Alex Braidwood

Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, media designer, and educator who maintains a practice exploring issues of sustainability at the intersection of art and science. He has been an artist in residence in an Australian mountain village, on an Iowa farm, at a mid-western biological field research station, and on Isle Royale National Park. He has exhibited art, led workshops, lectured on his work, and performed live at a variety of events and venues throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Alex is currently Director of the Artist-in-Residence program at Iowa Lakeside Lab and Associate Professor at Iowa State University.

Artist Location: Ames, IA

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ACE [Artist Curated Events]

Mechanism for Actualizing Speculative Soundscapes (MASS) – Live NatureSound Experiments
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Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2021:
Mechanism for Actualizing Speculative Soundscapes (MASS) – Live NatureSound Experiments
This live performance attempts to use the popular platform of the party DJ to explore ideas of nature sound in a new context within live events and streaming media culture. Using various synthesis and composition techniques, the overall arch of the performance is modeled after the vocalization energy and activity of a dawn chorus from the time of day before first-light to after the sunrise is complete. Nature sound specifically, and listening in general, is largely underappreciated in our culture that prioritizes nature as a resource to be extracted and time as something to be filled in the celebration of busy as a marker of success. Using the language of the party-DJ-as-shamanistic guide, MASS encourages people to slow down, to relax, to listen, to set aside worry, to melt into the moment, to be present, and to appreciate the interrelationships between nature, sound, texture, and in-the-moment inner selves. Drawing from field recordings, sample-based synthesis, self-improvement hypnosis records, spoken word poetry, and hi-fi test tones, this performance asks listeners to slow down and reflect on what’s important about nature, CULTure, and each other. This performance can be done live in-person or streamed digitally. 

Dis-located Listening: AR/AV compositions
For this installation, a series of small signs would be installed around the grounds. Listeners will be provided a map of the sign’s locations but will also be able to find them organically throughout the event. Each sign includes the AR marker and basic instructions on how to access the app and experience the sound. This experience is intended for individuals on their own devices using headphones or using the mobile device’s speakers for a collective listening experience at the site. This experience is accessible on both Android and iOS. For the audio, a series of field recording-based compositions will be developed to emphasize the importance of listening to the natural world while, at the same time, identifying the privilege currently associated with nature sound. The negative impacts of noise disproportionately affect underserved communities and communities of color. Dis-located Listening will interrogate the politics of place and the value of listening at the intersection of urban, nature, health, and well being. The outdoor locations around Angels Gate Cultural Center will be chosen for the specific purposes of engaging those local soundscapes with the audio compositions triggered by the AR experience.

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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