Category Archives: Installation

Relay of Memory

The sonic impact of radio on the Americana landscape is profound. Fireside chats, Radio theatre, Payola, DJs, drive-ins, elevator Musak, waiting room noise––the vast consumerism and reach of radio continues to this day. Yet, what happens when we smash two artists (Kenny G and Nickelback) together into one spectral stretched fantasy using the transmission medium that gave life to their careers? Are we doomed to phase out our history with background noise? Or are we undulating with the beat of cultural reclamation and signification? Sending us adrift inside the electrical coils of the radio, Lying in Fireflies Besides Brown Curls and other original compositions attempt to recount a personal connection to memory, lust, and the power of radio to receive a new transmission.

Relay of Memory was exhibited at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery, Utica, NY. The exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission.

Wildfire

Wildfire is a 48-foot long speaker array that plays back a wave of fire sounds across its 48-foot span at speeds of actual wildfires. The sound art installation strives to have viewers embody the devastating spread of wildfires through an auditory experience.

The work was installed at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery in Utica, New York. The work ran Sept. 19 – Dec. 8, 2019 as part of a solo art exhibition entitled, “Impact! works by Jon Bellona.” Wildfire was part of SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC March 3 – 9, 2020 curated by Megan C. Austin and Ashlie Flood.

Wildfire was made possible through the University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Impact! exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission. Additional support made possible from the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery.

Public Final Report for University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures.

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Impact! Exhibit

IMPACT! features six site-specific sound and data-driven installations that use technology to provoke questions about humanity and our effect on the world around us. Works in the show include Wildfire (2019), Relay of Memory (2019), Distance-X (2017-8), Aqua•litative (2016), #Carbonfeed (2014), and Sound Memorial for the Veterans of the Vietnam War (2003).

The exhibition is organized by the Barrett Art Gallery at Utica College. The exhibition is supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission. The Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery programs are made possible with support from the Utica College School of Arts and Sciences and private contributions.

Media File Reported to Oregon Arts Commission (2019)

Awash

Awash depicts the life, color, and environment of the High Desert. The kinetic sound sculpture emanates audio from the region, while flowing as a singular mechanical wave overhead. Awash, like the High Desert, is shaped by many forces interacting in complex ways; the work is ecological – physical movement interacts with sonic vibrations. Sounds interact with the physical environment. Visual elements intermingle with acoustic elements.

The High Desert Museum commissioned Harmonic Laboratory for the work as part of its Desert Reflections 2019 exhibit. The exhibit went on to win the 2019 Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence. Press release for the award.

Jon Bellona, electronics, software, field recording, Skinner church organ recording, sound editing, visual design, engineering
John Park, kinetics, visual design, engineering, schematics
Jeremy Schropp, field recording, visual design, engineering
Kevin Davis, Skinner church organ recording

City Synth

City Synth transforms the city of Eugene into a musical instrument. By transmitting video feeds from multiple locations to a central location downtown that interprets movement and color into sound, the cityscape becomes a soundscape. The project offers the community a playful way to learn about and interact with the gigabit network in downtown Eugene. The project was a month long installation housed in downtown Eugene, OR. Project partners include South Eugene Robotics Team (SERT) and XS Media. The project was funded by a Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grant.

Artists involved in the project:
Jon Bellona, sound design, coding, project lead
John Park, coding and visual design
Jeremy Schropp, interface design and construction

Precipitation 3

Precipitation 3 is one of a series of musical compositions written for 26 clock chimes as part of the sound art installation, Aqua•litative. With my Precipitation series, I treat the electromechanical structure as musical instrument, navigating through sound with the syntactical construction of code. Compositions played by the sculpture evoke precipitation data of California weather stations by cycling through bits of its data. These cycles create emergent sonic patterns in a continuously evolving play between density and rhythm. Movement flows as collapsing waves, additively striking a cybernetic balance between natural order and mechanic motion.

Aqua•litative is a kinetic installation that renders multiple data sets of California’s water history into a physical experience. The work correlates natural factors contributing to California’s water shortages, outlining the serpentine narrative of water through the translation of data into kinetic movement and acoustic sound.

Selector

Selector is a live audio-visual performance that uses algorithms to select between various sonic processes. Some of these processes include the selection of audio segments, rapidly skipping like a malfunctioning CD player. Each audio process triggers pulses of projected light. Selector combines the generative selection of audio with the selection of visual code in a tightly synchronized display of sound and light.

Cloche

Cloche are 3D printed objects instilled with movement data to create combinatorial structures of natural patterns. Motion capture technology was used to extract physical movement from its occurrence in the physical world, recording dynamic qualities like speed, direction, weight, and intensity. Moving back through the virtual filter to the physical world, movement data re-animates a different body– a multiplicitous arc in humans forms. The analog-digital-analog processes filters presence, stripping movement of some information and endowing it with others.

Like movement, sound traverses a similar filtering process. Recordings of 3D object printing, capturing the movement of a form’s creation, are processed digitally and re-amplified in the space. The sounds continue to be filtered by the shape and contour of our physical bodies and the acoustics of the room. The physical-virtual-physical translation process is both known and physical, and at the same time other and immaterial.

Jon Bellona, sound design
Brad Garner, movement design
John Park, movement capture, print, and visual design

Aqua•litative

Aqua•litative is a kinetic installation that renders multiple data sets related to California’s water history into movement and sound. The installation displays climatological data as a chronological narrative of water in the state by transforming water data into acoustic sounds (ringing of clock chimes) and physical movement (motors moving arms of balsa wood) shown in a gallery space. Precipitation data creates sonic patterns, analogous to rain droplets, in a continuously evolving play between density and rhythm.

Aqua•litative is by Jon Bellona, John Park, and John Reagan. http://aqualitative.org The installation is part of an Environmental Resilience and Sustainability Fellowship, funded in part by the Jefferson Trust and the University of Virginia Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Aqua•litative installed at the Duke Gallery in Harrisonburg, VA
Aqua•litative installed at the Duke Gallery in Harrisonburg, VA
Arduino board layout for the installation.
Arduino board layout for the installation.

Your own Twitter song

CarbonFeed takes your most recent 200 tweets and turns them into a minute loop, a song that changes over your Twitter lifetime. Every time you tweet you generate 0.02g/C02 [1]. Don’t worry too much though. Listening to your one-minute song will eat up roughly 2.86 grams/C02e in electricity, servers, and embodied computer emissions [2].

[1] http://carbonfeed.org
[2] Mike Berners-Lee. How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything. Greystone Books. 2011.