Simul Sunder is an interactive audiovisual performance creating material out of media hosted on the internet. Created as a response to the seemingly endless consumption of online content due to the distancing measures brought by the 2020 pandemic, the installation creates ambient soundscapes and abstract visualisations by processing YouTube videos that explore themes of environmental conservation. During the live streamed performance, online audiences can interact with the piece by editing the YouTube playlist providing the system’s raw sonic and visual material, as well as by controlling the values of several system parameters through OSC interface apps (TouchOSC, Mrmr, OSC Controller, and so on). These parameters are connected to large-scale processes, with their effects on sound and image often manifesting much later in the performance.
This approach was implemented due to both practical and conceptual reasons; firstly, it circumvents the timing issues caused by latency in long-distance networks, an inherent challenge for real-time control of music performances; secondly, it serves as a metaphor for the impact humans have on the environment, both collectively and as individuals. Natural ecosystems comprise of multiple distinct organisms, who unbeknownst to them, have a direct effect on their cohabitants through the effects of their individual actions on the environment. Similarly, the open parameters of Simul Sunder are provided without instructions; instead, participants are invited to form their own subjective understandings of how their actions affect the audiovisual environment over longer “evolutionary” timeframes, and consequently, how they anonymously impact the other individuals sharing the same digital ecosystem.
Manoli Moriaty (GR/UK) is an artist and researcher exploring the synergy and interactivity of sonic and performance arts. Regularly collaborating with choreographers, actors, visual artists, and technologists, the interacting media, practitioners, and cultures are considered as distinct organisms of a shared ecosystem, and are arranged within a conceptual structure informed by biological and evolutionary perspectives of social organisation. His work intersects aesthetics drawn from sound art, noise improvisation, electroacoustic composition, and rave music, and combines processes and methodologies from ethnomusicology, Practice-as-Research, and human-computer interaction. His work has been presented at diverse settings, such as international conferences (ICMC, SMC, Society or Artistic Research, NIME), music festivals (Supersonic, Electric Nights, Surge Glasgow, Focus Wales), and performing arts gatherings (Beijing New Dance Festival, Word of Warning, Ionian Academy Audiovisual Arts Festival). He is published by Taylor & Francis and Springer, and holds a PhD in collaborative practice from the University of Salford.