Playing the City: An Eindhoven Pianola Makes Urban Landscape into Music

Digital or analog, the essence of recording and production is the act of representing. One thing becomes another; one medium stores information about another. That representation can also be physical, tangible, and visible. In a sculptural pianola, Akko Goldenbeld turns the Dutch city of Eindhoven into a pianola roll, so that the landscape of buildings and streets acts as a physical musical score. I think it raises some questions about whether translating the one into the other obscures the experience of a city rather than clarifies it, but that would discount the act of watching it: with the visual connected …


Generative Urbanism, Voxel City, via the Game of Life: Built in Processing

Take voxels (a way of representing volumes in pixels), add a little of John Conway’s legendary Game of Life system, and make architecture. The result: crazy-delicious generative urbanism, built in Processing. Like its precedent, Voxopolis begins with a set of conditions and variables that, when implemented, require no further human input for its subsequent generations. Each new generation is based on its predecessor. What is different now is that it is three dimensional plus it happens at multiple levels at the same time. The voxels inside one building change their state according to neighbour-checking rules but the plots containing the …