Ultrasound 2004 logo
25, 26, 27 Nov, The Media Centre, Huddersfield
// Home // Live // Workshop // Installation // 2003 // 2002 //

WED 24 - FRI 26 NOV



ALKU DJs [ES] / 7.30pm - 11pm
Classic computer music, early electroacoustics, whale songs, bluegrass, black metal and everything in between.


SHOWCASE / 10am - 5.30pm /
Steve Symons/Aura, Nick Collins/TOPLAP, Andrew Wilson/Anywhereblogs, Tuomo Tammenpää/Creative R&D, Johannes Gees/Hello World.

LIVE / 7.30pm - 1am /


LIVE / 7.30pm - 1am /

SHOWCASE / Creative Research and Development

FRI 26 / 10am - 5.30pm / Conference Room / The Media Centre /

A Digital Research Unit event featuring presentations, demonstrations and discussions relating to the application of new technologies to creative practice.

The Digital Research Unit is a partnership between The Media Centre, Huddersfield and the University of Huddersfield Centre of Excellence in Digital Design [CoEDD]. DRU facilitates and disseminates trans-disciplinary creative practice based R&D in digital, interactive, network media, physical computing, emerging technologies and pervasive media.

Speakers: Tuomo Tammenpää, Andrew Wilson, Johanne Gees, Steve Symons, Nick Collins. Chaired by Drew Hemment, Director, Futuresonic.

Electronics Electronic Display Electronics

Tuomo Tammenpää | Creative R&D

Tuomo is the current Artist in Residence [AiR] at the Digital Research Unit. During his residency Tuomo has explored aspects of computer vision and video tracking within a Max/MSP/Jitter environment, making simple prototype devices with cameras, microcontrollers and sensors. His objective has been to extend his knowledge of the software and self made custom hardware required to facilitate optimal spatial control for interactive, installation based artwork. With this open framework in place he has been able to play with several projects, allowing trial and error as a method for practice based creative research and development.

Tuomo has also collaborated with Daniel Blackburn, Founder and Director of Huddersfield based Carbon Based Games Ltd. Their collaborative investigation into aspects of physical computing and wireless technology has focused on the development of modular, wireless ‘tiles’ as a platform for various interactive game and play scenarios. During his presentation Tuomo will demonstrate these early prototypes.



1. Searching Camera

A rotating video camera mounted on a stepper motor and controlled by tracking and centering the object in front of camera via a microcontroller. This simple prototype attempts to follow a moving target within its camera view.


2. Recognising a Human Figure
Video data is analysed and the human figure can be recognised from the form and mass of the object in front of the camera.


3. DIY Wireless Communication
This work represents early stage trials for a wireless multinode RF [Radio Frequency] communication between microcontrollers and a computer. This communication forms the foundation for a ‘tangible object’ work, but it is also a nice small proof of the DIY possibilities for artists working with electronics.

Andrew Wilson | Anywhereblogs

Anywhereblogs turns the ubiquitous 2G GSM mobile phone into a tool to create wireless public places. A text-based interface allows users to name their own locations and to cluster conversations and information around communally defined locations. Anywhereblogs takes a lo-fi, self-organising approach to wireless public space, built on the observed culture and practice of mobile phone use. Instead of the commercial 'lost tourist' model of location based services, in which mobile devices are used to navigate round a city, Anywhereblogs uses the city as an interface to navigate round mobile phones.

Andrew Wilson’s presentation looks at temporary mobile public places, from flower stalls and newspaper sellers to Japanese manga pods, and provides an overview of the four year history of lo-fi locative media projects from Toronto, New York, and Leeds/Huddersfield/Manchester that explore the relationship between mobile devices, conversations and public places.

Anywhereblogs has its first ever trial during Ultrasound 2004. All of the Ultrasound venues have been named as Anywhereblogs places. To visit them and take part, just go to the www.ablogs.org WAP site on your mobile phone. All comments on the system are very welcome.


Johanne Gees | Hello World

Internationally known as an artist for his project ‘hellomrpresident’ [nominated for the Transmediale Award 2001], an interactive text projection during the World Economic Forum in Davos. It was followed in 2003 by 'Helloworld' - four giant laser text projections connected by internet and mobile phones in Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Bombay and New York.

Johannes Gees' work has been shown in galleries and international art shows in Mexico, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland.

He lives is Zurich, Switzerland, and is currently working on his new project 'WORK SCHOOL BIRTH DEATH', a series of text projections in different locations in Switzerland, and a new interactive laser project in Japan: 'THE FUJI SAN PROJECT'.


Nick Collins | TOPLAP

Nick is studying for a PhD at Cambridge under the supervision of Ian Cross in the Music Department and Alan Blackwell in Computer Science. A provisional title is 'Beat Induction and Rhythm Analysis for Live Audio Processing'.

Relevant interests include the cognitive science of rhythm perception and production, its application in onset detection, beat induction and automated analysis, and aspects of interaction in laptop music performance. We'll take an interest in sound synthesis, dsp and algorithmic composition as de rigueur.
Some computer languages allow a programmer to change a running process on the fly by rewriting the code that defines it. If the output of that code is a process being revealed to human senses, an interactive performance is possible. Applied to live computer music this means sound compositions can be heard as they form, and musical algorithms adjusted while already playing.

TOPLAP is the Temporary Organisation for the Promotion of Live Algorithm Programming, set up to explore the application of live programming to composition and performance. TOPLAP advocates treating algorithms as live artistic material, allowing them to be written and manipulated while they create music or video, perhaps in front of an audience.

The interests of the TOPLAP membership encompass live coding performances with output in both audio and visual modalities, the possibilities of immediate feedback given by prototyping compositions in interpreted programming languages and new languages for on-the-fly programming. This international organisation is gathering membership and profile. Recent performances and demonstrations have taken place in Japan, USA, Sweden, Germany, England and Denmark.

Further information on TOPLAP artists, events and theory is available at:


The site contains links to archived performances, papers on live coding practise and history as identified by the group.

Steve Symons | Aura

The stuff around the stuff around you

Aura is a sonic multi-user augmented reality that allows users to effect a
personal audio landscape through their actions within a defined space and in
doing so, they also alter the vista for other users. By focusing on
non-verbal dialogue and communication, participants are encouraged to work
together to create sonic tapestries through their relative movements.

Augmented reality involves the overlaying of digital information onto real
space. By moving through the real environment, users experience the digital
information at the location to which it refers. The Aura project takes this
even further by rejecting physical interfaces [mouse, keyboard, screen], in
favour of directional augmented reality to create a seamless, naturalistic

Walking through the designated space wearing headphones and carrying an Aura
roving unit [Personal Digital Assistant [PDA] augmented to access user
location and heading] provides full spatial listening that encourages the
creation of 'sculptures of the mind'. Each users¹ location and heading is
rendered audible to other participants within a three dimensional soundscape
that blurs the real world and artistic intervention. As users move they
cause shifts in their own and the other users¹ sonic experience.

The content emerges from the interaction between participants. Actions by
one user that may result in a pleasant affect may not carry over to other
users¹ experiences. Through manipulating the soundscape heard by individual
roving units, the work seeks to question assumptions of shared language and
cultural references.