Emergence System

Emergence System is a collaboration between two biotic agents and a community of electromechanical devices that generate sound and light.

The musical instruments are portable and inexpensive, their operating principles easy to understand. Materials such as cardboard, bamboo, aluminium foil, and wood are combined with electric circuits and simple microprocessors. Examples of these devices include Sail, an acoustic radiator driven by a tactile transducer; Dronepipe, a textured column for directional sound; Tonewheel, an optical sequencer with tap entry and gate output; Crashpanel, a birchwood vibraphone with kebab skewer beaters; Eclipse, a light-sensitive modulator; SoundSniffer, an amplifier for transducers of many types; Springer, a spring-based reverb box; and Bleeper, an electronic tone generator based on Arduino.

The visual system, Wolfscope, is named after the technique of howl-around, the earliest form of video feedback. A webcam captures the performance area, reconstituting this input into ever-changing kaleidoscopic patterns.

Our active principle is a playful, exploratory engagement in a collaborative milieu. As improvisers, we work within a fragile system that is sensitive to small perturbations. This approach embeds our concerns for the pressing issues of the current era, the Anthropocene.