2014/02 AVVX – Audiovisual Exchange workshop (Helsinki) report

AudiovisualExchangeWSThe project “AVVX – Web Platform and Workshop” concluded with a workshop taking place 10-13 February 2014 at Aalto University’s Media Factory. Media Factory also provided the financial support for its production. Nuno Correia (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) and Jari Kleimola (Aalto University School of Science) formed the team responsible for the project.

During the project, an entirely new version of the earlier AVVX (AudioVisual Vector eXchange) software was developed. The main additions were:

  • porting AVVX from the earlier Flash version into JavaScript, making it web/browser-based and compatible across multiple devices;
  • adding a GUI – Graphical User Interface (previously, interaction was exclusively keyboard-based);
  • in combination with the two previous additions, making AVVX compatible with multitouch devices (tablets etc);
  • improving the animation behaviours;
  • adding an importer for Processing sketches (Processing and JavaScript are both important environments for creative coding at Aalto University, and in media arts in general);
  • adding more documentation and interactions, centralised in a new version of the website (www.avvx.org).

The free, open-source software was made available for download at GitHub, a popular code host: https://github.com/nunocorreia/AVVX

The February workshop, entitled “Audiovisual Exchange”, had 2 parts. Both parts aimed to raise awareness and disseminate knowledge regarding sound visualisation and live visuals. Participation in both was open and free.
The “theory” part, 10/February, was composed of 4 lectures, by two guest lecturers (Sergi Jordà and Mick Grierson) and by the project team members:

  • Sergi Jordà (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Music Technology Group): GUIs for audiovisual performance: FMOL, Reactable & beyond;
  • Mick Grierson (Goldsmiths, University of London, Embodied AudioVisual Interaction): Audiovisual performance and composition using webGL, webAudio, and GPU acceleration;
  • Jari Kleimola: Cross-domain reflections in audiovisual synthesis;
  • Nuno Correia: Opening up audiovisual systems: From AVOL and AV Clash to AVVX.

55 persons registered for the theory part of the workshop.

During the “practice” part of the workshop, which took place 11-13/February, participants learned how to use AVVX, and prepared an audiovisual performance for the evening of 13/February. Preparation involved creating vector graphics (SVGs) to be animated by AVVX, and customising the code. 21 persons registered for the practice part of the workshop, of which 18 performed. For the performance, participants were asked to select one song, and create visuals for that song. During the performance, each participant created live visuals with AVVX based on the graphics created beforehand. The performance took place outside the university, in a bar in Helsinki (Bar Sandro), a “real world” setting for a live visuals performance. The event was co-organised with AAVE Festival – Alternative AudioVisual Event. A large audience attended the event, as can be seen in the documentation photos.

In terms of further outcomes of the project, 12 of the 18 performing participants gave permission for their graphics to be released at http://www.avvx.org/library/ under a Creative Commons attribution license. Extensive documentation (photos and videos, including recordings of all lectures) has been gathered. A paper is planned to be written by Nuno Correia and Jari Kleimola, reflecting on the project and its results.

Theory – photos and videos:

Photos:

Sergi Jordà’s lecture:

Mick Grierson’s lecture:

Jari Kleimola’s lecture:

Nuno Correia’s lecture:

Practice – photos and videos:

Practice for performance:

Performance:

Practice/performance video: