Você está na página 1de 40

APPLIED'PATAPHYSICS

APPLIED'PATAPHYSICS
byKaspervanHoek
2010
Iassumeyouareawareofmyrights,andyours.Pleasethinkbefore
youactandkeepinmindthatthetextIquotedfromotherswas
donewiththeimaginary,hypotheticalpermissionfromtheholderof
theserights,concerningthesesectionsyouhavetojustifyyourselfto
theiraddress.
This thesis is written in Engl to which the English language is
closelyrelated,explainingwhythelatterofterreferredtoasEngl
ish.SomedifferencesbetweenthislanguageandtheEnglishonecan
benoticedinvariouspartsofthiswriting,althoughtheymightbe
envisaged as typo's, spelling errors and faulty grammar at first
sight,which,ofcourse,theyarenot,alltextiscorrectandapproved
bythecreatorandmaintainerofthelanguage,theundersigned.
Thistextreflectstheideasofthewriter,nottobeconfusedwith
your,thereaders,ideaofreality.Allpossibleclaimsconcerningthe
noncorrectnessofitarenotyours,thereader,tomake,assuming
youarenotme,theundersigned,whoofcourseiscapableofjudging
it's contents as he is the only one in the position to see the
differencebetweenthistextandhispersonalexploitsandopinions.
Acknowledgingthedifficultiesinvolvedinthegradingofthisthesis,
asmentionedabove,Iwillgiveamandatoryproposalforthegrading
ofthetext.10outof10points.
KaspervanHoek
www.kaspervanhoek.net

CONTENTS

Preface:ThesisandFrankMohrInstitute

Epigraphs

Introduction:About'pataphysics

11

1. 'pataphysicsandme

13

2. WhydoIbuildmyowninstruments

15

3. Simplicity

16

4. Aesthetics

17

5. Componentsandconstruction

18

6. Passiveresistance

19

7. Playfulness

21

8. Theinstruments

21

9. Examination

28

10. Music

30

11. Graduationwork

32

Conclusion

33

Bibliography

35

PREFACE
Thesis
A thesis, for an artrelated study, not something I was looking
forwardwriting.WhengraduatingfromtheartacademyIhadto
write a scriptie, which, just like the other Dutch word thesis,
translatesintoEngl(ish)asthesis.Myscriptiewaswrittenbyafour
yearyoungerversionofme,aboutfouryearsago,eventhoughmy
chronologicallyolderselfthoughthewaswritingitinthepresent,
naiveashewasbackthen.Theresultofhiseffortwasanindecisive
text that showed he obviously struggled with his position in the
worldofart,notbeingabletoseethebigpictureandfeelingabit
outofplace.Thesuperficialsummaryofalldifferentaspectsofthe
soundartfieldthatpopulatedhisscriptiesoonfounditshomeina
boxwithallotherredundantcreations.
Nowadaysitstillhangsoutwithinthecartonboundariesofitsbox
shapedworldanditdoesnotwanttorevealitselfatall.Evenwhen,
justrecently,someoneaskedmeforacopyitdidn'tdaretocomeout
ofitshidingplace,insecureasaresultofmycondemnatoryattitude
towardsit.
Thispast history felt like ahuge burdenwhenmakingthe first
attemptstowardsthisthesis.Myeffortsendedupbeingalistofthe
works I made, how they where build, and how they looked and
sounded.AfraidofcreatingaboxcompanionformyscriptieIdecided
tochangetheperspectiveIwaswritingfrom.Notshallowlabeling
andcategorizingmyworkinawaytheviewerisabletodoitas
well,butgoingmoreindepthandexplainingthefunctionIhavein
therealizationofmyworkinapsychicway,notaphysicone.

FrankMohrInstitute
ThereasonIappliedfortheInteractiveMediaandEnvironments
programmeattheFrankMohrInstitutefor(Post)GraduateStudies
andResearchintheArtsandEmergingMediawastolookforways
tocombineacousticsoundswithelectronicmanipulationinalive
setting.UntilthenIalmostsolelyworkedwithprerecordedsounds,
lacking the intuitive control associated with traditional,
contemporaryinstruments.
DuringmytwoyearsattheFrankMohrInstituteImasteredthe
knowledgeabouttherelevantprinciplesformakingelectricstring
instrumentsandprocessingtheirsoundsliveusingselfconstructed
sample software. Later on applying these principles to make
installationsaswell.
Aside from this part of my studies I made audio works and
performedlive.Iwon'tgointodetailaboutthispartofmywork
muchinthis text on account of the fact that it hasn't beenthe
subject of my research during the two years at the institute.
However,outoftheserecordingsIcompiledaseriescalled Frank
thatconsistsoffivecdrreleases,sodocumentationisavailable.
KaspervanHoek

EPIGRAPHS
Equivalentsareconstant.
From'Pataphysics:AReligionintheMaking'byAsgerJorn

Theabsolutenessofeverythingmakescomparison
impossible,weneedtolearntoassignqualitiesbased
uponourownabilitytothink.
KaspervanHoek

10

INTRODUCTIONABOUT'PATAPHYSICS
Iwillshinethelightof'pataphysicsonmyworkandbydoingthis,
elucidatingmyartandthechoicesthatareitsfundament.Although
theprinciplesof'pataphysicswillrevealthemselvestothereader
duringtheconsumptionofthiswritingitmightstillbeusefulto
explainalittleaboutthesubject.
'pataphysicsistometaphysicswhatmetaphysicsistophysics.It'sa
science that focuses on the specific, analyzing each event as it
occurs, not concerned with laws that base themselves on
assumptions.Thefactthatsomethinghappensseeminglythesame
wayoverandoveragaindoesn'timplythatthisisastaticfact,a
rule that future events will follow or even Truth if one dares.
'pataphysiciansmayexplorethewholeuniverseortheuniversethat
encirclesasingleobject,turningitinsideout,extractingitssouland
symbolically assigning it the potential characteristics that it
suggeststopossess.Everythingisuniqueandallwhathappensisa
probability,notapretentiousabsoluteness.
Alfred Jarry (18731907), founder of 'pataphysics explains it as
follows:
''pataphysics,willbe,aboveall,thescienceoftheparticular,despite
the common opinion that the only science is that of the general.
Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will
explaintheuniversesupplementarytothisone;or,lessambitiously,
will describe a universe which can beand perhaps should be
envisagedintheplaceofthetraditionalone,sincethelawsthatare
supposedtohavebeendiscoveredinthetraditionaluniversearealso
correlationsofexceptions,albeitmorefrequentones,butinanycase
accidental data which, reduced to the status of unexceptional
exceptions,possessnolongereventhevirtueoforiginality.'1
1

SelectedWorksOfAlfredJarry(GrovePress,1965)

11

Theway20thcenturyartisexperiencedis'pataphysicalofitsown.
Thethingtheartworkresemblesisareflectioninametaphysical
way.AnalyzingthisalreadytranslatedpseudoTruthandassigning
meaning,orafunction,toitisanactofa'pataphysicalthinking.

12

1.'PATAPHYSICSANDME
It was not until 2007, August to be precise, that I knew about
'pataphysics.Themailmanmademeawareoftheexistenceofthis
theoryofperceptionbyhandingovertomeacartonpackage,that,
aftergettingridofitalmostinstantly,leftmewithitscontents.A
whitecuboidshapedboxwith,inblackprinting,theconfusingword
Hexagon. This box was the second in a series of four editions,
published by The Player2, to which I had subscribed myself
previously. The series was called BIGMAG and each installment
featuredvarioustextsandimagesappearingasbooks,magazines
and posters, also included was a vinyl record. In this particular
volumeFelixKubinwasresponsibleforoneofthetwocircularsides
ofthevinyl,itwashiscontributionthatcaughtmyattention.The
work,titledThe'pataphysicalTapeClub,wasanabsurdradioplay
aboutastationplayingvarious'pataphysicaltaperecordings.Iwas
intriguedbythisandstartedreadingaboutthisphenomenon.Texts
onthesubjectitselfandbookswrittenusingitsprinciples.Slowly
ButSurelyIbecameawareofthefactthatmythoughtsmadeuseof
thesamesystemIwasreadingupon.Itremindedmeofdiscussions
Ihadwithmyformerroommate,wecouldtalkfornightsinarow
aboutthelawofexceptionswhichhedefinedasunknownconditions
that existed parallel to the laws governing the nonexceptional
behaviorofelementswhileIthoughtthelawsweacceptedcontained
flawsduetoourimpotencetosurveyallconditionsthatleadtotheir
formulation.Istillthinkit'spossiblewebothsharedthesameidea
butthatthelimitationsoflanguage,andtheinterpretationthereof,
keptusfromcomprehendingthis.
ThisexampledoesshowIwasabletothinkalongtheselines,yetit
doesn'truleoutthepossibilitythatIacquiredthis'pataphysicalway
ofthinkinginsteadofitbeingapersonalcharacteristic.Ihopethe
followinglineswillserveasanexampletopointoutthatthisisn'ta
posebutanaturalquality.
2

http://www.deplayer.nl

13

Alreadyinmyyouth,mypersonalperception,andtheideasIhad
aboutrealityweren'tonthesamelevel.ForhoursIcouldstareat
objectsinaspace,orthosepassingbywhensittingintherearseat
ofadrivingcar,daydreaming.Contemplatingwhethertwoblocksof
houseswouldfitontopofeachother,mentallyliftingoneofthe
ground,turningitaroundand,afterconsideringthepotentialneed
forindustrialadhesives,placingitontopoftheother.OrIwas
thinkingaboutwaystojumpoveracliffmoreeasily,likeinatrain
youonlyhadtojumpupinordertomoveyourselfontwoaxesat
once. At the age of tenIdeveloped myfirst ideasfor a carbon
neutrallampthatwouldusesolarcellsplacedontheinsideofthe
lampshadetorecapturetheenergyofthebulb.LikeallkidsIwas
aninventorwithoutresults;althoughIstillthinkthelampwasa
goodidea,itmighthavenothavebeenselfreliantbutleastitsaved
energy.
Wheremostkidsdepartfromthiswhengrowingolderandsubmit
themselvestootherpeoplessciencewithoutaskinganyquestions,I
hadahardertimeconvincingmyself.Sciencepersuadespeoplethe
samewaySinterklaasdoes.(Forthoseunfamiliar;Sinterklaasisthe
real fictionalversionof SantaClaus. Makingthelatter a double
fraud,butthisaside.)TheexistenceofSinterklaasdependsonthe
same principle as gravity; you see it and therefor it's real. My
intention with this, maybe childish, metaphor is genuine, where
SinterklaasisamaninaSinterklaasshapedsuit,gravitycanalso
beaformofdisguise.LikeJarrysaid,it'sanarbitrarychoiceto
formulatealawuponthefallofabodytowardsacenterwhenyou
can,aseasily,thinkofthelawoftheascensionofavacuumtoward
aperiphery,alreadywhenstartingto'make'thislawtheoutcomeis
determinedbythepersonalhypothesisofthescientist.3
I think we live in a world where people mistake learning for
remembering, where Truth comes to us text shaped, or it is
recommendedtousbypersonsengagedinactivitiesineducation
andscience,who,intheirturn,mostprobablyhavethisknowledge
3

AlfredJarryExploitsAndOpinionsOfDrFaustroll(ExactChange,1997)

14

inbookformtoo.Idon'twanttorejectscience,nordoIexpectthis
fromanyoneelse.IamnotanidiotandIamfullyawareofthefact
thatsomethingdoesn'tneedtobetruetobeofanyuse.
JustbeforewritingthisIpositionedmyselfinthemiddleofanopen
spaceintheroomIfoundmyselfinandjumpedintotheair.When
my movement stopped and I was floating in the air I wasn't
surprised,andafterthat,whenalmostinstantly,mybodybeganto
comeclosertothegroundIdidn'tpanic.Butthisdoesn'tstopme
fromwondering.

2.WHYDOIBUILDMYOWNINSTRUMENTS
WhenIstarteddoingperformancesthemaintechniquesusedwere
theskippingturntable,withtoothpicksandnailsasneedles,looped
cassette decks creating feedback patterns, manipulation through
guitarpedals,andthesimplemixingofprerecordedmaterials.
After playinglive for about three yearsusingold personal audio
equipmentIfoundmyselfinapositionwherehardwarelimitedmy
expressivepossibilities.Adecisionhadtobemade.Exploringthe
world of cassette mixing and turntablism any further wasn't the
answerbecauseitmademefeellikebeingtoofarawayfromthe
sourceofsoundsandaddingsomethingtoatechniquethatalready
includestheproblematiccomplicationprobablywouldn'tsolveit.It
seemedmoreobvioustoaddasoundgeneratingdeviceofwhichthe
operating was intuitive and offered more freedom for emotional
dynamics. This lead to me buying an electric violin and a
harmonica,combiningthesoundswithsimplelivesampling.This
alreadyhadapositiveeffectandshortlyafteritbecamecleartome
whatIwasreallylookingfor.
Thesoundgeneratedbyvibratingstringsgavemymusicmoredepth
andputmeinrealtimecontroloftheemotionaloutputforthefirst
time.Still,theviolin,forme,waslimitedinitscapabilities;itwas
15

build in a way that it could be played the way intended by the


designer,limitingalternativeusability.Irequiredlesstensiononthe
stringsinordertogetamoresustainingsound,unfortunately,the
violinwasn'tfitforthisalteration,resultinginstringstouchingthe
bodywhenpluckedfirmly.Anotherproblemthatoccurredwasthat,
forplayingtheviolin,twohandswereneeded,makingitimpossible
to control the other equipment simultaneously. To overcome both
obstacles it stroke me as an absolute necessity to build my own
stringinstrumentsandlookforwaystomakeiteasiertocontrol
parametersforsoundmanipulation.Growinganextraarmwasan
idearejectedatthemoment,butwhentheopportunityarisesitwill
surelybereconsidered.

3.SIMPLICITY
Oneofthecharacteristicsofmyworkisitssimplicity.Startingat
theprincipleofafunction,addingonlythestrictlynecessarythings;
theinevitablefeaturesthatenablethethingtoexist.
Mygoal isto make stringinstrumentsand nothingmore. When
thinkingaboutstringinstrumentsI'mnotthinkingaboutguitarsor
violins. Just a way to make a string to produce sound through
vibration.
Whenbuildingsuchinstrumentsthere'salwaystheriskitwouldbe
comparedtoaguitarorsuch.Anapplesandorangescomparison.
Exceptthefactthatinstrumentsareusuallynotfruits 4,Ithinkthe
comparison is comparable. Yes, you won't be able to pluck the
stringsintherightwaytoplaypopularmelodies,thesoundwill
havelowfidelityanditcan'tbetunedtoanydegreenearprecise,
butifIwantedtobuildan(orange)guitarIwouldhavebuildan
4

DasErsteWienerGemueseOrchestermakesinstrumentsfromfruitsand
vegetableswww.gemueseorchester.org

16

(orange)guitar.AllIwantisavibratingstringandIpursuethis
goal. Looking at it this way I think my workis in no waylofi
becauseitshouldn'tbecomparedtothingsthataredifferentfromit
andthereforit'snotinferiortothesethings.It'snottostripdown
andmakeabareversionofacomplicatedstringinstrument,itisto
constructsomethingfromthegroundup.
Buildingitformypersonaluse,accordingtomyownwishesand
leavingouteverybodyelsemakesthatthere'snoneedtodevelopit
any further than the prototyping stage, giving my work a raw,
fragileandnudecharacter.ItismyinstrumentandIwilltakegood
careofit.Whenmakingitavailabletothemarket(likeamarketor
ashop)Iwill,obviously,prepareitfortheworldoutside,makesure
ithasahealthyandstrongbody,putitonafinesuitandslipanote
initspocketforthefuturemasterexplainingthewayitshouldbe
addressedinordertobehaveasdemanded.Theinstrument'sbare
appearanceisabeneficialonewhenstillundergoinganexamination
focusedonphysicalstateandbehavior,soduringthisphaseitwill
keepitsnudeness.

4.AESTHETICS
In many cases technology is something that functions in the
background.It'sshieldedbyaneedlydesignedhousingwhichmay
notbeopenedorwarrantywillvoid.Thevisualappearanceofmy
workisinnowayanallegationtothis,oranantipole,it'stheeffect
of not making a statement either way and working without the
limitationsatriflematterlikethismightbringalong.
Ratherthanit'ssomethingtobemoulded,theappearanceofmy
workisanecessity;thingsdohavethequalitytooccupyspaceinthe
universe.
Ofcourseit'snicetolookforprettyboxesandothermaterialsthat
arefriendlytotheopeneye,butitwouldbeunfeasibletoletthis
17

have a negative effect on the workings of the instrument or


installation.Functioniswhatcounts.

5.COMPONENTSANDCONSTRUCTION
When working so scantly a lot of things, of an otherwise very
practical nature, are superfluous. Machine headsused fortuning
stringsbecomeredundantwhenthestringdoesn'tneedtobeinan
exactpitch.Omittingtheusualheadsinstantlychangestheviewwe
haveontheconstruction;inthiscaseitwouldbebettertoscrewan
anglebrackettobothedgesofapieceofwoodandlacethestring
through the standing holes, secure it with terminal screws and
tightenitbyplacingathirdanglebracketunderthestringandpush
ittoonesideuntilthepreferredtensionisacquired,lastlyscrewing
thethirdbrackettothepieceofwoodaswell.

1:TerminalScrewblock/2:Terminalscrewwithoutplastic,holdinga
string/3:Anglebracket

Fromthispointofviewit'sallaboutreinventingtheconstruction;
makingmyownelectromagneticpickups,thinkingaboutthewayit
shouldbeplayedandthesizeandshapethatgoalongwiththat.
Thisapproachisnotsomethingidiosyncratic,ithappensallaround.
Tonameanexamplethatisn'ttoofarofthesubject:theelectric
guitar. The pickup mechanism translates the fluctuations metal
strings create in its electromagnetic field, outsourcing the
18

audiblizationtothetwosomethatistheamplifier/speakersystemso
thereisnoneedforabodytocarrythetonewithinitswomb.This
leadtotheguitarchangingshape.Evenmoreradicallywecannotice
thiswhenlookingattheinfluencethemagneticpickuphadonthe
bassguitar.

6.PASSIVERESISTANCE
LikeIsaidearlier;I'mnottryingtomakeastatementinmywork.
Makingstatementsinartshouldonlybedoneifthestatementitself
istheartwork.Buteventhenitwillbeastatementfirstandan
artworksecond.Likeapaintingisaboveallsomethingwithpaint
attachedtoit,ifitmay,subsequently,beconsideredanartworkas
wellremainsaquestionuntilthearrivalofaacceptableanswer.
Theadded,artificial,meaningwillonlybeadiversionofthework
itself, depriving it from it's purity. Nevertheless writing a thesis
forcesonetoconsiderhispositioninamoreobjectiveorexternal
matter.
Thepresenttendencytowardsextrovertindividualismisonit'sway
toevolveintoitsopposite.Nooneistryingtoliberatehimself,to
stand out, their striving is fictitious, and even worse, an act of
collectivism.Thiscanbenoticedinfieldslikepolitics,musicandthe
spiritual(asitconsistsofnonmatter),internet.Thesocialnetworks
ontheaforementionedinternet,forinstance,placeeveryonewithin
onelargegroupthatseemstodevelopanidentityofitsown.The
enormous amount of personal fragments can no longer stand for
themselvesasthey'rebeingmergedintosomethingthathasmore
statisticalvaluethanithaspersonalsignificance.Objectiontothis
situationisasmuchpartofthesystemasanythingelseandtherefor
it'shardtofightfromtheinside;oppositethoughtsarepartofeach
humanaswellandwedon'tseethemsplittingupinsmallerparts
19

ofmanwhenindoubt.Ifonewishestowithdrawhisindividualism
from the group to regain privacy the only way would be to
differentiateoneselffromallthis.Toachievethisonemustaccept
thesituationasis,assumingyouwon'tbeabletodetachyourself
deliberately from something if you fail to admit the existence
thereof.Nexttheprocessofbirthmustbesetinmotion,notthe
fleshlybirthbutamorespiritualone,notdenyingthattheremight
besomementalsqueezinginvolvednonetheless.Birthistheonly
way there can be extraction without destroying the carrier.
Becomingachildofyourculture,nottearingitapartnorhavingto
answertoit.
Thepersonalperceptionmyworkisbaseduponmightbeinfluenced
by this, trying not the be overpowered by the phenomenon of
collective consciousness and defining my own conditions founded
upon my findings. Not taking things for granted but stubbornly
reinventingeverything,unwillingtoincorporatefunctionsthatare
thereonlybecauseofpopulardemandwithoutaddinganythingthat
isofimportancetome.
Positioningmyselfoutsideofthismainstreamdoesn'tmakemeinto
anoutsiderartist,thoughpeoplehavereferredtomyworkasbeing
brut. Just like any other artist my work depends greatly upon
personalviewsandopinionsthusmakingitintosomethingthat's
unexceptionallydifferent.
Therearealwaystermstodescribethisprivatenessbuttheterm
outsiderartisusedalltooeasilynowadays.Iseemyworkasaform
of, involuntary, passive resistance. Being aware of the world's
disposition,realizingthatIcannotincorporateitsstigmatizedrules
inthecreativeprocess.

20

7.PLAYFULNESS
ThepositionIputmyselfinisn'tnarrowingdowntheamountof
choices, it rather opens up a whole array of possibilities. The
instrumentsdon'tacquirespecificpartsanymore;otherobjectscan
be(mis)usedtoreplacethese.Thisbringsbacktheplayfulnessinto
thebuildingprocess.Thefunctionof everythingaroundisupfor
discussion again and I can assign new purposes to it. Parts are
reducedtomerematterandtheirfunctionisreconsidered.
Theguidebook Howtobuildthingsthecommonwayfordummies
canbesendbacktoJohnWiley&Sonsandwecanputthethinking
backincharge.
This is a satisfactory way of working, and, in a way, I hope to
transfersomeofitsmagictootherpeople,asthismighthelpto
understandthatallconstructedthingsaroundusaren'tjustsingle
objects,thattheyconsistofvastamountsofsmallerparts,allwith
theirownqualities,faintlyawareofwhatthey'retakingpartin,but
allofvitalimportance.

8.THEINSTRUMENTS
0.1
Myfirstinstrumentwasaverypureandsimpleone.Idon'tthinkit
canbemadewithlesspartswithoutchangingittosuchanextreme
thatitwouldinfluencetheplayingtoomuch.It'swaswoodenplank
with a string mounted to it using angle brackets and terminal
screws.ThefirsttimeitwasusedinalivesettingIhadpusheda
small speaker between the plank and string that acted as a
microphone.Thevibratingstringpenetratedthemagneticfieldof
themicrophone,unsettlingitsequilibrium,settingitintomotion,
21

the magnetic waves were then drained through two nonhollow


tubes,madeoftwistedcopperwires,onecoveredinblackplastic,
wovenaroundthiswasthesecond,atitsturncoveredinplasticof
thesamecolor.Forsoundwavesthisisproventobeaconvenient
modeoftransportation.Oncearrivedattheotherend,thewaves
neededtoreportonthesituation.Todothisinanorderlyfashion
theyappointedaspeakertotelltheircollectivestorytoeveryone
presentintheroomorsomeotherwaywithinhearingrange.Forme
itwasabitofadisappointmenttohearthatthestorywasnotas
detailedashopedbeforehand.Theareathewavescamefromwas
toobigandthevariouspersonal storiesofthe waves differedso
muchtheycanceledeachotherout.
Inneededtocreateasmallerdistrictnearthestringthatattracted
otherwaves;agroupoflikemindedandfocusedones.Consequently,
shortlyafterthisperformanceIstartedbuildingmyownmagnetic
pickups.Regularonescouldn'tbeusedbecausetheywerealmostall
madefortheamplificationofaseriesofstrings,paralleltoeach
other,notforindividualones.Changingthepickupstringratio90
degreestoalign,orparalyze,thesewasasolution,butthedownside
tothisistheprice.It'sexpensivewhenhavingtoamplifymorethen
onesinglestring,eachwithitsownpickupcapableofdoingsixat
once,letalonethefactthatthisisinnowayefficient.
Luckily,buildingpickupsisnotthatcomplicatedatall.Ofcourseit's
harder, as always, to do it properly. A pickup is a magnet with
enameledcopperwirewoundroundit,withbothendsofthewire
stripped,toremovetheisolation,andsolderedtoanaudioconnector.
Personally I use female RCA (cinch/tulp) plugs, designed by the
RadioCorporationofAmerica intheearly1940stoconnectmono
phonographplayerstoanamplifierbecausethesearesmallenough
tofitintheelementitself,nexttothecoil.Thismakesiteasierto
placeandremovethepickup.Themagneticpickupsareplacedon
theinstrumentandtapeddownwithpackagingtape,ducttapeor
anyotherattachmentsolution.
Thesecondperformancefeaturedaboutfiveoftheseinstrumentsas
the sole sound source. In order to process the sound live I
22

constructedasimpleMax5patchsomylaptopcouldactasasampler
andaddsomesoundeffects.TocontrolthisprogramImadeasmall
controller,aboxwithfourswitchesandfourpushbuttons.
Thesamplerperformedonlyacoupleoffrugaltasks.Itcouldhold
uptofoursamples,allsettocontinuesplayback.Eachswitchcould
start and stop the recording of one of the four samples. When
switchedonitrecordedovertheexistingsound,replacingit.The
durationofthesampleswaspredefined,timesweresetto2,3,5
and 8 seconds. This resulted in sequences that only played
synchronousonceafteracertainamountofcycles.10cyclesof2
secondsand4cyclesof5secondscan,overrepeatedtwentysecond
periods,beexperiencedasinphase,thesamewith5x3and3x5.
Variationisobtainedthroughthesamesystembecausemostofthe
timethesamplesareoutofphase.Whennosoundsareaddedtothe
loopsthemusicwillrepeatitselfeverytwominutes.
(120=15x8=24x5=40x3=60x2=120)
Thesoundstructurestronglydependsonthishumbleabundance;
thiswayofsamplingworksquitewellforgeneratingmusicthatis
comprehensibleyetchallengingandsurprising.
Thefourpushbuttonsturnedtheeffectsonandoff(2xdelayand2x
distortion).
ForanexhibitionoftheworkfollowingthementionedperformanceI
tapedalltheinstruments,eightintotal,tothewall.
Sinceheightdoesn'texistintwodimensionalplaces,likethesurface
ofthewallinthiscasus,gravitytendstoforceobjectstoonesideof
the flat space so I used both grey duct tape and transparent
packagingtapetoholdeverythinginplace.ForadditionalsecurityI
screwed the tape and the wall together leaving no room for the
gravityinfected instruments to move during a moment of
inattentionthetapemighthaveeverynowandthen.
The controller was rebuild; replacing the effect buttons with
5

Max5isavisualprogramminglanguageformusicandmultimedia.

23

switches.Alleighttogglesoperatedthesampler,theoldfourkept
theirfunctiontoswitchrecordingonandoff.Usingthefournew
onesadecisioncouldbemadeeithertoplaybackthesoundsornot.
The resemblance of this first attempt's method to modern music
madeitthatthepublicworkedveryintuitivewithit,beingalready
familiarwiththesystemasaresultoflisteningtomusicineveryday
life.

0.2
Mysecondversionwasanefforttoseeiftheformofaguitarwould
addtotheusabilityoftheinstrument.Itwasawoodenboardcutin
theshapeofaguitarthat,unintentionally,resembledoftheUnited
StatesofAmerica(justmainland,noislandsorAlaska).
Ithadfourstringsparalleltooneanother,threegrouped,usinga
threestringpickup(threepilesofmagnetswithinonecoil)anda
separateone,usingitsownelement.
Wherethe0.1unitmadeuseofanexternalcontroller,the U.S.A.
Guitarhadfivedoublelightswitchesscrewedtothewoodwork.The
firstofthetwoextracontrolssettheinputofthesamplertolowor
highgain,normalleveloraloud,distorted,signalsotheguitarhad
amorerock'n'rolllikesound.Thesecondswitchturnedthesound
onandoff.
IfIstatethatthisisnotaguitaritmightstillbeaguitar,Iamnot
aguitarbuilderandthereforitisnotuptometolabelitassuch.
ButIamthebuilderofthething,makingitmyresponsibilityto
nameit.Whenit'sanewinstrument,andwhenIamtheonlyone
buildingit,thenthisnamingpermissionbelongssolelytome.
Thisisastringinstrumentthatsharesbothformandplayability
withaguitarsoIconsiderthistobeone,supposingthatthesetwo
factors are responsible for the differentiation between all string
instrumentsandthenamingthereof.
This instrument wasn't used that much, it was hard to
24

simultaneously play the strings and control the switches. I still


thinkaguitarlikeshapehassomepossibilitiesanditdeservesa
secondchance.It'slikelytherewillbeanewattemptinthenear
future.Butitseemedfairtolookforotherpossiblesolutionstoo.

0.3
Thethird,atthismomentintimelatest,versionoftheinstrument
comesfashionedlikeasuitcase.Whenopened,theboxof90cmin
length,25cminheightand25cmindepth,hasthesamelength,
halftheheight,doublethedepthanditrevealsitstwoinnerhalves.
One side has a wooden board within that has to be lifted and
rotated180degreesonitsimaginablehorizontalaxisandputdown
again.Thishastobedonesincethestringsofthisinstrumentareat
thebottomofthisboard.Bystoringthesehangingfromtheceiling
inthehollowspacethatfillsthishalfoftheinstrumentswooden
exterior,andsohavingnoobjectspenetratingthesurface,thecase
can be closed without destroying it. The strings are, when the
preparatoryliftingandrotatingactionsareperformed,onahigher
levelthenthecaseitself,makingiteasiertoplay.
Theotherhalfholdsanumberofswitchesandpotentiometersto
communicatetothecomputerthatsamplingrelatedactionshaveto
betaken.Thissamplercontrollercomeswiththefollowingfeatures:
an on/off switch, potentiometers for gain and output volume and
sections for sampling and equalization. The sampler has three
almostidenticalchannels,allwithaswitchtotogglerecordinganda
potentiometertoadjustplaybackvolume.Thedurationsoftheseare
predefinedat2,3and5seconds.Thefourthandlastchannelhas
twopotentiometers,oneforplaybackvolumeandonetocontrolthe
sampleplaybacklength(0.01>8seconds).Therecordingtimeis
predefinedat8seconds.Thischannelisconstantlyrecordingthe
maininputandallfoursamplechannels,thisincludes,assomeof
thesharpwittedreadersmighthavenoticed,the4 thchannelitself,
albeitat70%oftheoriginalvolume.Thisfeatureequipstheuser
withquitesomefreedominsampling.
25

The units of sound with different durations create a variety but


afterafewcyclesitbecomesarepeatingpatternofitsown(seeThe
Instruments:0.1).Byusing thefourthsamplerchannelIcannow
add a nonstatic aspect to this. When fully open the knob for
adjustingtheplaybacklengthwillrecordeightsecondsandplay
thembackcontinuously,eachtimerecordingitselfandaddingthe
newsounds.Whenturningtheknobleftwardstherecordingprocess
willremainthesamebutitwillplaybackashorterpieceofthe
sound,startingfromthebeginningofthesample.Whensetto3.5
secondsitwilllooponlythissegmentofthesample,gettingoutof
phasewiththeotherloops.Thevolumeknobcontrolsnotonlythe
sound played back but also determines the way of stacking the
layersofsoundontopofeachother.Adjustmentscanbemadefrom
0to2timestheincominglevel,thisworksasfollows.
Whentheplaybackvolumeissetto'1'itrecordseverythingata
normallevelduringallcycles,butthesoundofthefourthchannel
(always the previous cycle) will be recorded at only 70% of the
originallevel,soafterthesecondroundofrecordingthefirstsounds
areat70%thevolumeandthenewonesat100%.Adjustingthe
volumewillresultininterestingchangeswithinthevolumeofthe
different layers. When the volume exceeds four times the initial
volumeitwillbecutoffatthatlevelinaproportionalway(2and4
willbe1and3.1and4willbe0.8and3.2).Pleaseconsultthe
tables for an overview of the effects of under different playback
volumes.

26

Playedbackattwotimesthevolume:
Playback200%
1st cycle
2ndcycle
3rdcycle
4thcycle
5thcycle
6thcycle

1st loop
0%
200%
233%
172%
128%
95%

2ndloop
0%
0%
167%
123%
90%
66%

3rdloop
0%
0%
0%
105%
77%
57%

4thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
105%
77%

5thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
105%

2ndloop
0%
0%
100%
70%
49%
34%

3rdloop
0%
0%
0%
100%
70%
49%

4thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
70%

5thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%

3rdloop
0%
0%
0%
50%
25%
13%

4thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
50%
25%

5thloop
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
50%

Playedbackatinitialvolume:
Playback100%
1st cycle
2ndcycle
3rdcycle
4thcycle
5thcycle
6thcycle

1st loop
0%
100%
70%
49%
34%
24%

Playedbackathalfthevolume:
Playback50%
1st cycle
2ndcycle
3rdcycle
4thcycle
5thcycle
6thcycle

1st loop
0%
50%
25%
13%
6%
3%

2ndloop
0%
0%
50%
25%
13%
6%

27

9.EXAMINATION
I've spend time studying the identity of string instruments,
acknowledging,butlayingasidethewaytheseare(ab)useddaily.
The gravity of the situation forced me to start at the bottom,
analyzing the core, which, for reasons beyond my comprehension
ofterlaysthereinsteadofresidinginthecenterpullingthestrings.
To me it seemed the instrument responded with a sound when
experiencinganexternalphysicalforcejustthesameaspeoplereact
withspeechorgrowlswhentouched(un)solicited.
And just like humans the string would react differently under
various circumstances. If the string was under high pressure it
wouldgiveanervous,shortandfastreactiontooutsideeventsand
whenfeelinglesstenseditwouldrespondwithalongeranswer.The
waythestringisaddressedwasalsonoticeablewithinitsreaction,
tenderstrokesreceivedfriendlyrepliesandbluntone'sgotharsh
responses.AnotherthingIwitnessedwastherelationbetweenthe
volume ofthe stringandthicknessof thesound. The higher the
gauge(diameterinwirelanguage)thedeeperthesound,compareit
toBarryWhiteifyouwill.
Instrument builders seem to make use of this knowledge to put
groupsofdifferentstringsallinsuchsituationsthattheywouldget
theresponsedemandedwhenaddressingtheminacertainway,just
like people in a controlled environment during a psychological
experiment. Not a natural environment to say the least. I think
something can only truly flourish when the conditions aren't too
obstructingsoIchoosetoworkwithstringsthatwereleftinamore
opensituation.Nonuts,saddles,frets,bridges,fingerboardsorother
shackles.
ThepartsIusearechosenafteralongprocessofconsideration.
Lookingforobjectsthatcouldperformaspecifictask,likeholdinga
string.SoIevaluatedalotofobjectsandtriedtodeterminetowhat
extenttheywereuseful.Terminalscrewsturnedouttobegreatfor
thispurpose.Sadlyenoughtheyusuallyhavejobstodoinwhich
28

theycannotusetheirqualitiestotheextreme.Ineverydaylifethey
havetoholdonewireineachoftheirhands,butonecoulddouble
hisstrengthwhenholdingjustonethingandexperiencingaforce
fromonedirectiononly.Likeintugofwar(ropepulling).Terminal
screwsareoverqualifiedforholdingelectricwire,holdingstringson
aninstrumentgivesthemtheopportunitytofunctionattheirpeak,
whichwouldbeonlyfair,anditseemsmorerewardingtomeas
well.Thiswayofreappropriatingobjectsisusedineveryaspectof
my work, getting full benefit out of the parts used, and so,
challengingtheobjectsandstayingtruetothem.
It's like a company during reorganization, every employee gets
evaluated,andifnecessary,movedtoanotherworkspacetocarryout
afunctionthatsuitsthembetter.It'sallaboutmanagementinthe
end...
Gettingtotheessenceofmusicorsoundissomethingthatmight
take years because it's surrounded by a fog of mystification and
forcedonlawsmakingitalmostincapableofexposingitself.Until
thetimemusicrevealsitselfIamtiedtoahigherlevelappearance
ofsound,whereit'sremovedfromitsorigintosuchanextentthat
there are all kinds of additional rules applied to it. 20 thcentury
musicforinstance.Whenanalyzingthisformofmusic'sexistence
with all its different characteristics, such as neoclassicism,
contemporarymusic,jazz,pop,experimentalandworldmusicthe
mostimportantaspectseemedtobethecautiousnatureofit.Big
leapsareoutofthequestion.Thereisaconstantstrivingforan
equilibriumbetweenrepetitionandchange,orderandnonorder.It
always stands firmly on a its fundamental conservatism, at the
sametimereachingouttounknownterritory,slowlyandcarefully
adapting it, making it his own and repeating this cycle to grow
largerandlarger,likeahypeorvirus.
Fromthisideaofmusicsbehavior(howitlives,learnsandgrows)
wecanseesomeofitsnaturetoo.Theprinciplesanentityfollowsto
functionandevolveintimearealsopartofitinamorestaticway,
callitcharacterorhabit.Insmallertimeframestheconservative
progressionisnoticeable.Theelementaryruleisrepetition,which
29

functionsasacarrier,likeacanvasforpaint,andontopofitthere's
roomforvariationandexpression.Thisleadstoaconstanttension,
abattlewithintheexpression,wantingliberateitselffromthebody
ofmusicwhilstbeingattractedtoitatthesametime.Bycapturing
soundsthroughthemethodofsamplingandreleasingitinaway
both based upon repetition and nonsynchronization makes it
possibleforthemusictopreserveitsnaturalhabits.
Thisisonlythefirststepintheresearchonthetopic.RightnowI
haveasetupforanalysis,withallsuperfluouspartsremoved.It'sof
greatimportancetoseparatethephenomenonofinterestfromthe
influences of the outside world to do any kind of neardecent
research.

10.MUSIC
Besides making instruments I'm also making music. My musical
arrangementsfollowthesameprinciplesmentionedintheprevious
text;omittingallrulesthatarethereonbehalfofmakingmusicin
its most common form and starting from scratch. Trying to
determinethenatureofthesoundsandarrangingandmanipulating
thesetocreatemusicinawayIthinksuitsthematerial,turningit
insideout,cutting,pasting,reshapingandcombiningthesounds.As
inputforthisImainlyuseenvironmentalrecordings,piecesIplay
on my instruments and other, ofter machinelike things such as
mimeographsandsewingmachines.
Myearlyworkswereforemostastudyinstructureandappearance.
Thereliefofthesurface,theweightandtheshapeofthesoundsand
howseparatesoundsactedwhenplacedontopoforaftereach
otherinthefourthdimension,alsoknownastime.Allofthistoget
acquaintedtothemusic,Imaysaymusic,whichfeelslikeakindof
privilege because not many people dare to do so, scared of the
30

sometimes fierce look of it. These bashful people cowardly use a


politicalcorrecttermdescribingallsoundsin,andoutof,existence;
noise.
Littlebylittlemusicrevealedalittlemoreofitscapabilitiestome.
Arrangingsoundreckoningwiththequalitiesofitsexteriorbutalso
itscoreandimaginablecontext.
'ItisimportanttonotethatvanHoekisnotlookingforarealistic
impressionofhisselectedlocations.Mosttracksareactuallycollages
ofdifferentspaces,withdisparateelementsoverlappinginasurreal
gameofjuxtapositions.Withthefieldrecordingsfirmlyinthecentre
ofattention,theunderlyingtextures,oftenrepletewithsubcutaneous
tension and opaque harmonic structures, award these dense,
deliratingscenesahallucinatoryintensityandfrighteningdarkness'6
In 2006 I started my own record label, HeilsKabaal Records.
ThroughthislabelIreleasemyownworkaswellasthatofothers.
Formethislabelisnodifferentthenmyotheraffairs.It'sallpartof
beingactiveinacertainfield.

TobiasFischerReviewofDenHaag/Groningen/Froomboschcdrondirtydemos
(Tokafi,2008)

31

11.GRADUATIONWORK
FormyfinalexamIwillnottrytomakemymagnumopus.Iwon't
put more effort into my work than I usually do. As pointed out
earlier,fornow,myworksarefinishedwhentheprototypefunctions
inasatisfactoryway.TheeffortIwillmakeismoreinthefieldof
presentation.Iwillexhibitallmydifferenttypesofworkasawhole;
myrecordlabel,instrumentsandinstallations,artworkforvinyland
cd's,audioandadditionalsculpturalworkandhouseeverythingin
thelast.Theideaisthat,forthefirsttime,Iwillpresentnotoneor
more comparable works but I will present myself as a maker of
worksingeneral,coveringallaspects.UntilrecentlyIthoughtofall
thesedifferentthingsasseparatepersonalexpressions.Itisonly
nowthatIcometoseethattheyallhavesomethingincommon,not
onlyme,themaker,butalsothewayIdealwiththeworldaround
me,thewayIthinkandthechoicesImake.
Imightseemstrangethatthisinsightcomesaftersomanyyears,I
thinkthisisbecauseIjustmadeworks,andIstilldo.Thinking
aboutthereasonswhyIdothesethings,andinwhatway,wasn'tof
anyimportancetome,andevennowIdon'tthinkyoushouldworry
tomuchaboutthesethingsbutstillI'velearnedsomethingvaluable
fromthis;Ifinallyseetherelationshipbetweenmyvariousactivities
makingiteasiertoacceptthem,notusingthenindividuallybutside
byside,showcasingtheminamorepowerfulway.

32

CONCLUSION:
Nowweknowaboutboth'pataphysicsandmyownworkthequestion
rises about their relation. Although I'm not inventing a cold air
balloon7likeRobertEksteenortrytomeasurethesurfaceofGodas
AlfredJarrydid,myworkmightbeclassifiedas'pataphysical.It's
moreabouttheprinciplesIbasemychoiceson,thewayIinspect
the theme I'mfocusingon; thewayIam. Like a naivescientist
wonderingabouttheessenceoftheworldaroundhim.
Most examples of 'pataphysic research describe people concerned
withpotentialsolutionstopotentialproblemscomingtohypothetical
conclusions.
ComparedtothisIliketoseemyselfasapractitionerofapplied
'pataphysics.

http://dwarseman.weblog.nl/mijn_weblog/2009/12/theorieenprak.html(in
Dutch)

33

34

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Booksandtexts:
JeanBaudrillardForgetFoucault(Semiotext(e)2007)
GillesDeleuzeDesertIslandsandothertexts19531974(Semiotext(e),
2004)
Gonzo(circus)No.75(art:Imaginairegeluidscartografie)(2006)
AlfredJarrySelectedWorksOfAlfredJarry(GrovePress,1965)
AlfredJarryExploitsandOpinionsOfDrFaustroll(ExactChange,1997)
DavidToopHauntedWeather:Music,Silence,andMemory(Serpent's
Tail,2004)
BorisVianHetSchuimDerDagen(GroteABC,1967)
(various)Pataphysica2:PataphysicaeAlchimia(iUniverseInc,2004)
(unknown)JeanBeaudrillardASynopsis(2007)
(unknown)TheSurre(gion)alistManifestoAndOtherWritings

Internet:
www.atlaspress.co.uk/theLIP
www.batafysica.nl
www.epibreren.com/pages/mainframe2.html?pataphoondutch.htm
www.dwarseman.weblog.nl/mijn_weblog/2009/12/theorieenprak.html
ww.gemueseorchester.org
www.ubu.com/papers/jorn_pataphysics.html
www.wikipedia.org

Music:
IdeaFireCompany/FelixKubinBigmag.#2(DropOfBloodRecords,
2007)

35