March 03

Probleemstelling actuele kunst, partim AUDIO ART- Moniek Darge

earlier projects or current

landforms, atmospherics, trees, human made objects: Terrain Instruments (audible constructs)=global's analog artifacts:windscube auralized wind and snow flake, terrestrial data-(seeing wind holographically; transient sonogram-seeking frost printer "Frost pictures machine"

1972-1979, Coralville Iowa, Duluth Minnesota US

Clear adhesive tape was used to cover 1/4 inch Scotch recording tape placed against finely-sanded and degreased metal surfaces which inluded a twenty five foot 1873 bridge span and one mile of railroad track (for which I paid a $50. fee to the CRANDIC railroad in Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

Both structures had been in place at least fifty or more years. Five and six month recordings were accomplished respectively. Lacking access to the analyzing equipment at the University of Iowa, I was unable to separate the various noises which I heard on tape playback.

Imputing data originated from a variety of meticulously drawn and colored sketches (one, left below) of the points which were laborously keyboarded onto IBM punch cards,1974-1975. After time, outputs happened (bottom right) and combined depicted stick-figured images of bird migration traceries, spatially-imaged planes and included sound samples (bottom right, middle and right planes) and lightning (left corner vertical plane ) The University of Iowa Lindquist Center, Iowa City roll printer outputs were from.Plato IV terminals. I did attempt to use this "behemoth-monster," but I gave up in frustration when I dropped the shoebox which held all my data. TAs- Kerry Shores. Jim Bowery- University of Iowa 1972 - 1976, wrote SPASIM; v2 in 1974 & got help from John Daleske and Charles Miller

Publicly presenting audio recordings via local KUNI AM was more satisfying than was this attempt at phenomena sonification via the Zeta plotter

output of this simple line plot from IBM card data took several hours because of pen-overprinting to achieve the black


Concurrently with my new computer course, and on the weekends, I was more personally interested in results which allowed a much faster feedback than waiting for a plotter printout of the data I had transfered from a drawing upon a grid to IBM punch card s


Images detail from Reel-to-reel black and white "Portapak" recording of 'bird migration--BIRD migration REDLINE (the modulated laser) postage stamp'
These freeze frames were from that animated video which included recording from the Terrain Instruments constructions
(blurb continues)

Single page from color xerox book on skies negotiated by migrations (central jagged lines were caused when the papers jammed during printing)

Referencing my bird route sketches- for plotter printout- (above), I was then and remain interested in the flight path variations being affected by wind currents and nuances in the annual migratory flight paths. Secondarily, I sought readouts from to and fro food seeking birds who frequently returned to nesting sites. This Golden Eagle has a several ounce GPS transceiver on its back and it is helping us toward realtime imaging. Is a sonographic camera next?


FROSTPRINTER scroll down

Interactive electronic/kinetic/sound construction required a below freezing enclosure to realize its imaging potentials. The Coralville barn on the previous page was used for testing in winter. Challenge: frost sonification FP was conceived to observe while listening to an evolving frost print: the convergence of sound and its image. ((THIS WAS AND REMAINS A PERSONAL CHALLENGE: THAT OF PAIRING UNIQUE NATURAL SOUND SOURCES AS REALTIME INHERENT IMAGING))) All frost prints were erasable using AC hot wire activation, e.g. as used in toaster for bagels.

the four "barn" window details:

***TOP LEFT: -This was the master plug used to effect all erasures. The x-covered pane of glass functioned as does a car defroster. All plastic tubes in the four double-paned areas in the Frost Printer had access for warm water drop inputting and drainage tubes for melted prints.***TOP RIGHT: -(ideal barn operating conditions, well below freezing) This sandwiched glass has double sheets of glass- one is window grade and the back was a double pane silver-backed mirror. Near the top at the far right is the transceiver. It's a double layered circuit board which contains three interconnected components and is solar powered. 1, A combo receiver/sending transmitter- sends and receives infrared light simultaneously and 2, a frequency converter which reads any light interruptions occurring between faceing panes. 3, The frequency-to-voltage converter permits listening in the audible range. Session: The left-directed transmitted light delivers a splayed wash nearly blanketing the interior area. An eyedropper sends some warm H2o into the chamber from the top left tube. The dangling infrared receiver (bottom r) could be hand held and be moved freely, though awkwardly, about an inch in front of the glass. Registering in the "eye" represented dots of variations reading in front of the ice buildup. Thicker glass had a lower pitch compared to nearly transparent ice. Tape editing which effectively required splicing all the dots was only a minor consequence; the major revelation was that my hand needed to be tied to a stainless steel bar (none was available) to even come close to hear a single "lineal scan." I had at least a dozen lines ahead of me. It was reinforcing, a rewarding inside-the-concept process that I took from this particular 1/4 of the windows and was my favorite. Sound's image continues to elude me.
***LOWER LEFT: -This was a high turnover frost print maker and I used heavy water flow flushings to literally wipe or at least try to do image layerings: quick wash over one did slight erasing to it and was allowed to escape quickley; slightly cooler wqter enter the chamber using the eyedropper- it quickley froze atop the previous...and so on. It ended with a near panic outcome. Attempted subsequent layers began freezing over too fast and trheatened to burst the pane. Flushing with warmer and warmer water left me with an unacceptable print. Input, left center; bottom had the bendable drain tube and the twin drains helped alleviate an ice cracking. ***LOWER RIGHT: -To "pick up" expected tiny vibrations, unique analog sensor varieties were used, including, as mentioned, infrared tranceivers, vibration- prone Shadow and acceleromters. The sometimes quick, sharp cracks of miniscule proportion could be heard during monitoring. In other words the challenge was to amplify and record at a fast speed to get the expected high frequencies and later, listen to a playback slowed-down. The copy results: lows reached an inaudible range and the middle to high frequencies popped out above the noisy din. This dual sound-imaging building session included copying to another cassette. Both tape background noises were excessive. This was too loud. The sound originally monitored did not show up during the final playback. Using a pair of $29.95 cassette recorders did their part, in those pre-Dolby evenings in the barn this experience just required a finer oxide coated tape. That also proved not to be the only answer either. Some of these dense cassettes await their "possible DSP cleanup" and are in line for eventual archival double-sided DVD recording.


signature nameplate w/drain tube (Left), and on (Right)

w/notation research cycle-12287411197412275:c.74-75 Correctly hung-


Frost print analog imaging photographed by Gloria Brush, including this one in high resolution

((compare and contrast realtime BELOW with this LEFT printout from a carbon-based 3M printer))

a different frost print: zoomed details below give signs of melting by these electrically-activated wires (and potentially a complete start-over erasure) from a variable heating element


Keywords: infrared, transceiver, frequencey converter
URL: infrared light -
transceiver -
frequency converter -

A freeze frame frost print from digital camera in 2007 displays the grey scale backlighted by natural light. Ongoing imaging objectives would be to monitor a realtime frosting process using white light's spectrum to scan -from behind- for holograhic output. Keywords: teleSuonohologram * * holovision * * teleSuonovision return home

Maple leaf scan (x20k magnificaton); sonogram detail of its topography return home

A scheduled press conference took place in the west side of our house under willow trees; WMT television's cameraman and host delayed me temporarily from making this mono reel-to-reel recording. The protective tarp has yet to be hoisted against the rain; however, within this context host Earl Eldridge of Cedar Rapids Iowa faces the foldable card table. This setup eventually was itself dwarfed by drooping weeping willow leaves directly over us and against the back hedge row. Six DSP +/-synced, copy/pasted monos, were assembled into this 2 track. Throughout, I was huddled and shared the recorder space w/a sock-covered RCA-74 Jr.Velocity ribbon microphone and Shure ProMic Mixer: 4 in/1 out to the mono Nagra 4.2L recorder. #s2-4 inputs included a variety of sensors. A Frap & its preamp was attached with warmed bees wax to a 9 gauge wire between two trees approximately hundred feet across our front garden, a micro-light weight Barcus-Berry used wax and was pressed against stainless steel wire recorder wire laced across a window frame= Draft Monitor. A fingernail-sized strain gauge was gently wedged into a dry bark crack of a willow so as to monitor wind-stirred, tortional tree trunk vibrations. The willows released heavy droplets on the 9 gauge during the slow warm rain. Unexpectedly the lightning wipes out some of the audio (via the mic line in). The miniscule in/out window draft sound provides a scale marker and these are preempted by meandering Thor soundings. An eventual electrical ground short competes with the fade out. b'neath Willows July 1974

40 FEET EXIST BETWEEN THESE TWO TERMINAL POINTS OF INSECT MONITORS - On both ends, crystal pickups coupled to a variety of strands being super sensitive had comparable result to an air microphone. In the shown solid wood board, the turnbuckles resulted in a collection of taut stainless wires, and produced sounding results favoring high frequencies. The targeted insects were sometimes too shrill. The best monitoring sessions occurred at dusk during very hot and humid evenings. On playback indoors while simultaneously listening out the window insect undulations produced holographic-like aural spatial sensations.


A detail of the recycled oak tree stump -shown above left- provided additional "conditioning" in this soundwork series (by providing a solid floor to overall sound). The new brass windribbon (x) and copper rattle array-suspended from it- were secured to the visible metal eye (above r in windribbon)w/the bag secured to an opposite eye of same turnbuckle- had a monitoring accelerometer also atuned to the water laden bag- and terminated at this node. The bottom of the rubber bladder held strain-gauges attached with silicon rubber. Event. Oscillating waves occurring on the metal windribbon during wind gusts appeared to be consumed (softened) when both signals were syncd and referenced to utc time codeing on the cassettes 2nd tracks.

environmental sound sculpture proposal for downtown Iowa City, Iowa (drawing for 1975-76 competition)

A low rise mastaba earth form was to be covered in red and white clover (for no mowing). A grey-white gravel path can be seen beginning in the top right and ending at the bottom center. The square foundation concrete was surmounted with used coil car springs and these suspended an outer dual frame work and the parallel wooden beams completed the floor. The triangulated guyed towers were to hold galvanized wires for wind monitoring. This output was to have been preamped into power amps, which would have produced sound in weather proof Voice of the Theatre speakers seen at opposite corners.

The concept of levitating constructions traces back to the late 60s as an undergrad and specifically to a clay sculpture where in a selfportrait I was walking as on air (w/the aid of this open wire structure taken (by Ceil Blair London) against a plastic sheet backdrop.)

The model below suggests a floating object. This model was to have been the basis for an on site construction for chidren and was to be located in their play area. A grass area in its center was to have inlcuded a locally selected Duluth Minnesota US ice-aged rock.

: a removeable wooden ladder, shaved oak, clover & grass interior and a sand sub base

return home

This Terrain Instrument was a contuation of several levitating sounding sculptures (floatplanes), conceived to be a perpetual Instrument which would use computing processes to achieve sustained manifestations and remain a continution of my interactive international listening series of solar powered constructions. From which future microcomputer-networkable and auralizations from these projects could be based from wind and snow flakes inputing realtime terrestrial data.



Conceived in 1972, with the drawing finalized in 1978 WINDSCUBED v.2

The Windscube, a rectilinear 22 X 50 foot mainframe of cubed aluminum structural modules, would become an integral part of the existing permanent Forest Terrain Instrument, whose other various separate and distinct components together occupy 400 square feet of Minnesota space-work. These constructions are teamed with appropriate electronic sensors and transducers of many types, to intercept individual events within natural physical occurrences such as heat eddies, rain, snow, and wind. The Treesway Terrain Instrument, for instance, is activated by the actual movement of wind-blown trees. The Windscude, however, would account for and monitor a very particular amount of existing space. In fact, one square inch of space. Construction would achieve a floating physical closure in space, enclosing all above-ground sides in cubed form around trees. The trees would have room in which to grow inside and would be the subject of sound-monitored orchestrations as well. The Windscube would be constructed out of aluminum alloy and galvanized tubes, and would be free floating on automobile springs. Flexible interlocking tubular modules for the mainframe are necessary to enclose the trees, and for maintenance. The entire Windscube mainframe module is to house Windinch and Snowpixel units. These represent 2,756 sound monitoring capabilities for all Windscube planes, of which there are six. These sound-sensing electronic modules have separate and distinct responsibilities. Each contains identical sensing components to electronically use wind, snow, rain, heat, light, and other events and qualities with results in the audio range. For example, a bit of snow traversing the 8-inch Windinch/Snowpixel would be electronically usable in sound as its traveling velocity changes.* At a given time, the total Windscube will yield a minimum of 13,440,616 sound possibilities and combinations -- an easy task for the 16 bit microprocessor sampling at 8 megaHertz/second. Construction of the Windscube's mainframe modules, sensors, and microprocessor interfacing would achieve one-half of its spatial goal. head home

I considerd increasing the eventual height to sixty six feet so as to accomdate the type of tree, at full maturity, that would fit and be completely monitorable within this pixel-gridded floating structure. Based on local Minnesota and Internet searches, I am leaning toward one that is close to this very open example and it is located on a mineral island in the Bog of Allen, just 4 miles outside Rathangan, County Kildare, Ireland



Freefalling snowflake whooshings sounded on our HIFI.

This Terrain Instrument prototype was capable of obtaining measurable snowflake a/or raindrop density, spectral, velocity, angle, of those free falling between the transmit/receive infrared sensors. This detail showsone of the sensing apertures on the interior left side.

2005 "... falling snow is more difficult to study.." Douglas Durian; "... flakes have a rare acoustic quality to absorb sound waves...all flakes are shaped differently..." Gilles Daigle

Aside from constructing sound from literal wind-cubed space and the trees within it, I continue my interest in holographic image-generation from the Windscube.


Conceptually evolved from teleSuonoQUAD in which Microflown positions are used --on call and interchangeably--as input: from Lat. & Long. for w2 listening source and/or monitorable via the four speaker planes ((note 2 pair of overhead microphones))

return to data poetry or Terrain Instrument archives continue OR Back to windwitness streams


























Resulting from an art school fellowship, this experience was shared with my wife Gloria and is a frame from the animated video I made in which I recalled our 1972 Norway visit-via the Norges Statsbaner vikingen express train. Several recollections, including having finally moved out from beneath the snow sheds! and passed the Fjords, we stay over in Narvik (and as this was in March, we missed the last bus to a Lapland visit); onto Trondheim (the pond with its duck and geese in the city center) and Oslo Norway (where talk was underway of the planned Opera House). Gloria always had her camera at the ready and I was preoccupied with making Norelco cassette audio recordings of the soundspots throughout the 1st leg of our 2-way visit that would eventually take us above the arctic circle. Getting there was thanks to the noisy Pratt & Whitney "hurricane" turbines which powered a DC-8 from Chicago and to other stopovers in Rekavik and finally to our endpoint: Narvik. Post instances include: we were able to later see the movie recorded by a friend showing the sparks from the jets tail on the take-off; laying-over in New Jersey for a replacement engine that was flown in from Iceland, we staid overnight at the apartment of Gloria's high school friend; the moment I noticed a one quarter inch image of Iceland in the windows frame and wondering how we were going to land there; the beautiful announce tones at Keflavik airport as we boarded the Bahamian aircraft for our intermediate stop in Luxembourg. Later, overlooking the Rigi Kulm mountain range in Switzerland I was transfixed by the variety of raven and crow flight paths and their tracery routes in particular. A mocking bird's singing was listened as it was mixing early one morning while a passing tram occured from the window of the Garni Rex Hotel in Zurich. And, during our breakfast that morning, a solitary canary sang amidst assembled voices as the silverware and china were intermixed in these soundings.

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