Piccolo Amp Animation from Ben Jarrett on Vimeo.

CLIENT:                     Unitec & Audiosine Ltd.

PROJECT DATE:       2010

The Ovid amplifier comprises half of my final undergraduate project.  The form-changing device arises from research that I completed, that seek to eliminate standard audio controls and user feedback loops such as LEDs and alphanumeric displays.  Rather, I sort to engage the listener in a subtle way that allows for an emerging and continual dialogue between the artifact and user as the device changes attitude over time.

Initially the user would send us one or more music files which would then be form modified and then used to laser cut the acrylic (or jet), making each amplifier unique for every user.  Each of the waves can move forward and backwards and is bearing coupled to the adjacent slats.  This coupling allows for 8mm movement relative to each other – as the slats move (via stepper motors) – the wave move relative to each other, echoing the motion of the sea.

The amplifier physically reacts to inputs, giving the user feedback by moving into a new shape.  With time the user begins to intuit the positions that the amplifier moves to when actioned and gains a closer, connotative understanding of the device, which slowly changes over time.  This transfiguration means that the piece deepens the dialogue, unfolding the narrative as the relationship mutates.

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