break me, 2020
break me, madeira is an audiovisual collaboration that sets generative visual art, inspired primarily by Paul Klee, to electro-acoustic music. Instead of being driven by the audio waveform of the music, the visuals are driven solely through the human perception and experience of the music and is an exploration in making seemingly abstract connections more concrete.
This project brings together a plethora of technologies that took the form of an audiovisual piece. It started with a desire to re-create synesthesia. Taking inspiration from Paul Klee’s May Picture, we started to recreate aspects of it that were interesting, but in code. We found that one of the challenges with computationally generated is that “perfect” shapes do not invite interest, since that is what we expect from machines. So we started to add imperfections that added interest the the piece. In terms of sounds, there is a lot of machinery-inspired soundscapes that take the audience through different worlds and the visuals keep up continually, creating an audiovisual experience in which the audio and visuals come across as abstract entities that respond to one another and keep displaying concrete connections.
Side story This project initially started because I was on a 24-hour flight journey from USA to India and was staring at a Paul Klee painting that was my phone wallpaper. The long journey gave me an opportunity to look at the art for longer than I had ever done previously. In an art gallery, there's usually so many pieces to look at and limited time but on a plane it felt like I had forever to look at the painting. As I stared at it, I started to see all the things that made it interesting and beautiful, and hence started on the journey to find that beauty in my own audiovisual works.
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
I was inspired by Paul Klee's painting "May Picture" and was studying the imperfections in the grid that made the painting so interesting and made some visuals that could stand on their own, and followed where the shapes and colors took me.
How long did it take to make it?
The whole piece took about 3 months
How long have you been doing things like this?
I've been making audiovisual art for about 3 years, and composing music for 4 years
How much did this cost to do?
Just the electricity and some cloud credits for the Style Transfer
Have you done other things like this?
Yes, I make little videos on my Instagram until I have a full work finished
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
How fun and satisfying it can be!
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
None, at the moment
I have a few different pieces in the works that I want to finish. I have ramped up some of the effects that are available to me and it's been hard sticking to making art instead of making more effects
I used Processing for the first version and moved it to openFrameworks to make it more scalable. I used RunwayML for the AI Style Transfer.
Mayank Sanganeria : Composer, Multimedia artist
Mayank Sanganeria is a composer, music technologist and multimedia artist based in San Francisco. Mayank got his MA from CCRMA, Stanford in Music, Science and Technology and has worked in creating new musical instruments and on the interaction between performers, composers and instruments. His current interest lies in utilizing technology to increase the fun bits of the music making process, and decrease the tedium. Other interests include building music educational tools, as well as creating audiovisual art built on top of his compositions, with the visuals inspired primarily by Bauhaus painters. His audiovisual works have been exhibited at group exhibitions in Portugal, Argentina and the United States.
Connect with Mayank Sanganeria
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