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:: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 ::


Babble by Alex McLean

"Babble is a system for authoring mechanistic sound poetry. It occupies a space between speech and music, allowing play with the structure and form of simplified phonetics. The visitor is encouraged to enter nonsense verse, which is then immediately played back as synthesised sound. Although babble's phonetic system is quite unlike that of any natural language, when faced with the text that generates the sound, the listener has the sensation of 'hearing' speech.

"Babble is written in the open source HaXe language, which compiles to javascript and flash. The source code for babble is available under the GNU Public License version 3 or later."

This makes some fun noises and I like the rhythms it generates when given large sets of input data. However, the "simplified phonetics" are simplified to the point they bare little relation to what you put in.

Babble by Alex McLean is a project.arnolfini commission (produced for the exhibition 'Supertoys'.
[development blog]

"Alex McLean is a programmer and live coding musician. He is co-founder of the dorkbotlondon meetings on electronic art, the TOPLAP organisation for the proliferation of live algorithm programming and the runme software art repository. He is also a PhD student at Goldsmiths College, within the Intelligent Sound and Music Systems group."

I had a wander around the Supertoys exhibition last week. There is some interesting stuff, but as I've complained about previous technology based exhibitions at the Arnolfini, half of it wasn't working or was only a prototype. I may go back sometime to see if things gets fixed.

"mechanistic sound poetry. It occupies a space between speech and music"
Sometimes I think people might appreciate art more if the artists didn't write a load of balls about everything they do. That would raise the bar such that the art had to be good enough to stand on its own, rather than need to be justified by some pseudo-intellectual twaddle or gibberish manifesto.
[/end rant]

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:: Dan 3.12.08 [Arc] [1 comments] [links to this post] ::
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