Mike Wozniewski is a designer and developer of interactive software for the arts. As a freelance researcher, he maintains collaborations with several recognized institutions and works with many creative minds who likewise seek to push the boundaries of computer-mediated artistic expression.
Studying with the Centre for Intelligent Machines at McGill University, he developed the core technology for the Audioscape Project , which has been featured in several artistic installations, performances, and international conferences. At the Society for Arts and Technologies in Montreal, he continues to create open source tools that enable artists to make use of new technologies.
Mike’s previous work is centered mostly around the use of virtual reality technology, interactive systems, and immersive projection environments with 3D audio. However, recent projects involve more mobile and location-based technology. Examples include the Raw Materials project, that allows the public to use their cell phones to contribute images, sounds and videos during live events. The Mobile Audioscape project, on the other hand, uses GPS tracking and wireless connectivity to create mixed reality environments in outdoor spaces. Ultimately, he aims to create the tools that artists need to connect people with each other and with their surroundings, while allowing for creative expression.
See http://www.mikewoz.com/ for more information.
My desire is to engage the public and to provide artists with the tools and technologies required to capitalize on user-generated content and social media. All of the software I create is available for free with an open source license, meaning that anyone can take it, change it, and use it however they wish. I strongly advocate the open source movement, creative commons licensing for art and media, and the copyleft model in general. I think creativity is facilitated by one’s tools and will best flourish with unrestricted access to all utilities and media.
As computation becomes more mobile, we see the public engaging with digital information while on the move. New forms of artistic expression are thus possible, since the public has tools to connect and take part in events as they happen. Furthermore, with location-aware technologies such as GPS, artworks can be associated with real world locations, and virtual elements can be overlaid on the physical environment, creating a medium that operates on a potentially grand scale, shared by multiple distributed participants.
The SoundPark installation is a motivating example of this type of mobile arts application. It operates in a city park (in this case, Parc Jean-Mance in Montreal), and allows users to discover and rearrange sounds that have been scattered throughout the location. Participants need to actually walk around in order to experience and manipulate the material, but in doing so, they can create their own customized musical mix. In the video on our front page or the Table of Contents page, we see a game-like version of the system, where participants are challenged to recreate a particular mix.
Another example that encourages public involvement is the Raw Materials project, which provides the technology for cell phone users to contribute text messages, images and videos to public events in real time. It is thus possible for audience members to send comments or photos of themselves, which can be displayed on large screens during concerts, or mixed by a VJ to become part of the show.
The video below documents one such event, held on March 6th, 2009, which took place simultaneously in two locations: at the Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal and Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver. The audiences from both locations contributed images and videos of their surrounding neighborhoods, which was remixed by artists and displayed to the public:
Look forward to the premiere of Audio Graffiti this summer, which will allow mobile participants to leave audio tags and mix music in an urban environment. (Part of the International Computer Music Conference. August 21, 2009. Location to be announced.)
* SoundPark was developed at the Shared Reality Lab at McGill University, with funding from the NSERC/Canada Council for the Arts New Media Initiative.
[There’s increasing evidence that increasing wireless communication and cell phone usage in particular are linked to a concomitant increase in head and neck cancers. Serai Editorial Staff]