Skip to Content

Gridjam: experimental music project

Date posted: Tuesday 13 Apr 2010

An experimental project that brings together visual artists, composers, musicians and computer scientists, while using new high-speed international optiphonic networks will be featured at a free public lecture at Swinburne University.

According to its co-creator, Jack Ox, Gridjam "demonstrates real-time, interactive, distance computing through a live, partly-improvised, 3D-visualised musical performance. It is both a work of art and a research project into high performance collaborative network computing."

Ox has been at the cutting-edge of visual arts, music, computer science and design for more than 20 years and is currently an Assistant Research Professor at the University of New Mexico, College of Fine Arts. She is in Melbourne this week visiting Swinburne's Faculty of Design.

Gridjam visualises Alvin Curran's structured musical improvisation performed by musicians - in distant locations but connected via networking technologies - who need to see each other's facial expressions and body movements to create a successful performance.

As it is heard, the music is represented in coloured shapes which remain as a 3D graphical sculpture after the performance. The colours, images, shapes and even the motions and placement of the visualised musical shapes are governed by artist-defined metaphoric relationships, created by hand.

According to Ox: "Gridjam is important because it shows that artists in dispersed locations can reconnect, performing and responding to each other with great intimacy.

"The ripple effect of this reconnection will be that the local communities of individual participants will then be able to engage in future networking activities.

"It is always difficult to be the first to explore new technologies, but we hope to help others to follow through the example of a successful event.

"Eventually, the cultural centre of the world will no longer be a specific city or physical place. Rather, it will be on a network that is fast enough to accommodate real-time performances with real- time audiences.

"Gridjam is also significant as a demonstration of the capabilities of next generation arts and entertainment technology venues. It will be used by cyberinfrastructure scientists to push and fine tune this newest level of optical networking. This is evidenced by the collaboration between computer scientists and artists."

For more information, visit the Gridjam website and slideshow.

Event: Gridjam seminar - free public lecture
Where: AGSE 207, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn
When: Thursday 15 April 2010 11.00am - 12.30pm




Lea Kivivali
Department: Corporate and Government Affairs
Phone: +61 3 9214 5428
Mobile Phone: 0410 569 311