Saturday, April 19, 2008

Keystone Bouchard's "Wikisonic" to get Real at the Tech Virtual Museum

"Turns out, I guess, that it actually is possible in Real Life. Go figure!" said Keystone Bouchard (aka Jon Brouchoud). Gasp! He was referring to his Wikisonic project, an instrument for collaborative musical composition that he created in-world with the technical assistance of Annie Obscure, and the scripting assistance of Dirty McLean, and that I blogged about back in early November.

Keystone is the founder of Architecture Islands, an incubator for architects and designers in virtual worlds, and also leads the Architecture in Second Life community group. He is co-founder of Studio Wikitecture, a Web 2.0 based architectural collaboration methodology, and founder of Crescendo Design, a studio specialized in developing sustainable design concepts. His ‘Nutrihouse’ design was chosen for construction in the Cradle-to-Cradle Home competition from over 625 entries worldwide. And I could go on for quite a while longer here, but let me hurry on to tell you the news...

In early February, Keystone got it into his head to submit Wikisonic to the Tech Virtual Museum Workshop in San Jose, California. "The main idea of the project was to invite collaboration, virtual and otherwise, toward the design of museum exhibits for The Tech museum. By submitting the concept, I had essentially open sourced the Wikisonic idea," explained Keystone, and like so many of the concepts that he conceives, it is now licensed under a Creative Commons license, and can be reused as long as Keystone is given credit.

In the Real Life version of Wikisonic, for which Keystone won a cash prize of $5,000 US, visitors will see a series of notes arranged on a wall similar to the notes on a musical staff. Each note will have a switch, with activates and de-activates both a light and an audible tone (each note in a scale in the key of C) contained within each note/switch. A trigger perpetually circulates through the score. As it passes by, it will play only the notes that have been activated by visitors.

The Second Life version, which Theory Shaw and I had the privilege to try out in this video with Keystone, can be seen here. When you active or de-activate a note, the installation changes - in real time - and a collective "song" emerges.

You can play with Wikisonic in Second Life, by teleporting directly from here to Keystone's Gallery of Reflexive Architecture. The Real Life exhibit in San Jose will open in June, and Keystone will be there.