Week 4: Last tests

Uncategorized duncan @ 2:55 pm

so we head into our last week with renewed vigour and a pick-up of the pace . . .

We ‘ve planned for a couple of live trials so monday is a day of site recces and we finally choose Spui square.
Today’s point of discussion was about research methods and the value of the everyday. Should you always research the history/legacy of a place when creating a work that will be experienced there? Does a deeper understanding of the past let you write better for the present, or should you just observe and react to what you can experience for yourself.
We attempt a mixture of both and begin to sculpt a rough structure for the work, a series of ‘frames’ for the participants contributions to sit within.
We start with the cinematic, a description of the buildings and a wider view of the location. iphone case Inspired by an episode of ‘this american life’ where a postman talks about what he knows (and guesses!) about the occupants of the houses he delivers to, we begin to incorporate fictions around the people who may be in the houses. coque huawei The text then continues a wide circular description, drifting over the places beyond the wallsm the places you can’t see, before returning to the square.
This is followed by a series of framed sections that shiftfrom one mood to another, eventually pushing outwards and reversing back around the original circular description.
Each of our frames sets up a way of ‘thinking’ but we know from past tests that this isn’t quite enough to guide the vocalised contributions of the audiemce, so we plant ‘seeds’, scripted contributions from fictional participants. peluche licorne We also add a section of music, to add a break in the soundspace. On top of all this we try out Arjan’s new software for the first time., allowing us to move away from the conference call mode and have the individual contributions recorded and then played out to the rest of the people taking part, queing them one after the other and removing the layers of noise.
So with all these new things to test . . collier argent . coque iphone . it of course goes completely wrong and we have a serious technical failure! Undeterred we revert to out conference call mode but include the new frame structures.
I don’t really feel we learnt much about how the piece worked, but we definitely reminded ourselves that testing too many things in one go can be difficult!

Some tinkering from Arjan and a dash of re-writing by us leads to our next (and final) test on Thursday.
This one begins much more successfully, people respond well to the seeds, but it’s clear we aren;t shifting the tone enough from one to the other.
We had tried to start incorporating some physical choreography, encouraging them to go to locations that they’d heard described by others, or maybe to find the other contributors. This wasn’t strong enough and didn’t give enough drive to move with purpose. needs a bit of a re-think.
The sense of connection between people is obvious, but we are still working with a group that know each other (or at least were all together at the start of the test), so it’s still hard to guage how people would speak if they didn’t know who they were talking to.

A small addition to the music also created some expected and unexpected results. coque huawei On the tuesday there had been a busker in the square playing violin beautifully but incrediblly loudly, and rudely he had chosen not to play in the same key as the music we were playing to our audience, causing an uncomfortable soundclash. coque huawei When I arrived to set up with Arjan on Thursday the busker re-appeared, so I jumped at the opportunity to try something I’d been thinking about for a while. A short conversation in broken english + spanish convinced him to become involved in our piece. I gave him an mp3 player to hide in his pocket, for the majority of our test he just played as usual, a fixture in the environment for the audience, but then when they started hearing our recorded music in their ears the violinist suddenly shifted his playing to duet with it, a beautiful bleed between the unpredictable (real? hmmm) and the choreographed.
This created some strange experiences for the audience, as much as the bleed was slightly magical for them, they also suddenly brought the busker and his audience into the narrative of the piece, building a story around people they now thought were all ‘in on it’.

We had intended to try out an addition to the ‘circular’ structure, where towards the end of the piece we began to playback contributions people had left, but play them in reverse order, tracing their way back to the start of the piece, to see if simple, lightweight early contributions take on more importance once the audience has gone through the experience, and their contribution becomes a memory of that space, and when they hear other peoples whether they reflect on what they were doing/thinking when they first heard it.

Words from Martha (my dear), on the Bristol test

Uncategorized emilie @ 4:55 pm

“She held up a piece of paper, with a telephone number written on it in black ink, large enough for the group of us to see, there were about 7 of us. We put our headphones in our ears, and dialled the number. coque iphone pokemon peluche After the signal problems we were all connected, we could hear each other and each other’s ambient sound. We were sharing each other’s listening. We were invited to drift. coque huawei coque samsung We were told to spread out and wander, told to stay within sight of the large square of grass and listen for instructions. peluche licorne We heard a mans voice telling us that there were, ‘ten people in this square who had not seen their mother for five weeks’, that there were ‘three people who were having a bad day at work’ and so on. As I heard these lines I watched a man in camouflage try to mount a unicycle with the help of a lamppost. I wanted the text to be slower so that I could look at the numbered people. We were then invited to speak when we felt moved to do so. coque huawei No one spoke for a long time. We listened. I listened and wandered. It was damp, damp-cold, cold around the edges. I tried to keep a distance from the other participants, I wondered what to say. I wanted to ask ‘are we alone, are we here alone?’ Am I alone? But I didn’t. I felt the pressure to speak, the rise of a thought, the catch of a breath, the tension towards a sound and then the pause and release again into silence. coque huawei The relief when someone spoke. A female voice drew our attention to a woman with two shopping bags. We watched her from different angles. The first time I spoke I wasn’t sure if it was working because when I spoke I couldn’t hear my own voice through my headphones. coque samsung Could they hear me? Was it working? What I said out loud was not the things that were in my head. One voice began to narrate the journey of another who was following others, following those that seemed ‘not to know this place’, those that seemed to be tourists. This follower commented on his own following. coque samsung We watched the follower following. We all spoke about the wet grass, about the avoidance of the wet, muddy, grass. I watched a girl in plimsolls slide up a grass verge and turned to watch the voice of a woman who was crossing the grass. She said ‘I am crossing the grass’ in answer to another who had said it was ‘too wet to cross the grass’. They asked us how we were feeling, I wanted to say ‘a bit cold’ and then I stopped myself and thought am I really cold? It is more of a damp chill round the edges and then I thought, I wonder if the others are cold and then I thought, its not really cold, I don’t feel really cold and then it was too late to say how I felt and I thought how do I feel and I thought isn’t it odd how I don’t feel more free to speak. coque huawei I wish I felt more comfortable with my voice, I wish I could speak without so much thought. I wanted to say that I wondered how long until the trees would have leaves again, but didn’t. I didn’t because I thought maybe it is obvious, or maybe I should try to work it out. I thought, see how odd the lights on the trees look in the daylight, I wish it was night and I could see them lit up. I heard a voice tell me that two people were waiting for each other outside of the hotel, they didn’t know each other, I could see from afar that one had a green coat. I wanted to go and make them meet somehow. coque huawei Even though I had noticed the church between the shops at the bottom of Park Street many times before I noticed it again when someone noted that they had never noticed it before. Then a voice told us to open the note in our pocket, which we were given at the beginning, it said HANG UP THE CALL. bijoux pas cher I didn’t want to. I didn’t know if they really meant it. I hung up and the sound changed, the space changed, it shrunk, again, back to me, back to only my internal world, only my parameter, only my individual sonic reach. I could only hear the church bells once. No longer doubled through the distance of the network. I was disconnected and I felt a sense of loss. peluche licorne There was somehow more silence and yet at the same time less.

Tactical warfare

Uncategorized duncan @ 1:37 pm

The most interesting thing about this collaboration for me so far is the clarity of the arguments between Emilie and myself. pokemon peluche We come from quite different backgrounds of practice and this leads to some difficulty around taxonomy, coque huawei in my head I think we are heading towards making a performance, coque iphone coque iphone a description which Emilie finds uncomfortable, coque huawei coque iphone our resolution leads us to think about creating a ‘moment’, iphone case which is a way of thinking about performance in public space that I find really appealing.
Our arguments, bracelet bijoux or ‘debates’, coque iphone bijoux personnalise also let us see what the cornerstones of the project are. coque samsung coque iphone The possibility of creating something which connects multiple cities looks appealing,

Arrivals and introductions, Budapest week 1 1/2

Uncategorized emilie @ 8:22 pm



I missed my train from London.
He left at 4am and got there early.
This tells a lot about who we are.
(He was, I must say, not surprised)

Reflecting on these past few months, I realize that what has moved me most – because of its unexpectedness, is the nature of collaboration itself. Beyond authorship and choreography, performance and technology. Beyond what we had set ourselves up to discover…

But this is not (really) about that.

Onwards with Budapest.


We arrive at an uncharacteristically calm KIBU, where we were given the tour and handed the keys to our (amazing) flat. And although courtyards seem to be a banal architectural affection to locals, we feel like royals. We both have rooms with doors.


Patiently awaiting our turn to speak at the weekly team meeting, we are pleased to hear a familiar ‘hey guys!’ amongst the Hungarian chatter. A few (20) minutes to describe the project later, we find a desk, a wifi passcode and reboot the piece.

KIBU is alive, filled with dismembered robots and knowing makers. Absolutely welcoming.

We had left Amsterdam with We Are Forests running on an Asterisk phone system and the desire to move things along the open source hardware route. Objects soon to be part of the internet of things.

We had also been meaning to revise our working schedule, as 10-18 – we found out the hard way, is more depressing then useful. Myself being mostly grumpy until 12.

Happy beginnings.


KIBU is hosting a noise workshop. This is driving us completely mad, but we remain focused and enjoy the happening. Noise is good.

Yet an escape to the great market hall allows for food and illuminations.
And we fall in love.

‘high above your head, iron struts hold up the arching orange roof.
light floods in from the hundreds of square glass panes,
illuminating the infinite pattern of pale and darker tiles lining the alleyways.’
– We Are Forests (rethink_v03)

This piece had found its public space. A market.


Duncan is ill.

The weekend…

is spent battling illnesses and .

We (mostly) talk about the market, and the adjacent bridge, about the reverence of cathedrals and feeling like a guest in a space.

We devise choreographies, and imagine stories beyond walls.

We think about crowds and lost intimacies, about the sited and the specific.

We remember the busker in the Amsterdam square, who played out of tune (with the piece in our ears).
In the end we had given him money to listen to our mp3 and play accordingly.
And it was beautiful. An unperfected bleed between We Are Forests and, well… this is your (real) life.

And Sunday night…

we meet Lawrence.

Lawrence is a friend of a friend, a brilliant musician and british expat living in Pest. He takes us to a local jazz bar, where the ‘chef’s favourite soup’ is followed by Pàlinka.

We tell Lawrence about the busker, and ask him if he knows a singer with the balls to perform the audience contributions in the market, a cappella, at a key moment in the piece.

He says: sure!

And that singer is now Lawrence.

As of Monday…

We geek out on Gumstix.

Duncan fires up the engines (with Tim, live from Dublin), writing up PD patches and lines of Linux to make sense of it all.

And I ponder.
‘What would you whisper in a stranger’s ear?’…
What if this piece was ever really meant to connect only two people within a crowd?

Our phone system was built with the gall to connect as many participants as possible, creating a choir-like narrative layered onto public spaces in real-time.

But what of this second piece? The object-based – more intimate piece… Could we actually change all the rules?

I travel the city and find a tin music box that László happily takes apart to find room for the Gumstix. coque samsung The top tier sounds like the creepy ‘eye wide shut’ score, and I make scary faces while winding the handle. And leave it at that.

Lawrence visits with Dori to rehearse the a cappella moment. We hand them mp3 players and imagined bits of narrative. And as they sing of lost sisters and broken windows, we finally hear the piece. Whole. And everyone applauds.

Meanwhile, Arjan (the great) is still hacking away at the Asterisk phone system and connected web interface, as we’ve sent him weird structure diagrams he must now make sense of. And all the way from Amsterdam, we receive pings and urls with progress updates and eventually, a final product.

With the Gumstix alive, the phone system kicking and our three producers flying into town, we are ready for our first market test.

Friday (today)

We test.

Duncan meets Lawrence and Dori at the market while I explain the rules to our willing participants.

Phones in hand, we make our way through the busy streets, and into the even busier market. It’s almost 12 and locals are stuffing themselves with cabbage as tourists fill their shopping bags with souvenirs.

And as our system now allows for calling out instead of in, we hit play, and mobiles start to ring.

‘Welcome to We Are Forests. iphone 11 case Press 1 to start’

In the Panorama bar, on the top tier of the building, Lawrence and Dori are scribbling down participants’ contributions as they are being recorded in real-time on the lower level.

‘Strawberries. Sausages. coque huawei A giant lamp.’

Duncan pushes the narrative and instructions sound files as I walk along, recording wild sound with my ‘chic white’ project phone.

The choreography seems to be working. People are navigating the space as planned.

‘we’d like you to be part of the crowd again,
because this moment was never just for you

make your way back downstairs to the central walkway of the market.’
– We Are Forests (rethink_v05)

The singers are now facing each other in the centre of the market. From the top floor, we hear the lower chords of Lawrence’s song. coque iphone But the space is giant and to notes are lost.

And as the piece finishes, and participants make their way to find us. bracelet bijoux We hope for the best. The tech system worked flawlessly, but what of the stories? of the intentions?

The feedback is good, helpful. coque iphone Our newest canvas is understood, and people are moved.

Now what?

This last leg comes with a deadline.

We are pleased to finish the residency in Bristol, as it feels like the project will be returning from a long journey abroad. Yet the timetables are tight, and we’ll only have a few days to re-write the script for the space, and show and tell. And then there is Future Everything

But we are here.

week 2 – budapest

Uncategorized duncan @ 3:38 pm

Dear Emilie,

It’s good to be back on the project and exciting to be in a new city. coque huawei Kibu is such an active space, a big shift from the meditative calm of the NiMK artlab. coque iphone Once again we’re resettling in a new world and just like the last two venues it’s amazing how welcome we’ve been made to feel. Have you noticed how the drive of the institution affects our workflow and interests.

The fact I’ve thrown myself at programming and microcomputers is definitely inspired by the fact we’re surrounded by wires, robots and geeks. We said that we’d make an effort to change our working patterns for this leg of the residency, and in this second week it’s definitely happened. iphone 11 case How are you finding the late start very late finish? I enjoy the fact that during the day there’s a lot of people and discussion but then it becomes easy to focus once it calms down in the evening.

I’m glad we’re still exploring two systems (phone + gumstix) and I especially like the suggestion you made to turn the gumstix branch into a two person experience. pokemon peluche It makes sense to me to explore the intimacy/public space question as a one-to-one experience, it’s a good counterpoint to the multiple participant space of the phone system. coque samsung I like where you’re going with the idea of the music box as an object to contain the technology, do you think there’s a risk it has too many nostalgic connotations? The music box itself looks good, if somewhat overly scary . coque samsung . .

It’s been interesting to rework the script for the phone piece too, delving into the details of intonation and suggestion, trying to keep it poetic while still remaining pragmatic about how to shape the contributions and choreography of the audience. coque huawei

I’m looking forward to today’s first proper test of the phone system.

Backend joy

Uncategorized duncan @ 10:47 am

here’s the new web interface Arjan has concocted for the phone version of We Are Forests

Week 2 Fri: Dogtime + Saviours

Uncategorized duncan @ 10:21 pm

Once I thought we might be getting somewhere with the phone system and decided that we may draw on the power of music in the piece, I started experimenting with music through IP phonelines. oh joy!We all know phone quality is bad, but through these software systems it gets even worse. The funniest thing is that the compression/filtering systems that they seem to use create the kind of sound processing that electronic musicians spend all their time working with. collier argent


Sending a bit of Maria Callas through a Tropo conference call leaves it sounding like an Autechre b-side, iphone 11 case sadly sending an Autechre b-side through it doesn’t end up operatic. coque iphone This is going to create some limitations for us but at the same time we can play with what it offers us, coque iphone the fragile breaking up of musical strains.
The evening saw a visit to a local exhibition ( of the local Dogtime course )and a chance encounter courtesy of my friend Marieke. A friend of hers happened to be experienced with using Asterisk (the open source phone system we wanted to use), coque huawei plus he was an artist, iphone case worked with the fantastic Mediamatic, coque iphone and was interested in our project, ladies and gentleman, let me introduce our new project collaborator,

Week 2 Thurs: ‘Twitter baiting’

Uncategorized duncan @ 10:17 pm

With Dan away in SXSW I set to work tackling Tropo, iphone 11 case after successfully setting up an answering machine service I began to drill into our conference muting/unmuting problem.

Spending a while in IRC chatrooms with their technical and customer support teams we eventually got news that a new development build would be released the following week, coque samsung so we should sit tight.

It was also the time we realised the power of twitter baiting, bracelet bijoux especially with new competing start-up companies! Mention one complaint/bug about a company on twitter and before you know it the company is replying to you and offering to sort out problems, iphone 11 case then the other companies chime in with their own services and offers of even ‘more’ support.

Sometimes they can be a bit over zealous in their monitoring if twitter though.


In one case we had been testing things with Twilio (a competitor service to Tropo) and found problems with their international phone support, we emailed their helpline but got no response, but then we mentioned the problem on twitter and got an @reply from them saying, coque iphone ‘we can help, coque iphone just send us an email’

- guys,

Two thirds

Uncategorized emilie @ 3:34 pm

I’m unclear as to where to start.
I was meant to go home, but I lingered instead.
We parted on a cold morning, near the invisible recycling bins.
This was 13 days ago.

Since we’ve decided to take some distance from the project, I feel almost every sentence and every thought spill out of the place in my body were We Are Forests lives.

This is what you’ve missed.


In Amsterdam…

I became obsessed with the archived voice, even though most of it broke my heart. iphone case {http://bit.ly/hsn4Bq}

We broke up with cloud API start-ups (you know who you are) to build our own open source wonder. coque samsung {http://bit.ly/eSAcHp}

We traveled to Belgium to be led around a museum in headphones and blindfolds. coque iphone {http://bit.ly/ieCbo4}

We adopted a square, with a courtyard beyond and a name we (still) can’t pronounce. {http://bit.ly/fxrzL3}

We asked you to leave us voicemails, which you didn’t do and we got slightly upset. collier argent {http://bit.ly/hYCkMj}

I read about the Fukushima reactor collapse whilst sat in the Trans-Natural symposium (and was suddenly thankful to work with melancholic sound and not creepy futuristic bacteria). bijoux pas cher {http://bit.ly/bqsK2o}

I listened to the Sounds of Montréal and felt a sudden gash to the heart. (‘Lonely lonely that was you’) {http://bit.ly/epzts7}

We devised a new scheme in which we remove an audience from their home town for two months, play them police radio and make them weep. {http://bit.ly/CbKLY}

Instead, we curated a structure and gently extorted stories from an audience. And as he fought with writing music for phone lines, he later payed a busker to play our track live during the final show. coque samsung And it was beautiful.

Then he found the kill switch and I raised the flag.


I’m unclear as to where to start.
I was meant to go home, but I lingered instead.
We are meeting on the Gatwick Express platform, heading for Budapest.
This is two days from now.

PS. coque iphone We also came up with a safe word to ensure we would remain friends, and remember to laugh.


Uncategorized duncan @ 1:37 pm

the first few days at the PMstudio were filled with the usual admin that comes with such residencies, coque huawei especially when there are numerous partners and artists arriving in new countries. coque samsung With admin tackled during the days the evenings became a time to start re-examining our original ideas., coque huawei especially thoughts around co-authorship, whether that between us and the audience or within the audience.
We decided quite quickly that we wanted to lead the audience towards the idea of speaking out loud, coque samsung and not throw them into it. bijoux personnalise coque samsung We devised a series of written tasks that we published on a vague website, coque iphone bijoux personnalise the original invitation was simply ‘what would you whisper in a stranger’s ear’ with an anonymous comment system and no information about the context.

See the website at http://weareforests.com

Slowly we added new tasks over the following days, coque huawei collier argent and a little bit more contextual information about the project, eventually we added a comment system where participants were encourage to draw their response to the question. bijoux pas cher This shift into visual contribution was an uncomfortable diversion for me,

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