String TV

String TV (2009)

Interactive audio-visual installation
the LAB’s 25th Anniversary Exhibition July 31-August 29, 2009.

A long string “self-oscillates” or has no visible performer. The oscillations of a long string are visually manifested on a TV monitor. The monitor is hanging from above, shining down on the string.

String TV


















The audience/participant may move 2 magnets which are mounted to handles and slide below the string. When the magnet moves to different parts of the string, it shifts the tone of the entire system, causing fluctuations, pulsations, and overtones in the audio and visual elements simultaneously.

Harmonic vibrations of the string are acoustically generated, that is, the vibrations come directly from the string and body of the instrument with no amplification.

The work is an autonomous feedback system: self-propogating, ever-changing, and highly responsive to space, people, and conditions around it.

This work is very touchable– participants also touch and press on the body of the instrument, where they can feel the vibrations of the fundamental tone of the string and can alter the harmonic overtones.

A small computer concealed inside the instrument body runs a custom program to monitor and stimulate the feedback. The TV monitor vibrations are fed back into the to the string, thus creating a sonic and visual feedback loop.

Max and Marjorie Mathews with String TV

















Below are two videos of my installation String TV, which was presented in San Francisco at the LAB’s 25th Anniversary Exhibition August 2009. The first video is a demo explaining the system and inspiration for the piece. The second video is a performance on the instrument by Gregg Kowalsky, who also did the camerawork on both videos. Special thanks to the staff at the LAB for being such wonderful hosts & to Max Allstadt for his beautiful fabrication & woodworking.

Instrument fabrication/carpentry by Max Allstadt.

The LAB’s 25th Exhibition theme was “respond to a previous LAB artists” therefore this piece is designed as hommage to local audio artist and architect Scott Arford‘s AV feedback works