Date & Time
February 18, 2012, 11am–4pm
Machine Project

Experimental music by babies. Motion tracking software converts the performers’ movements into sound.

What? After our friend Sally brought her baby Otto to play Nate Page’s Storefront Plaza we realized that we had a perfect baby vivarium on our hands, and if we were going to invite a bunch of babies to crawl around for an afternoon, why not put them to work as variables in a algorithmic sound composition?

How does that work? Scott Cazan has written some software for the occasion that uses a camera and a computer to track the movement of the babies and convert that information into different sounds.

How will that sound? Who knows, we haven’t done this before. It could sound terrible, not work, be boring, embarrass everyone and end in tears – like most everything at Machine Project.

Come I come watch even if I don’t have a baby? Of course. the babies are the performers, you are the audience.

What age babies will be performing? Our team of baby movement specialists have advised us that infants between the ages of 6 to 18 months provide the ideal movement parameters for our software.

Can my baby participate? Yes! We wrote a vague email requesting loaner babies last week and were surprised at the response, but we still need more babies! If you’d like to metaphorically throw your baby into the ring (baby parents or legal guardians only please) email m@machineproject.com with the subject line [sure, borrow my baby]

What kind of environmental conditions will the babies be subjected to? The storefront plaza is exposed to the elements on the west side, so babies should dress for outdoor weather. To facilitate the motion tracking, we may request that individual babies wear specific, potentially unflattering colors. We’re hoping to work out a nice toy and blanket situation with participating parents.

I’m not sure my baby can perform for 5 hours straight. Of course not, babies will be expected to perform only until they become bored, start crying in an unappealing fashion, or their parents need to be somewhere else. Babies will be working in shifts.