Through a playful exchange of characteristics between subjects and objects, my artwork explores how microcultures emerge in interactive moments. Technology is often considered a threat, but it is something we must not seek freedom from; rather we must consider how it has always been entwined with our sense of self. It is important to continually reevaluate ourselves and the spaces we engage. We may find a new sense of community through interactive explorations of technology that allow us creative expression.

CAPITAL ARTIFACTS:

CRITICAL STRUCTURES OF AURALIZATION



M.S. Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Columbia University in Candidacy for the Degree of Masters of Science in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture 



ABSTRACT

Auralization connotes the imagining of an aural event, distinct from sonification, which is a method of representing information via the mapping of datum to a composition of audible signifiers. Aural systems, built upon structures in psychoacoustics, provide a set of practical and conceptual tools that inform our sonic imaginary. New notions of transmission, translation, and fidelity are found at the intersection of computer music and information display. These artistic processes offer hybrid communicative capacities through their interfaces, which span built and virtual environments. Operating on the outer thresholds of perception and calculation, the efficacy of these intermodal strategies are contextualized by concepts of noise found in the aesthetic discourse of ‘glitch’. Glitch refers to an unpredictable error, but it has become increasingly unclear if it occurs due to external systematic breakdown or internal sensory capacities. A perceptual hiccup may just as easily be the artifact of computational error or compression as a demarcation of individual thresholds for detecting difference. White noise is seemingly the most unique sound in its complete variety, but to human ears its nuance is imperceivable. By making noise legible this thesis constructs an aural ecology for expanding semantic and aesthetic discourse within the International Community for Auditory Display. A critical archeology of methods of transmission, sonification, and audiovisual art provide a historical framework expanding both design and curatorial practice.

Hyperminimalist work by composer Ryoji Ikeda provides a case study for art practices that disseminate popular notions of glitch through audiovisual information display. Ikeda constructs immersive environments of auditory display within museum space and the urban stage of the city. In this context, noise is the materia prima of theories of information and performance practices, inscribed with the effects of entropy and carrying embedded, masked meaning. This project seeks a critical language which expands notions of auditory display in order to examine the productivity of noise-based methodologies—artifacts of glitch being the referent and object for the perception of difference. How are we to understand the cross-disciplinary influence of auralization relative to the social aspects of perceptual capital and cultural capital? What are the functional implications of interfaces for auditory display in institutionalized art spaces and public settings? Striving for a lossless experience is impossible due to an aural architecture modulated ontologically by filtering and error. Steganography is the art of concealing, embedding one sound, image, or file within another. Communication failure can occur due to intended encryption or unexpected interference in exchange. This loss—a system’s lossiness—can be a source of production; one always mediated by unavoidable characteristics of globalized information flow, cultural politics, and sonic perception. Application of these notions to scientific and artistic practice is paramount if we are to decode the future city. 

(Source: vimeo.com)

Interferometric Motion

made in collaboration with Melodie Yashar, M’Arch ‘14

for Encoded Matter with Ezio Blasetti

http://ezioblasetti.tumblr.com/

http://algorithmicdesign.net/

Interferometry is the experimental measurement of displacement caused by the construction and deconstruction of waveforms. Indicies of refraction can be gathered from light, such as in holography, as well as from sound. For this project, we aimed to develop a system that would visualize the interfering trajectories of a set grid of points assigned and emitting specific frequencies.

As each point affects every other point their new vertices are plotted. For the first iteration of this visualization, a grid of points was fed an increasing frequency from 25 Hz to 2 Khz with a fixed amplitude. The resulting geometry captured across this spectrum is displayed below. Additionally, a scaling factor was introduced to increase distance of each interference step of each frequency. This was performed for six different intensities, the first of which is represented in the sequence, while the sixth and more distorted geometry is shown below.

Another iteration of the visualization system evolved to include a z-factor for the displacement of the waveforms. Using a fixed frequency and amplitude, the steps of intensity for interference are mapped in the sequence below. Each generation affects the grid through subtle interactions until the resulting complexity explodes the systems. This is the next step in the development of a visualization system that can map the interacting sonic forces within a volume.

CONTACT/CURRICULUM VITAE

New York based artist, writer, curator, and multimedia specialist.

Click here to view PDF.

maxlauter@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/maxlauter

facebook.com/maxlauter









EDUCATION

M.S. in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, 2012 - 2014

Columbia University: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP)

Graduate thesis project: “Capital Artifacts: Critical Structures of Auralization”. Advisor: Mark Wasiuta

B.A. in Philosophy, Minor in Visual Arts, Minor in Music, 2006 - 2011

Purchase College at State University of New York (SUNY Purchase)

Undergraduate thesis project: “Organic Electric: Finding Identity through Technology & Art”. Advisor: Casey Haskins

Honors/awards: Jim & Alice Greenwood Prize in Philosophy, Recipient 2011

Lituchy-Wiesenberg Prize For The Best Essay In Humanities, Nominee 2011

EMPLOYMENT (RELATED)

Columbia GSAPP, Office of Events & Public Programs, Events Assistant Coordinator. 2013 - 2014

Assist with programming, curate documentation, publication.

United Nations International School, Media Specialist. 2009 - Present

Collaborate in technology integration in curriculum, particularly philosophy; assistant teach classes relating to multimedia, design of performance and installation spaces; coordinate and run event spaces. video editing/distribution.

Experiments in Motion/Extreme Cities (GSAPP/Audi), Studio-X NYC. 2013 

Conducted interviews, curate/edit content, design video for exhibition.

‘Arts, Letters, and Numbers’ Workshop (Director: David Gersten, The Cooper Union). Summer 2012

Part of core team that facilitated workshop for architects and artists; technology integration for interactive opera.

BMW Guggenheim Lab, Guggenheim Museum, Lead Theatre & Audio/Visual Specialist. 2011

Facilitated all technology usage on-site for integration with live events and projects, shoot and edit video of interviews and events for online distribution, acting liaison between visiting artistic, corporate, and institutional committees.

Freelance, 2006 - Present

Audio/video production, conceptual development.

EXHIBITIONS+EVENTS, ASSISTANTSHIPS+PERFORMANCES [RELATED]

‘Venice Observatory’, La Biennale di Venezia. Emily Harvey Foundation, Venezia, Italia. June 2014

Curatorial research project on the Architecture Biennale, produced writing and audiovisual materials.

‘Interpretations: Discerning Fictions,’ Studio-X NYC, New York, NY. April 2013

Part of core curatorial team for international symposium event and forthcoming publication Archigonics. 

‘The Object Is Present,’ duo exhibition with Jonathan Peck. ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY. August 2012

Exhibition of original live interactive multimedia, live music and dance performances with Matthew Garrison.

Pablo Helguera, ‘The Well-Tempered Exposition,’ Location One gallery, New York, NY. 2011

Collaborated with cast by running projection and lighting with live music.

Pedro Reyes, ‘Sanatorium’ of ‘Stillspotting NYC,’ by David van der Leer. Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn, NY. 2011

Questioned participating public about life choices and answered through a ‘Philosophical Casino’ of theories.

Liz Phillips - Studio Assistant and Collaborator. New York, NY. 2011

Assisted in production of interactive exhibition; field recording, sound mixing, video, projection, and installation with artist.

Tania Bruguera Retrospective Exhibition - Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY. 2010

Performed solo as life-size afro-cuban Nsiki Nkondi, wore a full body suit made of Cuban mud, wire, glue, and nails.

EPISTEMIC PROTOCOLS 

ENTROPY IN COLLECTING TERRITORIES OF EXPERTISE

By Max Lauter and Caitlin Blanchfield

View PDF of full book here.

________________________________________________________

HOW TO USE THIS KIT

Collector

Over the past thirty years, the collection of fine art (henceforth referred to as as- sets) has seen unparalleled growth. Private collections and private museums are ever richer territories for investment and cultural patronage, while more and more private collectors are emerging as major players on the glamorous international arts scene. In this exciting field, how does the private collector become distin- guished? This booklet is an essential guide to optimizing your investment (art col- lection), introducing a new vocabulary for the acquisition, circulation, and main- tenance of said assets, while maximizing the capabilities of the collector within such a highly specialized, networked environment. Helpful pictograms—deploy- able as overhead transparencies for truly dynamic presentations—enable the user to visualize the many players whose synergized contributions (from technical ex- pertise to institutional prominence) further enhance the visibility of a private col- lector. Diagrams relating these terms and figures amplify how such shared knowl- edge and leveraged relationships insure influence in this dog-eat-dog market.

Museum

With slashed budgets and declining finances, art institutions are feeling the ef- fects of the recent fiscal crash. Acquiring new works, and loaning pieces from other large institutions presents challenges when not altogether impossible. All the while values on the art market continue to rise. The question is how will the museum compete for visitors and donors in such a climate? We offer a solution. Strategic partnerships with wealthy collectors, looking for expert guidance and institutional advice as they grow their fledgling art portfolio, can bring new works into museum galleries at a low price. Moreover, such an approach provides cura- tors the opportunity to talent seek on behalf of said collectors. Identifying emerg- ing genres, such as avant-garde multimedia work wherein prices are not yet over- inflated, lays the framework for enriching collaborations, enabling the museum to take the lead in new curatorial directions. Our graphics and terminology will be welcome tools for museum administrators looking to envision strategies and open up conversations with prospective collector-collaborators.

Artist

The art world is no easy terrain to navigate. Between gallerists, curators, and col- lectors, knowing how best to ensure the value and integrity of your work is chal- lenging. But fear not, this manual of legible diagrams and terminology brings everyone in the conversation to the same page. Ironing out issues of hardware repair, medium migration, and installation specifications establishes baselines and protocols (in collector-speak) that will stabilize the value of your piece and its longevity. While your satisfaction and the satisfaction of the collector are mutually inclusive, formalities of artistic institutions can cause stagnation due to commu- nication breakdown. Our easy-to-use transparencies will help to ensure that your concerns are on the table at any meeting.

A collage of video documentation from both the opening and closing performances of THE OBJECT IS PRESENT.
**For a description of the project, click here.
Scroll for video, or to watch on Vimeo, click here.

A collage of video documentation from both the opening and closing performances of THE OBJECT IS PRESENT.

**For a description of the project, click here.

Scroll for video, or to watch on Vimeo, click here.

My upcoming exhibition at ShapeShifter Lab:
THE OBJECT IS PRESENT
Jonathan Peck & Max Lauter
OPENING: August 25, 6:00-8:00PM
August 25 - Sept 2, 2012
ShapeShifter Lab in Park Slope — 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn NY 11215
Facebook event page: Click here
Watch teaser video here:
https://vimeo.com/43874129

ONTOLOGY
‘The mediation, the technical translation, that I am trying to understand resides in the blind spot where society and matter exchange properties.’ … ‘I live in the midst of technical delegates.’
~ Bruno Latour
The present affords every entity a concurrent reality, an experience of consciousness through a sensibility that is inimitable and incommunicable. Through a playful exchange of characteristics between subjects and objects, this exhibition explores how decisions that are made in interactive moments allow for aestheticized communication and new creativity. With basic programming and a rudimentary system of input and output, reception and reaction, what is being presented by the space? As one explores the sets and becomes part of each milieu, mediation itself exudes a presence. Who is the object and who is subject? Whatis the object and what is the subject?
We do not understand these objects as sculptures, but rather through the consequence of our interaction with them. These scenes are the product of a complex and empathetic engagement with material: a physical manifestation of geometry; a scalable reflection of human proportion and action; an aesthetic partitioning of embodied subjects into objects. As a scenario for interaction, the participants have experience of this new system. However, the participants are creating the objects’ history as much as the object is creating a history for the persons involved — they each exchange a trace in the system, to be presented within its components after they are gone.
~ Max Lauter & Jonathan Peck

'The Object Is Present' Teaser #1 from Max Lauter on Vimeo.

My upcoming exhibition at ShapeShifter Lab:

THE OBJECT IS PRESENT

Jonathan Peck & Max Lauter

OPENING: August 25, 6:00-8:00PM

August 25 - Sept 2, 2012

ShapeShifter Lab in Park Slope — 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn NY 11215

Facebook event page: Click here

Watch teaser video here:

https://vimeo.com/43874129


ONTOLOGY

‘The mediation, the technical translation, that I am trying to understand resides in the blind spot where society and matter exchange properties.’ … ‘I live in the midst of technical delegates.’

~ Bruno Latour

The present affords every entity a concurrent reality, an experience of consciousness through a sensibility that is inimitable and incommunicable. Through a playful exchange of characteristics between subjects and objects, this exhibition explores how decisions that are made in interactive moments allow for aestheticized communication and new creativity. With basic programming and a rudimentary system of input and output, reception and reaction, what is being presented by the space? As one explores the sets and becomes part of each milieu, mediation itself exudes a presence. Who is the object and who is subject? Whatis the object and what is the subject?

We do not understand these objects as sculptures, but rather through the consequence of our interaction with them. These scenes are the product of a complex and empathetic engagement with material: a physical manifestation of geometry; a scalable reflection of human proportion and action; an aesthetic partitioning of embodied subjects into objects. As a scenario for interaction, the participants have experience of this new system. However, the participants are creating the objects’ history as much as the object is creating a history for the persons involved — they each exchange a trace in the system, to be presented within its components after they are gone.

~ Max Lauter & Jonathan Peck

'The Object Is Present' Teaser #1 from Max Lauter on Vimeo.

ORGANIC ELECTRIC: FINDING IDENTITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY AND ART

Click to read my writing…

ORGANIC ELECTRIC: FINDING IDENTITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY AND ART

Click the picture or link above to open the PDF document.

Meditation Technology [Installation]; 2011

Materials: Computer, sheet metal, wood, cables, piezo microphones, Pure Data software, speakers, audio.

This interactive installation piece creates an environment of relaxation, yet heightens awareness. The space is filled with the sound of prerecorded crystal crucibles being struck or rubbed, and participants experience the interplay of frequencies and beat patterns in the air as the sound slowly pans across four speakers in the corners of the room. Participants are invited to sit on four metal mats positioned in the four directions on the floor, each with a piezo microphone sending audio signal to a computer for processing. Through a custom software patch, the computer measures the amount of movement on the mats from the amplitude received, and based on the movement increases the spread of the bowls across the four speakers, or in cases of more disruptive movement, begins to distort the sounds. The participants quickly become aware of their movement. Even the smallest motions create changes in the ebb and flow of the bowls, and gives the participants audible feedback on their ability to focus or meditate.

A minimalist industrial and technological feeling is evoked in the use of bare metal, wood, and cables. There is no attempt at making these components hidden; they are given aesthetic consideration so that the piece may be understood as a technological system without its parts becoming a source of external distraction. Through the piece participants may begin to become comfortable with motionless listening in small groups with others. They will be working together to be still so that they may find a deeper place of thought, or travel through aural narratives while intensely focused. The conceptual framework behind this piece originated in my desire to create a piece of computer art that allowed for technology to partake, for better or for worse, in the building up of a collective awareness, and an enhanced ability to concentrate during the meditation process.

In this piece, the sounds are recorded from technological by-products of the Silicon industry. The ringing crucibles you hear, similar to crystal bowls, were used to forge microprocessors in California over 20 years ago.

Special thanks to Dan Lauter, Liz Phillips, Pall Thayer, and Seth Powsner.


Meditation Technology Crystal Bowl Mixdown by Max Lauter

Weather Balloon; 2011 

Video Documentation: 20:00, Excerpt 02:20

This piece is based on ‘Echo-Evolution’, originally shown at The Kitchen NYC in 1999, by artist and professor Liz Phillips. In this iteration of the installation, the video, projection, and sound was created by Max Lauter, as part of Liz Phillip’s Sound & Interactive Media course at SUNY Purchase College. It includes two projections fixed onto a weather balloon, which create a sort of 3-dimensional image inside the balloon. Sound of the video footage was processed and combined from multiple field recordings and played in sync with the projection in the space.

Watch the excerpt video:

Chat (Cultural Technology) [Screenshot]; 2011
Materials: Computer, Pure Data software, video, audio
This piece explores the ways in which technology and culture effect each other, and how their mutual influences change the development and understanding of our cultural identities. The origin of the speaker is unknown, and further, it is unknown if the word they are speaking is their own. In giving dominance to the clip playing on the screen we get a sort of “correctional tool”, but as the piece builds, it is quickly shifted from a voice of authority to a much less certain one. Who is “right” is not known, there is merely manipulation and combination of identities and voices. Identity, both on the internet and in real life, has malleable qualities, which change slowly overtime. The piece begins to create a culture of its own through technology, with people of uncertain origins melding into something new. Depending on who encounters this piece, the user might in fact learn they were saying a word incorrectly and thus attempt to change the way they speak, perhaps out of embarrassment. Others might prefer the way they say a word, either because it is how their family or friends say it, or because they feel they have imparted a personal touch to its utterance (e.g. a ‘sexy’ foreign accent, or an unambiguously New York accent).
 
The piece is created within Pure Data, just one of several open-source softwares that allow for system level control of a computer, providing the power to design specific applications for artistic purposes. Person A records an audio and video clip (5 seconds in duration) into a computer via an iSight camera of themselves saying a word in front of a screen with a camera and a microphone. This clip is stored, and played back on the screen on a loop. Person B, a new user, then has the chance to try to repeat the word, which will also be recorded the same way. If they speak the word similarly, they will be given a different word by the same speaker, or a different speaker. Each time they attempt to say a word they will be captured on video and audio, which will become the looping clip on a different screen. The piece need not have a central location, as the system can be created across different machines.

Chat (Cultural Technology) [Screenshot]; 2011

Materials: Computer, Pure Data software, video, audio

This piece explores the ways in which technology and culture effect each other, and how their mutual influences change the development and understanding of our cultural identities. The origin of the speaker is unknown, and further, it is unknown if the word they are speaking is their own. In giving dominance to the clip playing on the screen we get a sort of “correctional tool”, but as the piece builds, it is quickly shifted from a voice of authority to a much less certain one. Who is “right” is not known, there is merely manipulation and combination of identities and voices. Identity, both on the internet and in real life, has malleable qualities, which change slowly overtime. The piece begins to create a culture of its own through technology, with people of uncertain origins melding into something new. Depending on who encounters this piece, the user might in fact learn they were saying a word incorrectly and thus attempt to change the way they speak, perhaps out of embarrassment. Others might prefer the way they say a word, either because it is how their family or friends say it, or because they feel they have imparted a personal touch to its utterance (e.g. a ‘sexy’ foreign accent, or an unambiguously New York accent).

 

The piece is created within Pure Data, just one of several open-source softwares that allow for system level control of a computer, providing the power to design specific applications for artistic purposes. Person A records an audio and video clip (5 seconds in duration) into a computer via an iSight camera of themselves saying a word in front of a screen with a camera and a microphone. This clip is stored, and played back on the screen on a loop. Person B, a new user, then has the chance to try to repeat the word, which will also be recorded the same way. If they speak the word similarly, they will be given a different word by the same speaker, or a different speaker. Each time they attempt to say a word they will be captured on video and audio, which will become the looping clip on a different screen. The piece need not have a central location, as the system can be created across different machines.

Installation: In a dark room a person wears clothing containing handmade audio circuitry woven into the fabric. Circuitry creates sound in relation to the amount of light it receives, and is amplified through a speaker. A camera is pointed towards the person wearing the shirt, which is projected as a live feed on the opposite wall as a sort of mirror. Flashlights of various luminosity are given out and participants become users in their interaction as they ‘play’ the shirt-wearer. As time progresses users may begin to interact with the shirt as a technology or instrument and begin to forget that they are interacting with a body. The piece attempts to create the scenario wherein participants in their interaction become ‘users’, in hopes of mastering a new technology, while losing grasp of their physical connection to the bodies at hand.

Installation: In a dark room a person wears clothing containing handmade audio circuitry woven into the fabric. Circuitry creates sound in relation to the amount of light it receives, and is amplified through a speaker. A camera is pointed towards the person wearing the shirt, which is projected as a live feed on the opposite wall as a sort of mirror. Flashlights of various luminosity are given out and participants become users in their interaction as they ‘play’ the shirt-wearer. As time progresses users may begin to interact with the shirt as a technology or instrument and begin to forget that they are interacting with a body. The piece attempts to create the scenario wherein participants in their interaction become ‘users’, in hopes of mastering a new technology, while losing grasp of their physical connection to the bodies at hand.

All The Way Down (Variation); 2010
Materials: CRT television, video camera, tripod, sheet metal, delay pedal, contact microphone, small turtle ornament.
Variation of above piece with a mat made of sheet metal which creates sound with filters from movements made while kneeling or standing on top of it. The camera poses on its tripod as a sort of human, head down in contemplation. The mat gives the participant aural feedback to help increase awareness of one’s physical presence and ability to be completely still, or lack there of. 

All The Way Down (Variation); 2010

Materials: CRT television, video camera, tripod, sheet metal, delay pedal, contact microphone, small turtle ornament.

Variation of above piece with a mat made of sheet metal which creates sound with filters from movements made while kneeling or standing on top of it. The camera poses on its tripod as a sort of human, head down in contemplation. The mat gives the participant aural feedback to help increase awareness of one’s physical presence and ability to be completely still, or lack there of. 

All The Way Down; 2010

Materials: CRT television, video camera, tripod, small turtle ornament.

A camera captures a small turtle sculpture on the television screen and plays it back through the same screen creating a stagnant loop that appears like a spiral staircase. The effect is similar to a sort of reflecting pool, relating to notions of the metaphysical in technology and ideas of code all the way down, from websites to processors. The title takes it name from a myth that suggests the Earth sits on top of an elephant, which is on top of a turtle, which is supported by “turtles all the way down”.

Sisyphus; 2010

Materials: CRT television, video camera, tripod, metal step stool, delay pedal, contact microphone, small found rock.

Participants climb a step stool in order to look down into an upturned television where they encounter an image of themselves with a heavy rock on their back, while they hear the echo of their ascent through the speakers. The cyclical myths and narratives that this piece evokes call attention to the rhythm of ritualistic engagement with technologies, as well as the fictions of burden and purpose in constructing identity.

To the side of the television is a camera that is situated to capture the person on the top of the stool looking down from behind, which is a live feed played in the television screen. On top of the screen is a small but heavy rock which appears to be directly on the back of the participant on the screen when standing on the top step. As the participant climbs the step stool they hear their movement played through the speakers of the television with a delay filter captured by an unnoticeable contact microphone attached to the stool.