Ars Electronica Garden Espoo / Helsinki

Unburn It

Aalto Media Lab, Aalto University (FI)

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The interactive composition Unburn It approaches a digital new deal from the perspective of music. It begins by examining how music is played online; often echoing pre-digital constraints, such as linear recordings that are the same with each playback. However, opportunities to expand from these conventions are embedded in digital tools themselves; music playback can be interactive, multimedia, and nonlinear. This work is a music release as a web browser game. Upon entering the URL, the visitor is submerged in a polluted ocean. The seed of the composition itself is an eco-grief dirge which can be bent and morphed into danceable catharsis or disjointed fragments. As the player sinks through the screen space, clicking and dragging changes the structure of the music flowing around them. Clicking on various objects that float into view also produces sounds, making the work function like a visual score. The amount of interaction is the player’s choice; one can simply observe the piece or transform its patterns. Unburn It functions as an instrument, a composition, and a game.


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Music design & art direction: M Wingren
Visual art: Carl Victor Wingren
Software: Arto Chydenius
Curation: Antti Ikonen
Executive producer / Head of Department of Media: Professor Philip Dean, Aalto University School of Art Design & Architecture / Media Lab

This Garden is included within the framework of STEAM INC and has been funded with the support of the European Union and the Erasmus+ Programme.