de/Rastra by Kyle E. Evans, synaesthetic performative systems

Kyle E Evans - de:Rastra

Kyle E Evans’ oscillographic synthesizer, the de/Rastra, consists of a circuit-bent CRT TV linked to a computer running a MAX/MSP patch to enable discreet cross-wiring of audio and video signals. The chassis of the TV has been modified to incorporate a gestural interface, using an accelerometer and force-sensing resistors, so that it can be played as an instrument. The movement of the TV in space combined with interface interaction allows Kyle to perform a range of oscillographic visualisations of sound – from simple sine waves through to complex Lissajous curves. There is a cyclic information flow between the analogue and digital parts of the system. First CRT sensor data is sent to the MAX patch, which interprets the data and transforms it into an audio signal. Then the acoustic signal is amplified and sent back to the CRT allowing for the generation of precisely synchronised oscillographic animations. The transmutation of obsolete and antiquated technology, such as the cathode ray tube, into new audio visual tools with capabilities alien to their original utility is a key aspect in Kyle’s projects and methodology. According to Kyle ‘In its modern character, seen as a combination of both archaic and nostalgic, the CRT is granted its most potential for experimentation and techno-resurrection. By way of building, bending and mutilating, de/Rastra shows the effects of altering the anatomical make-up of a CRT television, revealing the intrinsically hidden potentials of the technology through the re-purposing and restructuring of its own ability’. In the mid 1960s and onwards, Nam June Paik used magnets to bend cathode ray beams to create aberrant visualisations in well-known works such as “Magnet TV”. Earlier in the 1950’s Ben Laposky utilized oscilloscopes as the creation medium for his “Electronic Abstractions” and in doing so coined the term Oscillons. Evans’ work is founded on and informed by both of these artists. He expands on this oscilloscope lineage by fusing analogue and digital components to create sophisticated synaesthetic performative systems.
Paul Prudence


de/Rastra – Oscillographic Synthesizer and Computer Interface