Urbansync’s Weblog

Reality Tagging / Found Sounds / Artscience

Archive for November 2008

A small repertoire of urban gestures

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I am working on UrbanScrub by using standard software. Why? I like the concept of bodystorming in order to act out possible usage by early investigations based on mockups. At the current stage I used Fission to auto-split audio streams into small grains. Furthermore I imported these grains into the NN-XT sampler of Reason 3. STEIM is offering the versatile mapping tool junXion which allows for very smooth processing of Wiimote input. By nesting logical operations I was able to generate MIDI output to trigger the grains in NN-XT.

Video footage soon to follow here …


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November 26, 2008 at 8:52 pm

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Do we need Manifestos?

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November 25, 2008 at 11:00 am

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The greatest inspiration ever: Michel Waisvisz – The Hands

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I really felt in love with The Hands when I had one of those rare opportunities to see Michel Waisvisz performing live at Sony CSL, Paris. It was at an open house event in 2004 or 2005 and I was there by invitation of Francois Pachet. The performance of Michel in the late afternoon was sounding very close to another performance you can find at the STEIM media archive.

I had seen and heard a lot of laptop, computer music, gesture controlled, sample-based, whatever kind of electroacoustic and beyond music … BUT this was the first one and it remained the most remarkable one touching me really deep inside by an incredible beauty and organic way in which Michel was interacting with the sounds by using The Hands. What a pity that Michel has gone and we wont have the opportunity to enjoy his great stuff anymore.

His performance is still echoing in my head when sitting over the code for UrbanScrub, my own amateurish approach to try to create something similar based on my urban soundset of Porto …

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November 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm

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Wiimote scrubs Urban Sync

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wiiscrubdump wiimote1

I am a lousy coder … but I dont care. I bought a Wiimote for 39.99 Euro at the local game dealer. I surfed the internet for these well-known patches of Processing code. And I found them. I played around with several existing ways to map the accelerometers of the Wiimote to MIDI or OSC.

You find meanwhile plenty of them. It is not a big deal anymore (although some German artists still call it avantgarde, but this is a different story …)

Using the Wiimote class it is possible to receive OSC data via the DarwiinRemote application and you can fuse this patch with some good old audioscrub patch of Krister Olson, the guy who gave us the ESS library for Processing.

For the rest of the story I leave it up to your creative minds to guess what I currently try to realize … It may take days or weeks since I am a lousy coder. Limited imagination is the only limit.

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November 17, 2008 at 9:33 pm

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Further dissemination

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I have several ideas and activities on my list for further dissemination of Urban Sync. Since my main working time is now at the Berlin office of DFKI it is easier to do some roadshow for interesting collaborators nearby. Beside giving talks and meeting people and sending follow-up emails, the central point of virtual spread and buzz should be still this blog.

Blog / Website

  • Convert the weblog with pages to a website + blog entries as latest news
  • Add a featured people section with video interviews
  • Add an exhibition section linking to derivative work based on urban sync data


  • Featuring contributors
  • Gathering statements from scientists to artists
  • Lo-Fi approach 3min video discussion, un-edited


  • Berlin: Starting next week, availability of sensor band has to be checked
  • London: I have to ask friends and scientists
  • Barcelona: I will be for 2 days in BCN in January
  • Zuerich: Maybe 2 days in January
  • Northern America: Edmonton?
  • and the extraordinary: ?


  • INESC Multimedia & Telecommuncations group will start soon to work on silence detection
  • DFKI SB will start soon on audio-event clustering/classification
  • Data & Knowledge Engineering group University of Magdeburg should work with audio data
  • DAI Lab TU Berlin could work with different data streams

Art (Further faculties on my wishlist …)

  • UdK Berlin
  • ZhdK Zuerich
  • ZKM / HfG Karlsruhe

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November 13, 2008 at 12:03 pm

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Open Reality Data: Download, Analyse or Remix, Share!

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You should download the full-fledged Open Reality Data of the first 5 sessions in Porto now. I compressed the Urban Sound and the GHz Sound with MP3 encryption. The biodata is a .zip of a CSV-formatted file. The GPS data come still as GoogleEarth-compatible KMZ. See the Download page for further instructions. If you are brave enough go directly to the session pages to start your download:

If you apply some analysis to my reality streams or you intend to create innovative cross-media formats, applications or installations … I would appreciate if you drop me a short note and a link to this blog! Enjoy!

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November 10, 2008 at 8:24 pm

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Urban Sync goes BERLIN

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A lot of people freak out about Berlin. I am here now. I have the privilege to work on social media projects with DFKI and the hot startups here. Urban Sync? For sure I will perform plenty of Urban Sync experiments and sessions while being in Berlin. And Berlin gives me a warm welcome, film crews, free WiFi – this posting is sponsored by Segafredo -, commuting people, you can feel the 3rd place all over the town. An excellent playground for Urban Sync.

To be continued …

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November 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm

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