Digital Resources in Arts and Humanities Conference, Cambridge, 2008

Tim has attended the DRHA08 conference and presented his interactive drawing machine, which has intrigued and alarmed some delegates.

a performance of a physical computing assembly
A relay of joy - Synaesthesia and drawing: a performance of a physical computing assembly

Notations 2008

Notations 2008
Tim set up the drawing machine at the Notations conference, a week long series of image/sound experiments and performances celebrating John Cage’s collaboration of the same title 50 years ago. This time the user could not see the paper, so audio feedback was the main sensory feedback for drawing. Touch also becomes important when sight is eliminated. The user could fel in front of the stylus, paint stick or graphite.

More images available on Flickr.

Sound painting performance


I have presented the sound trigger relay machine to students, and in public performance. I have also filmed a painting test, where the work was set out on the floor. Integrating colour and viscous paint present a new challenge. I incude below the text that acompanies a submission for the Jerwood digital moving image award. Shortlist announced next year. See the Jerwood website.

More images on Flickr.

Description of current work
My work combines Fine Art practice with digital media, with an emphasis on the physicality and engagement with material and autographic expression.
I have worked for some years with traditional print processes, combined with image origination and processing on computer. New insights into my practice have emerged from work that combines the digital and analogue realms.
I am studying for a PhD at the Slade School, on the subject of the grotesque image and imagination. Theoretical and practical research combines within my work, which intends to render visible concealed forms, which would otherwise remain liminal and disparate.
My short films, paintings and interactive drawings aim to identify grotesque and problematic forms and concerns. The abject, and the grotesque, present, in my view, a vital component of the subject’s composition, because being an integrated individual requires a sense of wholeness, in contrast to disintegration and becoming other, or different from a normative sense of the person.
The identification of a point of dissolution and breakdown is an important aspect of my work, and I am constantly experimenting with new ways of articulating and engendering this experience.
The computer comprises an aspect of breakdown of the subject – an anomalous prosthetic that is now accepted as a portion of the human subject.
I am interested in the construction of human and non-human assemblies for the purpose of locating an invisible thing, which may be the ‘decaying aura’, identified by Adorno as a remnant of a pre-industrialised past, when painting, and autographic expression were considered more significant that they are today.

Description of the digital moving image submission
A physical computing device for combining live painting with live audio production. I have presented the work recently (Open Ear, Broadstairs, November 20, 2007) at a public multimedia event, with the intention of inducting the assembled audience into the “machinic assembly’ of line, colour, sound, computer, data projector: an open network of live expression.
The graphic and chromatic notation of painting elides with the aural relay of sound, creating a new, combined assembly of subject, and visual and aural production.
I have intended to create a face, a monstrous face, that is the character, or identification of a human/computer interaction. The figure/face tends to break up and reform – it is informed by visual and aural feedback simultaneously, and this leads to an emergent, assembly combining psychological and sensory complexity, where surface, movement and the passage of time can induce a condition of daydream, or reverie. I am concerned with invoking the grotesque, and use sound samples derived from the human voice: the base, drone audio tracks, and the sounds triggered from making marks, generate a set of shifting motifs, which inform the spectator and artist at the same time.
I am developing different ways of controlling sounds generated from the paintings, and plan to use live vocals and instruments, which would respond to the sound/painting, and inversely, be modulated by the drawings and paintings, to crete graphic instructions determining a live score.
This work is still at an early stage of development, I am excited about the possible directions it might follow.

Relay of joy sound drawing tests

Sound relay piezo transducersBlind relay drawing

Drawing as research into sound relay machine for a performance. The round triggers play a sound via computer once they are drawn over. The process of drawing is changed by the introduction of sound feedback from the touch sensitive area behind the paper.

I have tried making a drawing blindfolded (illustrated above), which brings far more random results in to play. The relay is also broken, or changed from the normal, sighted, hand-eye coordination. Instead, sound returns an element of sensory feedback, permitting another type of coordination to occur.

Relay of Joy film: proposal for Open Ear


test movie on youtube

Proposal for ‘A Relay of Joy” drawing. Tim Long, October 2007

A twenty minute live performance, creating a drawing of a figure on paper mounted onto a wall. The marks and motion of the stylus will generate sounds via midi triggers and a computer, played into a PA system.
The live action of the drawing is intended to be relayed via a video camera to a data projector.

Description of proposal
A relay of joy. Creating a drawing of a figure for the duration of the performance and a unique, graphically defined soundtrack determined by the position and intensity of the marks.

The live performance is intended to open a dialogue with the audience, through their engagement with the physical, aural, and graphic assembly of the work. The physical movement of the ‘artist’ will be aligned with the aural responses of the marks as they are made, eliding with the graphic properties of the marks themselves.

Further details
A new subject will be created within the performance, represented by the drawn figure, the duration of the work, and the shared experience of ‘artist’ and spectators. The network will be represented by the entire assembly: computer, drawing, sound, audience, duration.

The subject-image assembly will be relayed through the technology, physical movement, a development of graphic marks delineating a human form, referencing haptic sensations, and related physiological and psychological responses:
Haptic of or relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception.
Haecceity the property of being a unique and individual thing. The sound track uses recorded loops and samples of the human voice and other textures.

Equipment I can provide
Mac laptop, midi interface, trigger box, triggers, paper, drawing board

Equipment I would like to borrow for the performance
Amp and PA for sound
Video camera for relay to data projector and for recording the performance.

Other requirements
It would be helpful to have local lights shining on the board, preferable from two sources, to eliminate heavy shadows.
I would need to position the equipment to the side of the work space, so there are no tables or obstructions between myself and the audience.

The paper will be pre-hung on a board I will provide, which may be mounted to the wall, or may be stabilised somehow so it does not move around. The triggers will be taped beneath it, so the bottom height of the paper would be about four feet from the ground, so that my body or shadow does not significantly obscure the work.

If the performance is filmed, I would like the video to be relayed live to a data projector. The audience with then see a duplicate of the live action drawing on screen.

Open Ear

Open Ear: Audio-visual events and performances at the Department of Media’s Broadstairs Campus of Canterbury Christ Church University.

On October 16th at 8:00pm Open Ear hosted an event curated by Paul Adams entitled Interference which incorporated a number of performances and an installation based on this theme.

Videos from the first Open Ear event Interference are now online:
with some photos:

The call for contributors for the next event:

Mick Grierson contribued to open Ear: