Fields | Sébastien Piquemal, Tim Shaw



Smartphones are now almost ubiquitous and their built-in speakers can be surprisingly loud providing you play the right sounds through them. In fact, personal mobile devices are slowly becoming a powerful platform for live performance, opening-up new possibilities for engagement in live music. The Fields system enables musicians and composers to explore the potential of these devices for sound diffusion. It is a distributed, open-source, modular instrument that is fully configurable and extensible.

In this workshop we will introduce participants to using Fields as a performance or installation tool. We will cover technical aspects such as setting up, configuration and customization of the system with WebPd (Pure Data for the web). We will also share experience gathered from a year of composing for tiny mobile phone speakers, trying different audience configurations and dealing with latency and other technical limitations. The workshop will allow for participants to create their own work using Fields and will culminate in a listening session and an open discussion.

Participants need to bring their own laptop and optionally a mobile device. Programming skills are not required, therefore anybody is welcome.

Fields workshop was given for the first time at EAVI, Goldsmiths University, London in 2015.

photo credit: Chris Scott



Sébastien Piquemal
Media Lab, Helsinki, Finland

Sébastien Piquemal is a computer engineer obsessively exploring the artistic capabilities of machines. With a double background in programming and sound design, he has created sonic and experimental web sites, and is the author of several music open-source libraries such as WebPd (Pure Data for the web). His work focuses on the potential of new technologies, both in shifting the hierarchic structures in live music and create new computer generated sonic experiences, borrowing from the field of computational creativity. Sébastien is currently working and studying at Media Lab Helsinki, Finland. His work has been shown at a number of international venues and conferences, such as CTM, N.K., Cafe OTO, NIME, ICMC among others.

Tim Shaw
Culture Lab, Newcastle University, UK
United Kingdom

As an artist-researcher, making is central to Tim Shaw’s practice which is situated within the context of sound and media art. His work draws inspiration from acoustic ecology and electroacoustic composition as well as areas of anthropology and philosophy. Through this process of making he constructs experimental instruments, installations, performances and assemblages using self-built and DIY (open source) technologies. This approach, whereby making is the primary activity, allows for his practical endeavors to embody and articulate (rather than represent) various forms of knowledge. Tim has presented work in various international venues including Café OTO, NIME, CHI, NK Projekt, ZDB, CTM and FACT Liverpool. He is currently studying a PhD in Digital Media at Culture Lab supervised by John Bowers and Pete Write.

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