SYNTHETIC MIXTAPE #03 - LAB#03 OST
For the third track of the original soundtrack of the LAB#03, Claude Speeed has collaborated with Nani Gutiérrez.
Nani Gutiérrez is a visual artist based in Berlin, currently enrolled in the M.A Design and Computation program at the Universität der Künste. In her work, she explores affective stimulations that trigger mimetic reactions, becoming a relational organising power. Her videos have been shown at the Ars Electronica Festival and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Chile (MAC).
This video is based on night vision camcorder footage of nature in an urban setting in Berlin. The shapes were enhanced in post-production by applying an effect that was subsequently animated using a simple constant expression.
The resulting monochrome video was given as an input to YOLO – “You Only Look Once” – a state of the art object detection, tracking and segmentation AI model whose pretrained version efficiently recognises around a hundred “classes'' of common objects, from people to kites to cell phones. The coloured shapes seen overlaid on the video each correspond to an object that the model (thinks it) has detected. However in almost all cases here, this detection is an error caused by the quasi-abstract input meeting a low "confidence threshold", meaning the model will return a result even when its confidence is low. In other words, by combining a confusing input with a model we have made extremely sensitive, we intentionally trigger false positives – forcing the model to “see” things which are simply not there.
Each of these detections triggers a MIDI note. The timing of the note is synced with the video frame(s) where the object is recognised. The pitch depends on the class of object detected, and the velocity (volume) depends on the location of the object. The MIDI triggers audio in Logic Pro – using only presets on built-in virtual instruments – which is finally recombined with the video.
Claude Speeed is a Scottish music producer and artist currently residing in Berlin, whose work investigates themes of memory, perception and futurity. Automation and stochastic processes have always been a major feature of his music, which in the last few years has evolved into generative AI and machine learning spaces. For the LAB#03, Speeed is creating an OST to the themes of Synthetic Minds, responding in sound and visuals.