SMDK is a cross-disciplinary project by Knowbotic Research that results from an exchange of working techniques between media artists, computer musicians and computer scientists. The interactive environment SMDK consists of a data base containing sounds which are contributed in the Internet from all over the world. Based on their characteristics, the sounds become mobile elements (agents) and form a self-organizing system by means of simple artificial life rules comparable to a simple cultural community. A visitor who is equipped with a tracking sensor can interactively explore the system in a phyiscal walk-in room and will trigger sounds and influence the organization of the sound elements by manipulating their duration, volume and direction, which in turn depends on the speed and type of his movements. Through a small monitor attached to his head, the visitor is provided with textual information which helps him to navigate inside the virtual sound space. A computer graphical visualization of the permanently changing system, the actions of the visitor and their bearing on the system can be observed by an audience on a large screen in a separate room.

The chaotic basic structure of SMDK, the self-organization feature, the real-time composition of public sound material and its fragmentation, the continuous visualization of (mathematical) processes and the openness of the entire system to the outside world through data networks represent a complexity that challenges the visitor to construct his or her own orientation system. within an interactive database. Public Knowledge Space The visitor enters a 'black space', a situation for which he is not yet equipped with knowledge.Through his concurrent active presence in the real and the virtual space ,the visitor recombines empirically the virtual spatial composition into incalculable, new contexts of the underlying information volume. The resulting dynamic sound mosaic reconstructs the real space ('Real Virtuality'). On leaving the system , the visitor leaves behind specific imprints of his experience which remain intact until the next person enters.

Technoid Aesthetics: The visitors of KR+cF's environment moves in a communication field in which new forms of language have not yet emerged. The development of a non verbal form of individual knowledge generation draws on an aesthetic experience in various (acoustic, textual, graphical and numerical) encoded public data fields. The information system of SMDK, too complex to be fully comprehended, represents a shift in delimiting boundaries of technologically supported, ordered systems. It provides an opportunity to expand our perception and arrive at a critically reflected, technoid-aesthetically experience.

(krcf 1993)

sound environment


krcf in Zusammenarbeit mit Georg Trogemann, Detlev Schwabe, Michael Hoch

Multimediale Hamburg 1993

Interactive Media Festival 1994

Ars Electronica Linz 1994
Artec Nagoya 1995

Siggraph Orlando 1995

Kunsthochschule Köln,

Kulturbehörde Hamburg

Georg Fleischmann, Detlev Schwabe, Michael Hoch: smdk: An Interactive Self-Organizing Sound Environment, 1993