between systems and grounds is a continuously evolving collaboration with visual and textile artist Olivia Valentine, having begun in the spring of 2015. Because of our overlapping interests in structure, pattern, and their potential disruptions, we became interested in how our disparate practices may potentially speak to one another. This began initially as a purely reactive system, in which I would sample the sound of Olivia’s bobbins as she wove lace.
Seeking a more integrated system, we turned this into a feedback loop, in which she changed her structure based on agreed upon cues, and data I collected related to her level of activity would be interpreted as cell size for the lace. This, in turn, impacted the movement, that fed back in to my live-electronics system. Typically we prefer to work for extended durations, finding idiosyncratic places to generate audio and textile together.
Over the course of approximately five years, this has evolved into a customized music box/sound installation that can run on its own and be used in performance (pictured above), an album release on cassette through Carrier Records, and a series of animations that are viewable in a gallery setting with audio playback triggered through conductive thread. Much of this work has been developed through the generosity of residencies (ACRE, Hambidge Center, Copland House) and our respective institutions (Iowa State University and Wesleyan University).
Development of this project has now extended to working with a CompuDOBBY loom with new audio processing from myself. We are currently developing our second album release with this new work.
Extensive documentation of our process in each of the locations we have worked in is available at betweensystemsandgrounds.com, and a (relatively) unedited 24/7 stream of audio we have generated since the start of this project is available here.