneously inviting viewers to consider the philosophical problems posed by such technologically mediated observations of imperceptible phenomena.

Earthworks is commissioned by SónarPLANTA
Produced by Advanced Music

Thanks to:
Fundació Sorigué
Sónar Festival/Advanced Music
Nigel Bax

University of Barcelona:
Dr Albert Casas Ponsati
Raul Lovera Carrasco
Mahjoub Himi Benomar
Dr. Josep Anton Muñoz
Oriol Ferrer

Cai Matthews
Jose Luis de Vicente
Salvador Rey Nagel

Seismic data courtesy of the Iris (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) Consortium

Earthworks, Fabrica, Brighton, solo show, 2020. Photo: Fabrica/Tom Thistlethwaite

 

Film by Semiconductor documenting the making of Earthworks

20Hz

20Hz (excerpt), 2011

2011
05.00 minutes
HD + HD 3D single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

20Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.

Audio Data courtesy of CARISMA, operated by the University of Alberta, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Special thanks to Andy Kale.

20Hz is co-commissioned by Arts Santa Monica + Lighthouse. Supported by the British Council. Commissioned for the Invisible Fields Exhibition at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona. 2011-2012.

Awarded the ‘Golden Gate Award for New Visions’ at San Francisco International Film Festival, 2012.
Awarded the ‘Art and Science Award’ at Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2012.
Awarded first prize at Quantum Shorts 2014, Centre for Quantum Technologies, University of Singapore.

Sonic Inc.

Sonic Inc. performance, Mutek Festival, Montreal, Canada 2007. Photo: Caroline Hayeur

2004 – 2008
various lengths
live animation software
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Inspired by the challenge to create and manipulate an entire work of sonic animation in real-time, Semiconductor custom-made their own live performance software, Sonic Inc. The performance is a joint effort that sees Semiconductor creating forms and compositions on the fly through a process of drawing and manipulation, whilst the computer ‘listens’ to the audio, realising and animating the digital creations to its resonance.

The visual aesthetic of Sonic Inc. moves away from the high-tech world of computer graphics and towards the inherent visual language of the computer. Slick complexity is stripped back to reveal the basic building blocks of computational visual language. Using this Semiconductor explore artificial expression within the realm of computer animation.

The performance has six chapters of evolution; progressing from elementary forms to burgeoning worlds, and finally simple life forms, which learn to move autonomously, grow and build their own environments.

Every element is created and controlled in real-time; the forms, cameras, the viewpoint, the creation and application of image textures,the creature development, the landscape creation etc.

This is multi-purpose software which can also be used as an improvisational tool, using a direct audio feed with live musicians.

“Things are quite unpredictable with Sonic Inc., there’s a lot of risk taking involved as we make everything from scratch, controlling every element, things get pretty hectic. Unpredictable isn’t a quality you normally associate with a computer, but we have always liked the bringing together of analogue and digital, the human and the machine. We are the element that makes it erratic and are an uneven match for the computer. Performing with Sonic Inc is totally free-form, something which our pre-rendered works are certainly not – they are tight and time consuming.” Semiconductor

Semiconductor would like to thank Julian Weaver for his skills and patience, Niels Gorisse for CPS http://www.bonneville.nl/cps
and Andrew Duff for his midi-magic.

lottery__black wideSupported by Arts Council England.

Performances using Sonic Inc:

Sightsonic Festival, York, UK – Early 2008
Mutek Festival, Montreal, Canada  Semiconductor solo performance and collaboration with Hauschka 2007
Aurora, Norwich Animation Festival- 9th November 2007
Lab30 Festival, Augsberg, Germany – 27th October – 2007
Almost Cinema, Vooruit, Ghen, 9th October 2007
Outsider Festival, La Maison Europeene de La Photography, Paris- 28/29 Sept. 2007
Volksbhune, Berlin, Germany – 23rd Sept. 2007
c/o Pop Festival, Cologne, Germany – 16th August 2007
Montevideo, Amsterdam- 4th July 2007
La Rochelle Film Festival, France – 7th July 2007
Sonic Arts Expo, Plymouth, UK- 23 June 2007
FutureSonic, Manchester, UK- 10/12 May 2007
Nemo Festival, Paris – 25 April 2007
Socetas Raffaello Sanzio,Cesena, Italy – 24/25th March 2007
A:Event, Melkveg, Amsterdam – 11th March 2007
Optronica, SouthBank BFI IMAX, London – 15th March 2007
The Cube, Bristol – collaboration with Antenna Farm – 9th March 2007
Short Circuit, Hasselt Belgium – collaboration with Antenna Farm – January 2007
Consortorium Gallery, Amsterdam – December 2006
Music Research Centre, York University, UK – Ocotber 2006
Bios, Athens, Greece – September 2006
San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at RML – August 2006 21 Grand, Oakland, USA -January 2006
UC Davis, USA – November 2005
Other Cinema, San Francisco, USA – November 2005
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA – September 2005
Late at the Tate, Tate Britain, London – June 2005
Sintesi Festival of Electronic Art: Naples – April 2005
Festival Nemo: Paris, France – April 2005
Images Festival, Torronto, Canada – April 2005
Beaconsfield, London – April 2005
Side Cinema, Newcastle – March 2005
Transmediale, Berlin – February 2005
Computer Cinema festival, Rotterdam – November 2004
Cimatics, Brussels – October 2004

New Antics

New Antics, 2000

2000
04:22
SD single channel
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

New Antics was originally developed for Warp Records Nesh nights 2000.

The soundtrack was originally released on the Semiconductor Hot Air 7″ EP release Minimall 2000