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locus sonus > audio in art
Locus Sonus is a research group specialized in audio art. It is organized as a post graduate lab by the Art Schools of Aix en Provence (ESAA), Nice (ENSA Villa Arson) and Marseille (ESBAM) in the south of France. We have a partnership with sociology lab CNRS, LAMES Aix en Provence (who are interested by the way that practices related to new technologies are creating modifications in artistic production and the way that the public responds to these modifications), and we currently continue collaborations with the CRESSON, architecture lab CNRS in Grenoble (sonic spaces research centre), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and other international partners.
Locus Sonus is concerned with the innovative and transdisciplinary nature of audio art forms some of which are experimented and evaluated in a lab type context. An important factor is with the collective or multi-user aspects inherent to many emerging audio practices and which necessitate working as a group. Two main thematic define this research - audio in it's relation to space and networked audio systems.
Locus Sonus Lab 2007/2009 : Julien Clauss, Alejandro Duque, Scott Fitzgerald, Jérôme Joy, Anne Roquigny, Peter Sinclair.

The Locustream Project 2005/present
In the fall of 2005 the lab started work on a group project with the aim to involve the various different members of the group in a way, loose enough, to not stifle individual creativity, while still providing a firm basis for communal experimentation and exploration.
Locus Sonus is inherently nomadic in nature, shared between 2 institutions separated by several hundred Kms, we travel regularly to meet and work together in and from different locations.
It was decided to set up some live audio streams, basically open microphones which upload a given soundscape or sound environment continuously to a server and from there available from anywhere via the WWW. Our intention being to provide a permanent (and somewhat emblematic) resource to tap into as raw materiel for our artistic experimentation.
After setting a first permanent stream (outside Cap15 a artists studio complex in Marseilles) we started by using the stream in a performance/ improvisation type mode using the, now standard, laptop and MIDI controller with homemade patchs to reinterpret the stream in real time. This proved to be somewhat problematic because often nothing in particular would be happening on the stream at a given time when we were intending to work with it.

A discussion that followed this type of presentation led us to believe that it was necessary to define the protocol (sound capture/ network/local form) that we were employing more precisely. One of our problems was the choice of the stream emplacement - should this be made in relation to geographical location or sound quality or some kind of political or social situation... The decision was made to leave this up to other people, a partly practical and partly ideological choice. At this point we tidied up our Pure Data streaming patch so that other people could implement it without too much difficulty, boosted the number of streams which could be accepted simultaneously by our server, and started stripping down our ideas for installations, confident that the worldwide audio art community (with a little help from our friends) would respond to our call, which they did.
Various practices developed within the lab following the evolution of the project.

Locustream tuner april 2006
Listening installation
last version (Locus Sonus Roadshow, GMEM, Marseilles, F)

One installation with which we present the streaming project, consists of a pair of wires stretched the length of the exhibition space with a small ball threaded on them. The position of the ball can be altered by the public acting like a tuner, an audio promenade where users slide their way through a series of remote audio locations. Multiple loudspeakers enable us to spatialize the sound of the streams creating so that each different audio stream selected on the wire emanates from a new position in the local space.
In order to make the installation function efficiently we were obliged to incorporate a system allowing us to interrogate our server and update the list of current streams (people go away or use their streaming computer for a concert or a machine crashes...) we use the list to provide visual feedback by projecting names of the places the streams are coming from.

Locustream - soundmap, tardis july 2006
Open Mikes
access to the soundmap (2005/2008)
have a look to the new in-progress soundmap (2008/...)

Locustream audio tardis (on-line listening interface) (04/2008)
list of the available streams

At one point it seemed necessary to provide the "streamers" (as we have come to call the musicians and artists who've responded to our call) with the possibility to access the streams themselves, not only to hear their own stream but also those provided by other people. So we made this animated map which shows the location of all the streams and indicates those which are currently active with a blinking light. By clicking on a chosen location one can directly listen to the OGG Vorbis stream in a browser.

Community of streamers. Another interesting development arising from the fact that we are involving other people to set up the microphones is that we have found ourselves with a network of people - artists, musicians and researchers, who are inherently interested by networked audio. This has led to use of the streams for art forms, outside of the lab itself (SARC in Belfast, Cedric Maridet in Hong-Kong, etc.).
Much of our research concerns the emergence of listening practices which are based on the permanence, the non spectacular or non event based quality of the streams. We have found ourselves creating a sort of variation on Cageian (as in John Cage) listening, importing a remote acoustic environment in a way which can be chosen by the user, creates a renewed concentration on the local environment itself.
This has led us to reflect on a form which adopts a permanent or semi permanent situation to present the streams publicly, and which involves a relationship between the local and the remote environment.

Locustream Promenade july 2007
Listening installation
prototype (GMEM, Marseilles, sept 07)

Our project which we call Locustream Promenade uses parabolic loudspeakers which focus sound into a beam beneath a suspended dish, only heard when the listener passes through it. We have equipped each parabola with a mini computer (actually a hacked wifi router) and sound card. Placed within a wifi network each dish connects to a specific stream, provided with electricity it can be placed anywhere.

Locustreambox july/sept 2007
embarked computer/ mini-pc (Linux, Pd, streaming)
prototype (sept-oct 08)
technical development (july 08)
prototype with a WiFi router (GMEM, Marseilles, sept 07)

We are simultaneously developing a "streambox" - mini-PC equipped with a microphone and configured to connect to our streaming server as soon as it is plugged in. These boxes are equipped with a wireless connection, they use very little electricity, they are also silent. Given these improvements, we hope that by sending them to "streamers" we will be able to ensure the permanent functioning of the open mikes.

Promenade in Paris 2008/2009
audio ambiances & field spatialization

The project involves setting up the parabolas of the Locustream Promenade on the Parvis de La Défense in Paris. For those who are not familiar with this space - it is quite unusual in that it's almost entirely populated by people who work in offices around the plaza (Several thousand people emerge from the subway station in the middle of the area every morning, crisscross in different directions and then return underground in the evening). The parabolic loudspeakers will be distributed throughout the public space, each one relaying a remote ambiance. The public will be able to hear the evolution of the distant streams over weeks or months and at different times of the day. The parabolas will be set up progressively as permanent streams become available. The sociology lab LAMES wil be studying the process of installing the streams and its impact on the population frequenting "La Défense", the way in which they react to this listening experience.

Wimicam june 2006
WiFi parabolic mike and cam
in progress project

Parallel to the setting up and development of the Locus stream project Locus Sonus lab started a simultaneous and complementary line of experimentation related to the capture and amplification of sound in relatively local space, an audio survey so to speak of a limited perimeter around the amplification point, the auditors position. The intention here was to experiment with making the sound flux mobile, as a counterpoint to the "Locustream" project where the capture position is fixed. Inverting the principal behind the open microphone proposal by linking the point of capture to the deambulation of a person (performer) the sound flux becomes a subjective selection and therefore a personal representation of that space offered by the person manipulating the microphone. The hypothesis being is that as we (humans) render our own personal sound space mobile, via the use of cellular phones, laptop computers, ipods etc. Could this very principal become the basis for an artistic practice ?

Sound in Virtual Spaces may 2007
Research on remote ambient sound combined with an interest in spatialization techniques and ways to interface with them has led us to take an interest in virtual worlds and 3D environments.

Locus Sonus in Second Life (LS in SL), May 2007/ June 2008,
audio stream from a virtual space

New Atlantis (puf program with SAIC Chicago, 2008)
LS in SL (Seconde Nature Festival, june 2008)
in progress project

We looked at Second life in terms of a networked community, and we started wondering if it would be worthwhile to create an extension of our lab there.
The first action that we accomplished was to set up an interface to listen to the locus sonus streams in SL. (Brett Ian Balogh, SAIC). We then asked ourselves what the equivalent of an open microphone might be in SL. It became apparent that the possibilities for generating audio within SL are extremely limited, therefore we decided to create an autonomous system which generates sound to be streamed to SL.
Our system was created as an extension of the real world into the virtual world of Second Life. In SL, we fabricated a series of rooms adjoining a virtual representation of a real place. In these rooms, we placed objects, each linked to a sound. When an object in the virtual space is moved, the sound reverberates through the virtual architecture, and is relayed into real life, as if it were a physical object. A microphone in the physical space plays the room tone and synthesized sounds back into the virtual space, creating a closed circuit between the virtual and real.
Today we are interested by the creative possibilities offered by this project, exploration of possible permutations between the local and the virtual space is just beginning. Using a virtual environment to manipulate relatively sophisticated audio synthesis is exciting, as is the relationship between a synthesized (imagined) sound and object built in 3d. We are now intending to start work on our own virtual world using a different platform for which we will provide a downloadable client.

Research lab, Post-Master Post-diploma : École Supérieure d'Art d'Aix-en-Provence (School of Arts), École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Nice Villa Arson (School of Arts), in collaboration with CNRS/MMSH/LAMES Laboratory , Provence University (Samuel Bordreuil). Agreement with École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille (School of Arts) since oct 2007.
Research Directors : Jérôme Joy, Peter Sinclair.
Lab Co-ordination : Anne Roquigny.
General Co-ordination : Jean-Paul Ponthot.
Locus Sonus Lab 2007/2009 : Julien Clauss, Alejandro Duque, Scott Fitzgerald, Jérôme Joy, Anne Roquigny, Peter Sinclair.
Locus Sonus Lab 2005/2007 : Nicolas Bralet, Sabrina Issa, Jérôme Joy, Nicolas Maigret, Anne Roquigny, Esther Salmona, Peter Sinclair, Lydwine Van der Hulst.
Fellows 2006/2007 : Brett Ian Balogh (SAIC), Clémentine Maillol (LAMES/CNRS).
Collaborators 2006/2007 : Charles Bascou (GMEM), Stéphane Cousot, Robb Drinkwater (SAIC), Jean-Louis Paquelin (ENSA Nice), Bruno Batarelo (, STEIM.
Sound Practices Observatory 2008/2009 : Philippe Franck, Bastien Gallet, Christophe Kihm.
Scientific Council 2004/2007 : Samuel Bordreuil, Philippe Franck, Bastien Gallet, Christophe Kihm, Michel Waisvisz. (Accompagnants: Jean Cristofol, Jean-Marc Réol, Jean-Paul Ponthot, Bernard Stiegler, Raphael De Vivo).
Webmaster : Locus Sonus Lab.
Documentation : Agnès Quillet (2007/2008), Cyrille C. de Laleu (2005/2006).
Partnerships : Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication DAP Bureau de la Recherche et de l'Innovation & Mission de la Recherche et de la Technologie, Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles PACA, Conseil Régional PACA, FACE French-American Cultural Exchange Ambassade de France Washington, Étant Donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art.
Collaborations : THE THING Inc. New-York, G.H. Hovagymian and New-York, Mushashino University Tokyo, Avatar Québec, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, STEIM Amsterdam, Apo33 Nantes, GMEM Marseille, Cap15 La Jetée Marseille, DIGIT Festival Delaware Valley Arts Alliance & Roebling Bridge Environmental Arts, LMCC Lower Manhattan Cultural Council New-York, River Fawn Gallery New-York, Festival Arborescence Aix-en-Provence, 3bisF Lieu d'Arts Contemporains Aix-en-Provence, CitySonics & Transcultures Mons Belgique, L'Embobineuse Marseille,, Micro'Orange, Festival Bandits-Mages, ENSA Bourges, Meta2 Marseille, FRAC PACA, PurePresence, Cultures Digitales, Pure Presence, Point Éphémère, Festival Seconde Nature, Tuned City Berlin.
Locustream Contributors : 00130Gallery Helsinki (Juan Kasari), Apo33 Nantes, Harmut Bosbach, Cap15 Marseille, CRISAP Creative Research into Sound Art Practices / University of the Arts London (Angus Carlyle, Michael Wright), Paul Demarinis (Stanford University), Karen Dermineur, Björn Eriksson, John Klima, Jason Nanna, Marc McNulty, NOTAM Norsk nettverk for Teknologi Akustikk og Musikk Oslo (Risto Holopainen), Ragnar H. Olafsson, SAIC School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Peter Gena, Robb Drinkwater), SARC Sonic Art Research Center Belfast (Alain Renaud), Hans-Christof Steiner (Polytechnic University, NYC), Timothy Nohe (Wollongong University Sydney, University of Baltimore), Koray Tahiroglu (Istanbul, Media Lab UIHA Helsinki), Daniel Schorno (STEIM Amsterdam), Dan Overholt (UCSB Santa Barbara), Cédric Maridet, Brett Ian Balogh, Raphaele Shirley (PAM), Avatar Québec (Jocelyn Robert, Meriol Lehmann), Nicolas Bralet, Fondation Camargo (Locus Sonus, Jean-Pierre Dautricourt, Pauline Oliveros), Miguel Eduardo Venegas Monroy (Centro Estatal de Las Artes Ensenada, Mexico), ...


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 contact: info (at)

NEWS - informations
 • 3 juillet 2008 (Tuned City) 
 Lecture (Berlin)

 • 6 & 7 juin 2008 (Seconde Nature Aix) 
 LS in SL (Second Life)

 • 16 au 25 avr 2008 (Fest. Octopus Paris) 
 Stream Fiction, Nicolas Bralet

 • 13 avr 2008 (Point Éphémère Paris) 
 Locustream Audio Tardis - HearRING

 • 3 & 5 avril 2008 (CNMAT, CCRMA USA) 
 Netrooms, Pedro Rebelo (SARC Belfast)

 • 25, 26 & 27 fev 2008 (ESA Aix) 
 Sonotorium #1 (Sound practices observatory)

 • 17 & 18 dec 2007 (Villa Arson Nice) 
 symposium Audio Extranautes

   [archives in chronological order] 

 Locus Sonus WiKiLab 

 Derniers articles publiés / Recent posts :
→ Liste des articles / Pages List
• step motors - 05/01/2009
• networked sonic spaces - 05/11/2008
• NMT - 05/11/2008
• Locustream pre-streambox - 02/11/2008
• Locustream Streambox - 02/11/2008
• Glossary - 02/11/2008
• Accueil - 02/11/2008
• Tardis - 02/11/2008
• son et cinema - 02/11/2008
• sl screenshots - 02/11/2008
• Francis Bacon - 02/11/2008
• Linux Audio Conference - 02/11/2008
• sl tracking - 02/11/2008
• microphones - 02/11/2008
• Workshop ESBAM2008 - 02/11/2008


SYMPOSIUMS - research programmes
SONOTORIUMS - Sound Practices Observatory

4. AUDIO EXTRANAUTES : Flux, Distance, Sociabilité

Atau Tanaka
17 dec 2007
Locus Sonus
18 dec 2007
17 et 18 décembre 2007, ENSA Villa Arson Nice
Organisé en collaboration avec le Laboratoire de sociologie LAMES / CNRS de Aix en Provence.
Intervenants: Atau Tanaka, Christian Licoppe, Julien Morel, Angus Carlyle, Jean-Paul Thibaud (Cresson), Martin Howse, Jean Cristofol, Roger Malina, Bastien Gallet, Philippe Franck, Samuel Bordreuil (Lames).
Modifications de l'espace sonore (personnel, social et artistique) conséquentes des pratiques des environnements en réseau.
(contenu du symposium) | (écouter le symposium)

3. AUDIO SITES : Installation sonore, sites et flux.

Nicolas Bralet
15 nov 2006
Pierre-Laurent Cassière
15 nov 2006
Lydwine van der Hulst (+ Peter Sinclair)
15 nov 2006
Intervenants: Bastien Gallet, Fabien Vandamme, Samuel Bordreuil, Jason Geistweidt, Éric Maillet, Pascal Broccolichi, Pierre-Laurent Cassière, Jean Cristofol, Élie During, etc.
Conditions des changements d'états de la perception, des interactions et des constructions, amenés par les dispositifs qui agissent ou interagissent avec les lieux ou plusieurs lieux simultanément.
(contenu du symposium) | (écouter le symposium)

2. AUDIO GEO : Quand les corps deviennent interfaces des flux.

Adam Hyde
14 avr 2006
Locus Sonus
13 avr 2006
13 et 14 avril 2006, ENSA Villa Arson Nice.
Intervenants: André Lozano, Adam Hyde, Samuel Bordreuil, Philippe Franck, Christophe Kihm, Olivier Koechlin, Dominique Besson, etc.
Interrogation des pratiques d'audio en ligne (streaming, podcasting, skypecasting, contrôles audio à distance, etc.) des points de vue instrumental et plastique . Questions de l'immersion et l'action des corps, de la localisation des points d'écoute et de production, de la modification des espaces et des temporalités, et de l'élaboration de dispositifs de flux de données (audio) en tant qu'interfaces de ces espaces virtualisés et qu'instruments de jeu/performance et d'interaction avec une installation.
(contenu du symposium) | (écouter le symposium)


performance en ligne Aix/Tokyo
23 nov 2005
Jocelyn Robert
22 nov 2005
Erik Minkinnen
22 nov 2005
APO33 (Aix/San Sebastian)
22 nov 2005
22 et 23 novembre 2005, ESA Aix en Provence.
Intervenants: Philippe Franck, François Parra, Erik Samakh, Erik Minkkinen, Jocelyn Robert, Apo33, Christophe Charles, Christophe Kihm, Pascal Broccolichi, Bastien Gallet, Douglas E. Stanley, etc.

Ouverture des problématiques liées aux pratiques sonores mettant en jeu les notions d'espace et de réseaux: contextes, lieux et étendues, in situ, fabrications d'écoutes, installations sonores, événements sonores en réseau, ...
(contenu du symposium) | (écouter le symposium)

  Observatoire des pratiques sonores

cycle de séminaires réalisés en collaboration avec les Écoles d'Art.
Sonotorium #1 / LE SON ET SES DEHORS

Séminaire Art Sonore (Bastien Gallet, Philippe Franck, Christophe Kihm)
du 25 au 27 février 2008, ESA Aix en Provence
Son/ESPACE : Jean-Paul Ponthot, Bastien Gallet, Christina Kubisch.
Son/IMAGE : Alexandre Castant, Pierre Belouin, Philippe Franck, Guy Marc Hinant.
Son/ACTION : Christophe Kihm, David Zerbib, Pauline Oliveiros.

Non pas comment se constitue (ou comment constituer) le « sonore » comme objet d'une (ou de l') histoire de l'art, mais bien quels nouveaux rapports aux sons et quelles nouvelles conceptions du sonore ont bouleversé la musique, les arts plastiques, le cinéma et contribué à faire surgir des pratiques artistiques (happening, performance, poésie et installation sonores, etc.) qui nous sont encore contemporaines.
(contenu du séminaire) | (écouter le séminaire)