Glorious Ninth Interview

Glorious Ninth. Kate Southworth And Patrick Simons

Project: Who_Owns_Them_Controls

Response to questionnaire for Soundtoys

How do you define "soundtoys" ?
Things that go bump on the net

On a personal level, why do you make this work?
Glorious Ninth is a collaboration between artists Kate Southworth and Patrick Simons. Through the production of digital art we are actively engaged in investigating a variety of social and historical phenomena. Engaging with many different ?ways of knowing? the world, we make work that explores all kinds and degrees of human and structural change and interaction.

Through the process of making this work we are trying to extend our understanding of the world, and then make that understanding concrete. Our understanding changes as we find new tools with which to investigate the world. The difficult part is when what we perceive doesn't match any of our cultural norms. Then the temptation is to twist what we perceive to fit the already existing frameworks of understanding.

What is your project and your work about?
This project is specifically concerned with ownership of and access to new technologies. When read with a question mark at the end - who owns them controls? - it is questioning who it is that owns the technology and applications of the technology with which and through which we produce and consume Without a question mark the meaning can be read as a statement emphasizing the relationship between ownership and power. On another level, it questions the extent to which artists own or control their works, and equally the extent to which users/participants own or control their interaction. We have constructed this piece by controlling the elements it contains; their forms and the parameters within which they interact with each other. But as the piece is programmed in such a way that it continuously changes, we have only limited control over its evolution. The users are required to choose between having control over the word ?themselves? or listening to uninterrupted sound.

On yet another level, like much of our work, this project focuses on the constant flow of change in our complex world. There is always movement away from one thing and towards something else, but if the change takes place too slowly then we often ignore it. This piece constantly changes as the different elements within it interact with each other. However, it sometimes seems like there is monolithic inactivity. At other times monumental changes are easier to perceive.

How long have you been working in this area?
We have been working collaboratively as Glorious Ninth, for about a year.

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?
We each were working in traditional media first but became frustrated working with those limitations. The potential of new media suits best what we are interested in trying to do.

What/ who has influenced you in your work? (themes, other artists etc)
Griselda Pollock; Karl Marx; Meredith Monk; John Cage; Antonio Gramsci; Terry Eagleton; Bertell Ollman; Jean-Michel Basquiat; Bill Viola; Erik Satie; James Joyce; Steve McQueen; Toshio Iwai; Bill Seaman; Karlheinz Stockhausen; Emma Goldman; Mark Stewart

Are there any other artists covering the same field as you?
Not exactly

Do you see this work as art?

What defines the aesthetics of new interactive art.?
The elegance of conceptual and concrete changes and interactions

How important is the visual aspect in the 'new' relationship of the audio visual.?
The visual and audio exist as equal to each other. Both operate at many different levels of generality from the most abstract to the very specific. That there is a dynamic relationship between, say, theoretical and emotional aspects of any given subject, is more important than the relationship between audio and visual.

Does the net promote visual awareness that is unique to it?
We think that it promotes a conceptual and structural awareness that is unique, rather than a purely visual one.

How novel do you feel generative music and interactivity is?
As is widely acknowledged, generative music and interactivity have a long history. The economic, socio-political and cultural contexts within which they exist, and the ideologies that they promote are the aspects that we are most interested in critiquing.

Do you think there is a history to audio visual work?
As is documented in other responses to this question, there are various histories that can be claimed for audio visual work, all of which have resonance for those particular artists. We're still working on our version.

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

What software do you use most and why?
Director, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Cubase and Peak
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