Matter and energy are changing states continually, extending through multiple dimensions that we are just discovering how to perceive. By mixing solid-state electronics with fluid open systems we can explore emergent sonic phenomena, amplifying our experience of the everyday. This workshop will give a brief introduction to basic electrochemistry and crystallization, followed by experimentation with tactile electronics and improvised sound.
We will construct simple oscillator circuits on breadboards and use them to sonify a crystal solution with temperature and electrolysis probes. Open wire contacts allow for the body to enter the circuit, creating bio-physical feedback and altering the sound. As the signal transforms the molecular structure of the solution, atoms self-organize and crystal lattices begin to form.
The chemistry of electrolysis creates bubbles as electrified copper wires split oxygen and hydrogen atoms off of molecules. Copper ions are sent into the solution, bonding with sulphur atoms to create traces of blue copper sulphate. A single LED lights the process clearly and strobes with the sound. If available, dry ice is added to lower the temperature of the solution, also smoking, bubbling, and changing the pitch of the oscillator.
Sound improvisation techniques will be introduced, and after some time experimenting, I will lead the participants in a group improvisation. The solutions can be taken home and will continue to crystallize, with the experience of their sounds embedded within.
Montreal-based artist Erin Sexton explores matter, energy, space, and time through sound, performance, installation, and video. Playing between theoretical (meta)physics and experimental (al)chemistry, her raw post-minimalist approach embodies immanence through an active vulnerability. With analog electronics, crystal oscillations, electromagnetic fields, and electro-chemical improvisation she creates direct links between lived experience and the processes of nature, drawing us into contact with the micro-macro cosmos. Sexton has presented her performance and installation work in festivals and galleries across North America and Europe, released several albums, and is featured on multiple compilations. She is a member of the Perte-de-Signal artist collective, nocinema.org, FÜNF, Ænth, and often collaborates in improvisation contexts.