Machine Machine (2013) is an audio installation, by John Keston, that turns a 32″ touchscreen into audio + video granular synthesizer.
Granular synthesis is used to loop “grains” of sound and video at variable lengths and frequencies. These parameters are based on the y-axis of the touch point on the monitor. The x-axis determines the position of the grain within the timeline.
Within the piece there are five different segments that can be manipulated. Each segment provides the sound and visuals of a particular machine doing its job. These include a magnetic scrap crane, a train engine, a hydraulic metal cutter, tanker cars, and foot traffic. The video demonstrates some of the range and subtlety possible with the device.
The piece was exhibited last month at the Northrup King Building in Minneapolis during Art-a-Whirl and for Visual Storage; the MCAD MFA thesis exhibition.