Data Translation

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The experiment ‘Data Translations ‘ (DT) is a formal analysis of a text. Specifically, it is the abstract of the book Architecture of the Indeterminacy by Yago Conde This analysis refers to the text structure through its characters. The DT experiment exposes the versatility of data translation processes in the digital domain. In these translations different digital entities (like a text file, an image, a sound or a 3Dform) are linked together. The text is literally translated into a series of numeric values, character by character. This number sequence allows data visualization and sonification, through some digital tool conversion. The sonification’s result is transformed into a 3Dmodel. The following pages show in more detail the processes of the DT experiment. This has been attempted in the most automated possible way. However, in this type of translation there will be some subjectivity and interpretation. Both will depend on which type of parameters is chosen. Consequently this diversity of choices will also give a formal diversity to the final object (like an image, a sonification, a 3Dmodel, etc.) The question then appears: If such variability exists, what would be the best final product? On one hand, a single result should not be considered, because a certain problem can be solved in many different ways. On the other, the intention of any design has to be always incorporated. This means that in certain amount of cases, only some of these may satisfy the design requirements. Furthermore, variability implies differentiation. In the present context, this point becomes relevant as a counterpoint to the legacy of the modern movement’s serialization. By increasing complexity, variability and multiplicity, some uncertainty could appear while taking decisions. This can lead in extreme cases to a deadlock, but at the same time, it offers more solutions or options. In this sense the limits are being challenged, expanding the creative fields.

 

The DT experiment shows two translation processes. In the first process a text is converted into a two-dimensional image. In the second process, firstly a text is translated into a sound recording and afterwards this is transformed into a3D Model.1 In the latter case, the translation vector goes from sound into 3D form. However, is it possible to reverse this direction? Could the vector go from shape to sound? The answer is yes, because data translation in the digital frame occurs regardless of the direction taken (for example, from sound to form as well as from shape to sound). Dynamic data could be obtained from 3Dmodels in order to sonificate them later trough synthesizers.2Another possibility is to sonificate spaces and tectonic volumes through volumetric reconstruction scanners. These scanners could send dynamic data (such as distances or other parameters) to a sound interpretation system. If experiments from sound to form could be 3d printed, another step in the interaction of perceptual layers could be achieved. This would mean to get a haptic experience of sound, and consequently of its intangibility. A common point in these processes is experimentation and interest of the method, rather than the specific outcome. At the same time multiplicity and variation allows selecting a specific option that fits most requirements. In this type of practices the philosophy of making is very present. As John Cage’s and Corita Kent’s quote mentioned: “Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.” 3

Notes

1  Recalling the software sequence is the next for the first process:
Python scripting http://www.python.org/
Processing http://processing.org/
And the following sequence for the second process:
Python scripting http://www.python.org/
Pd Visual Programming Language http://puredata.info/
SoundPlot http://www.pliatech.com/SoundPlot.aspx

2  For example: dynamic parameters generated of a 3Dmodel in Rhino and Grasshopper could be sent to a Pure-data synth via Open Sound Control (OSC).

3 Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make” is the 6th rule of the list of Art Department  by artist & teacher Corita Kent. Later composer & writer John Cage popularized this list due to his contribution in the 10 th rule: “we are breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities
Image of List is available here:
http://www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/sistercoritarules1.jpg

 

Sonification recording can be listened here:

https://ia601206.us.archive.org/0/items/SonificationAbstractArquitecturaDeLaIndeterminacion/Sonification_AbstractArquitecturaDeLaIndeterminaci%C3%B3n.mp3

 

 

 

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