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CODE

exhibition on vinyl | at Muséo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2020

Title: CODE
Material: code, vinyl
Dimensions: dimensions variable
Year: 2018

About
CODE is an exhibition on a vinyl record. For the record Byrke Lou presents a sonic curation of her work .ctu_isbtm. On Side A the listener encounters bits of ctu_isbtm through .fa, a virtual sound system designed by the artist. The system scans the artist’s glass sculptures via a live video feed and encodes them within a language of pitches and rhythms. The generated sound patterns are reencountered on the B-Side of the LP, which contains the recording of a live-coding-session. CODE features words by AGF on the inside sleeve and was released with the research and waves collective.

Shown at
Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia 2021
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain 2020
modular+ gallery, Berlin 2018

inlay of vinyl record

CODE vinyl record (render)

video still from the CODE live performance by Byrke Lou

What
CODE is an exhibition on a vinyl record. For the record Byrke Lou presents a sonic curation of her work .ctu_isbtm. On Side A the listener encounters bits of ctu_isbtm through .fa, a virtual sound system designed by the artist. Operating in a space between sculpture, code and electronics, the system scans 3 dimensional objects via a live video feed and programmatically encodes the artist’s glass sculptures within a language of pitches and rhythms. The generated sound patterns are reencountered on the B-Side of the LP which contains the recording of a live-coding-session.
By adapting her work for the vinyl format, Byrke Lou creates a complex interplay of dimension, information and time that simultaneously embraces and reveals processes of coding, encoding and decoding. Along with Byrke Lou’s sound piece the physical record features words by AGF.
For the release of CODE Byrke Lou and Research and Waves developed an evening-long event at modular+ space that blends exhibition, performance and music formats. Physical exhibits will be shown along a live set by the artist, dance elements and DJ sets. Unfolding over time within the exhibition space, each contribution means to open an additional perspective on the process of encoding and decoding that can be found within the artist’s work as well as on the vinyl release.

How
.fa is a synthesis system consisting of a software patch, a camera and a laptop on which the software runs. The software patch was programmed in a programming language for music. The objects are made to rotate on a record player. The camera scans the objects via a video feed. The object’s shape as captured by the video feed then controls four parameters in a virtual synthesis space within the custom software.
In the virtual synthesis space samples are re-synthesized based on the parameters read from the video feed. The sounds are recorded and consequently played as algorithmic composition through a second, a live coding software.
The live coding session is recorded and printed on the vinyl’s B Side. The original sound patterns of the video feed scanning different objects is printed on the vinyl’s A Side.

Why
.fa was originally created by Stanislav Nikolov, Rob Clouth and Byrke Lou as research into how sonifying anthropological objects could reveal more about their meaning and history.
The artists imagined relics from the future and how they could be brought to tell their stories.
Byrke Lou then extended the system and combined it with her glass sculptures, which examine the history of explanations of the milky way (compare .ctu_isbtm).
In a search for alternative gallery spaces and exhibition formats research and waves developed their series of vinyl releases, which curate artworks on a vinyl format.
They found Byrke Lou’s combination of glass sculptures and the .fa system a perfect setup for one of their releases and developed the final concept in collaboration with her.

 

Credits:
CODE created by Byrke Lou
Released in collaboration with the research and waves collective.
Poem on inlay: Agf Poemproducer
Layout + render: Lucy Ross
Video: Dlareme