About

Hello, my name is André Castro. I am a media designer working within art & technology, and with a background in sound arts. In addition I work part-time as a higher education tutor and Python software developer.

My practice focuses on designing custom automated audiovisual systems for artworks and exhibitions. Working in close dialogue with artists and institutions, I try to offer reliable solutions that meet the requirements of the work, regardless of how unconventional.

If you are interested in working with me email me at andre[at]artserver[dot]org

Work

2019

Rana Hamadeh - Étude1: On Recitation

In close dialog with Rana Hamadeh I developed a system which encoded the Arabic text from a section (surah) of the Qran into a sequence of perforated holes inscribed in an organ book. During the exhibition the organ book was continuously read and its sequence of wholes decoded back into text, displayed in a cube monitor, and into musical notes, performed by a self-playing piano.

Photo by Pieter Kers.
Photo by Pieter Kers.
Photo by Pieter Kers.

Tent Rotterdam's Post Opera Exhibiton

Networked system to sequence the sound playback and light cues for the different works of the exhibition.

For the Post Opera I developed a system to sequence the sound playback and light cues of different works present in the exhibition, so they wouldn't overlap, but run in cycles.

The system consisted of a network formed by:

  • several RaspberryPis (one per piece), used as playback devices
  • laptop functioning the central node that controlled the RaspberryPi
  • network switch to which all Pis & laptop connected to
  • DMX mixer & dimmer pack

A simple Python reads sound and light cues from a spreadsheet and send those cues as ssh commands to the Raspberry Pis on local area network, whom respond by playing back the designed tracks. Light cues are send as MIDI messages to the DMX mixer.

Work by Mercedes Azpilicueta and John Bingham-Hall
Work by Jasna Veličković

Tor Jonsson's The Reincarnation of MS Marietta

For this artwork by Tor Jonsson, I designed a simple but robust audio playback system that would play every two-hours, of the day-time, one of the dozen sound compositions created by Tor for this work. The audio playback system was installed in the boat-sculpture which was left to sail.

2018

Renée Turner's Warp Weft Memory

The Warp and Weft of Memory is a research project with Castrum Peregrini, which ran from September 2016 to October 2018. The work explores the wardrobe of Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht and the ways in which it reflects her life, work, and various histories through textiles and clothing. The research not only mined the past but also made connections to the present. As a whole, the project had different public manifestations: public lectures, educational events, an online narrative combining fact, fiction and artefacts.

Media:

Detail of Gisèle’s wardrobe inventories, “Semantic Tapestry”, image © Stichting Castrum Peregrini
Screenshot detail, “Notes”, Development and Interface by Manufactura Independente, image © Stichting Castrum Peregrini
Screenshot of Semantic Mediawiki which feeds content and structure to the interface of http://www.warpweftmemory.net, image © Stichting Castrum Peregrini

2017

Rana Hamadeh - The Ten Murders of Josephine

For The Ten Murders of Josephine I designed a network which listened to MIDI messages coming from the sound composition that was the center stage of the exhibition. When a MIDI message arrived to the network, something would happennamely:

  • change the corridor lights, to the room where the composition is being played in
  • capture, process and playback the sound of a room
  • making printer print
  • ring the telephone, if the telephone is picked up:
  • route the composition to its ear-piece
  • route voice of the receiver onto the PA

The software used to run the installation, comprised: Debian, Asterisk, Jackd, SuperCollider, Python (with libraries: mido, pyOSC, RPi.GPIO), a laptop and several Raspberry Pis

Room from installation The Ten Murders of Josephine by Rana Hamadeh. Photo: Kristien Daem.
The Ten Murders of Josephine network map
Detail from installation The Ten Murders of Josephine by Rana Hamadeh. Photo: Kristien Daem.
Room from installation The Ten Murders of Josephine by Rana Hamadeh. Photo: Kristien Daem.

2016

Lawrence Abu Hamdan - Hummingbird Clock

The Hummingbird Clock is a new kind of timepiece that uses the second-by-second fluctuations in the frequency of the UK mains power supply to time and date digital recordings. It is designed to provide a tool for investigations into civil and human rights violations, and state corruption committed in the UK anytime after July 7th 2016.

For over 10 years the UK government has been using the humming sound of the electrical mains as a surveillance tool and forensic clock to authenticate recordings – to determine their time and date, and whether they have been edited or otherwise altered. They call this technique, invented by Dr Catalin Grigoras, “electrical frequency network (ENF) analysis”. It can be effectively used as a time stamp for almost any recording made within earshot of electricity, which is always – almost silently – humming. This use of the sound of the electrical grid as a fingerprint of the nation's time has only ever been used by the police as a tool of state level surveillance, and yet everyone has access to this same buzz.

The Hummingbird Clock takes the same technique of ENF state surveillance and reverse its ears, turning it into a tool to listen back to the state. This clock is an attempt to invert the flow of power and reclaim the national buzz, by making this surveillance technology accessible to everybody else. From the 7th July 2016 onwards your mains electricity does not merely hum but also testifies.

[[Creator::Lawrence Abu Hamdan|:Lawrence Abu Hamdan]]'s Hummingbird Clock website still. http://www.hummingbirdclock.info/

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Email andre[at]artserver[dot]org