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Reliktstrahlung, Michael Nisi
27.09.04 Reliktstrahlung, visual sinthesis of sound loops.
'Seeing' music while it's played is one of the contemporary obsessions, an artistic parameter which has pervaded the world of electronic music since the nineties, reflecting the abstractions of software to build more or less interactive experiments, both online and offline.If the sequencing model pervaded many different forms of digital creation, the visualization of samples is a field where the programmable aesthetic of software has provided many enlightened examples. The peculiarity of Reliktstrahlung by Michael Nisi is the use of graphic codes with an apparent aesthetic meaning to express specific characteristics of sound. The software, written in Flash, plays loops picked from a directory on the server according to strategic parameters which are visualized through the width and angle of the looping shapes surrounding the names of the samples. The endless loop generated by the algorithms to concatenate the loops is mirrored in the immediate visualization of thick coloured strips which get wider over the file names, synergically stimulating the senses according to precise rules. In a way, this work is reminiscent of the approach of Minitasking, with its passive interaction, but with very different conceptual bases and with an emphasis on the decisional autonomy of the machine, as implied by the name, which suggests the use of sound 'relics', tens of loops abandoned in the nooks of the author's hard disk.