Barry Smylie

interview with: barry smylie (2005/08/18) journal contents


How do you define "soundtoys"?

A soundToy is a musical instrument.

On a personal level, why did you make this work?

Jim Andrew's music is fun.

What is your project and your work about?

It is a setting for Jim's music and my graphic work.

How long have you been working in this area?

I have been making interactive Director and Flash Movies for about 2 years.

Were you an artist/ musician first who got into using computers/the net, or did you respond to the net as a medium in an artistic way?

I was a recognized graphic artist, painter, poet, and musician in 1971. In 1971 - 75 I did a series of ASCII visuals and some conceptual art traces using a mainframe distributed via telex and satellite relays. I purchased a home computer in 1983 and posted visuals and animation via

What/ who has influenced you in your work? (themes, other artists etc)

Everything influences me but in Rude Little, Jim Andrew's suite oftunes and a story he told me about his uncle was my inspiration.

Are there any other artists covering the same field as you?

Every artist is on a journey of crossing paths.

Do you see this work as art?


With regard to 'soundtoys' especially, why do you think the audio visual form is so key to the net?

It is interactive.

What defines the aesthetics of new interactive music and art?

Gut feeling.

How important is the visual aspect in the 'new' relationship of the audio visual?

It was more important to me than it was to Jim.

Does the net promote visual awareness that is unique to it?


How novel do you feel generative music and interactivity is?

It must be experienced.

Do you think there is a history to audio visual work?

tribal rites -> epic poetry -> theatre -> cinema -> video -> internet

Would you describe yourself as a multimedia artist, a net.artist, programmer, or none of the above?


What software do you use most and why?

I mostly use Flash 5 because most people have the Flash 4 player plug in installed on their browser by its manufacturer.

Can you recommend three urls to soundtoys?

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