The third Xth Sense (XS) workshop took place at the nnnnn studios in London, shortly after the 4th Pure Data Convention.
nnnnn is the home of the relentless activities around FLOSS, sound art and obscure hacking organized by UK artist Ryan Jordan, also known for organizing the monthly and long-established Noise=Noise concerts.
When Ryan asked me to come over to make a workshop there was no doubt it would have been a fun week, it always is when I come down to London to visit friends. The course gathered a bunch of sound and media artists, alongside with few Openlab folks appearing randomly.
It all seemed quite successful, and although some participants did not have any experience at all with soldering and electronics, we moved quite rapidly through the course program.
After building the XS sensors we started diving into the software framework and explored the design of sound-gestures so to become familiar with the system. It’s always pretty intuitive to get started with the XS, even though, especially for first-time users the complexity of the system may require the grasping of new concepts and techniques.
We closed the course with an open jam session during which everybody had the chance to test out the patches they created and the gestures and micro-choreography they have been working on during the week.
Overall it was fun and exciting, as I also had the time and inspiration to develop the software a bit further; namely I just integrated MIDI Out support, so to send the features extracted from the biosignal to other Pd instances or external application software. I had the chance to see the students realizing with the XS some ideas that I never though to try out myself; the flexibility of the XS biophysical system seems to unveil something new every workshop I teach.