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Exploring the space bound within the moving image

The garg{o}yle project was a collaboration between myself, a performance artist, Mike Hornblow and video artist, Tim Budgen. This project was developed by Mike Hornblow as part of his PhD research at RMIT University in 2012. My role in this project was simple, work with 3 composite video panels, created by a New Zealand video artist Tim Budgen, to create an engaging and dynamic soundscape. The work was to be presented as a multichannel-multiscreen installation.

My approach for designing the sound for garg{o}yle was framed from a response to the raw video footage. The body suspended within a repetiton of space, collapsing and expanding, rising and falling over time. Rather than impose a piece of music to fit the video, the raw audio captured on the video, during the documentation stage, served as the inspiration and source material for the work. Silence dominates much of the video. Breaking this silence is the sound of the performer and the snapping of a shutter from a hidden onlooker. For me, these sounds, or lack of sound, created quite powerful moments where anything entering the space is consumed and interrogated by our senses. This sits uncomfortably with the listener and it was this type of quality that I hoped to emphasise in the design.


This project incorporates video point tracking techniques and granulation to create variations in the sound extracted from the video. Point tracking was used to first generate the control envelopes for signal processing. This was then applied to granulation parameters, using maxmsp, to create multiple voices. When synchronised with the reconstructed video material, the voices emerge from the edges as one and then sptaially separate in time and space, along their own pathway across the screen. This reopening of space, composed entirely from sound captured in that moment, exists in that space. 

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