H Y P E R T R O P E is the piece I created for the final project of my MSc. It is a deliberately temperamental audio visual sampler, built in the Unity game engine, using Pure Data patches integrated into Wwise. The user controls the audio visual elements with by manipulating four MIDI potentiometers. There are hidden thresholds in the system, where if the user pushes the values too far in any one direction, all the audio visual elements will replace themselves with new items from the media pool, and the controls will randomly remap themselves. The audio in the piece is a combination of tape loops, field recordings, and more discrete sounds. The visuals are videos taken from archive.org, and videos I shot myself.
The Pure Data patch I developed for the project was designed to play sounds backwards and forwards at any speed within Wwise, intergrated via Heavy Compiler. Here is the patch I designed for this purpose:
I found that with control mapped to linear values, the audio the system generated sounded rather… predictable, so I spent a long time iterating an RTPC curve which would vary between backwards and forwards playspeeds at fixed intervals:
The visuals work along the lines of a zoetrope, with (several larger and smaller) boxes made of four planes facing inward around a fixed camera, each with a different video playing on it, and all rotating around the camera at a speed determined by the user. Here is an ‘under the hood’ demonstration of what is going on inside H Y P E R T R O P E :
While I am very satisfied with the work I did, and the piece that was generated, I feel if I were to undertake the project now, I would take it in a slightly different direction. Since completing my masters I have become interested in the writings of Mark Fisher, and his exploration of the concepts of Hauntology. I feel like the project I created, with it’s temperamentality and in-built resistance to user comprehension, this is a step or two away from something which explores concept which I am now quite interested in. As it stands, I see H Y P E R T R O P E as the beginning of a creative and conceptual journey which I will be on for a long time. I learned valuable lessons, and created intriguing content, and generated seeds from which larger ideas will take hold.
I wrote a blog documenting the process at it unfolded, which can be read HERE.