2016: sampler/sampler_1.0

sampler [NOUN]

1: A piece of embroidery worked in various stitches as a specimen of skill, typically containing the alphabet and some mottoes.
2: An electronic device for sampling music and sound.

sampler/sampler_1.0 (2016) – computer performance work: two networked laptops running Processing code; control box – lasercut MDF/perspex, elecrtonic components and microcontroller running C code. Toni Buckby in collaboration with Sean Cotterill

sampler/sampler_1.0 is a digital blackwork embroidery stitch emulator, sonification system and sampler.

Blackwork embroidery, a technique of counted thread embroidery that became popular in England in the 16th century, uses simple straight stitches across the regular grid structure of evenweave fabric to create repeating geometric patterns.

sampler/sampler_1.0 relies on two networked computers (actual or virtual); one as a pattern sample generator (host) and another as a pattern sampler (client).

The pattern sample generator, built using Processing (a programming language for creating interactive visuals), is designed to mimic the structure of hand stitching a thread path.

Alternating between front and back thread positions on the virtual fabric, each stitch generates a corresponding sound through SuperCollider (a platform for audio synthesis and algorithmic composition). As simple shape patterns are constructed by the host in Processing, the thread path is recorded creating a sample that is sent to the client machine. Simple pattern samples are repeated and combined in the client SuperCollider to generate complex improvised visual/audio pattern structures.

sampler/sampler_1.0 is a collaborative project between live coder, digital artist and musician Sean Cotterill and Toni Buckby, a textile, digital and performance artist. It was presented for the first time on 12th November 2016 at Crafting Sound (I) (Millennium Gallery, Sheffield) as a commission for the AlgoMech Festival 2016 .

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