Algorithmic design opens up a whole new space of bioinspired aesthetics, data-derived forms and wide variation across pieces. The levels of complexity and application of additive manufacturing (for example 3D-printing) can seem quite inaccessible to artists. abnormal aims to support artists in their technology literacy by connecting the artist’s intention to cutting-edge technological development.
The four types of work we do for artists are: Algorithmic Design, Sound Design, Electronics and Networking.
Algorithmic design focuses on developing 3D models and prints for artists. Using algorithms to design form allows for different datastreams to dictate the formation of the geometry. We can for example grow shapes based on recorded monologues or on weather data in a specific location. An example of this work is Cleave. For Cleave we have developed an algorithm that takes the fundamental frequency of someone’s voice and generates a flute that matches that frequency.
Our work in Sound Design includes making generative sound pieces that change, respond and adapt over time. We also have the capability to carry out the acoustic design of an installation piece through the specification of resonating cavities or adjusting sound pieces to match the harmonics of the room the piece is displayed in. An example of our sound design work can be found in WIM. Where we made a generative sound composition that bent and buckled in response to the movement of a dancer.
Our Electronics support focuses on making pieces that move, sense and interact. For Cleave we developed custom hardware and software. Each chip is programmed to listen for a specific sonic frequency and to respond by moving its flute. The system is packaged in an app which enables the artist to fine-tune the settings of the installation without having to interact with any code.
Lastly we have a network of brilliant technologists with specialisations in for example AI, Electrical engineering and Software Engineering. Being up-to-date with the most recent technological developments we are able to connect artists to leading people in technology and make concepts materialise through ground-breaking technology. An example of this work is our work with Judith Deschamps. We put her in touch with leading AI scientists who developed an AI that is capable of singing when given scores and a set of training data.