Alex Braidwood


Virtual Breakout During the Outbreak June 6th Livestream

Virtual BreakOut During the OutBreak Videos [VBODOBV] II

Recombinant Tangibility

Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2020:
Recombinant Tangibility: A Live Sonificaiton Performance Driven by LA Harbor Wind Data

In many ways, the wind is as intangible as sound, yet both provide a unique sense of place as they move with temporary occupation while at the same time, leaving an environment forever changed.

Interestingly, both wind and sound require movement and time. With audio, there’s no such thing as a still or freeze-frame. With air, if it isn’t moving, it isn’t wind.

Wind is an odd thing. Windblown leaves are often identified when folks are asked to list their favorite sounds. Waves lapping the shore is another favorite. However, wind itself doesn’t make any sound. It’s the moving air that affects something else, and it’s the something else that makes the sound. 

Near the Angels Gate Cultural Center, there is a NOAA sensor station collecting and reporting high-frequency wind data. This station is reporting data every 6 minutes, and it is accessible in near-real-time online. Using a new evolution of my custom-programmed composition and performance system, Recombinant Tangibility is a live sonification using area sounds and data of wind events from the harbor to develop an ever-changing, performative sonification of the marine environment surrounding Angels Gate Cultural Center. 

This piece is a meditation on place while at the same time making the intangibility of wind manifest in the form of audio. It’s a live performance built on the idea that data-made-experiential is an effective method for relating to the natural world through aspects of the soundscape.

Earmaginations [silent videos]


Water is the second most important resource to human physiology behind oxygen. As the standard survival rule of three goes, humans can survive about three minutes without oxygen, about three days without water, and about three weeks without food. The importance of water is why people find images, sounds, and experiences of water so attractive, according to some research.[1] People vacation by lakes. People prefer pantings with rivers. People use wave sounds to sleep. People pay more for waterfront property.

WAV^V^VS is a silent video intended for projection on any variety of surfaces. It positions the viewer inside the space of a segmented and time-manipulated series of waves crashing along a rocky shore. Watching the video and focusing on the water, the piece invites the viewer to hear in their mind’s ear the forceful yet soothing sounds of waves as they crash, splash, and wash over the jagged rocks before returning to the swell. The time manipulation encourages viewers to not only imagine the sounds of the waves but also the ways those sounds would be manipulated through capture and recomposition. The result is a unique audio fiction that exists only in the ear of the beholder. 

1. Nichols, Wallace J., and Celine Cousteau. Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. 1 edition, Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

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Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, designer, and educator who maintains a practice centered around play and experimentation. He has been an artist in residence in an Australian National Park, on an Iowa farm, at a mid-western biological field research station, and most recently on Isle Royale National Park. He is a board of director for the Midwest Society of Acoustic Ecology and the Iowa chapter of AIGA. Alex is currently Associate Professor of Graphic Design and in the Human Computer Interaction Ph.D. programs at Iowa State University. He is also Director of the Artist-in-Residence program at Iowa Lakeside Lab.

Artist Location: Ames, IA

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Posted in Artists 2020.