Produsage of Transmedia Stories


BookCoverTransmedia Practice: A Collective Approach positions transmedia as a dynamic phenomenon which undergoes constant innovation as it absorbs current trends and advances in its constituent disciplines.

My chapter describes 3 experiments in the peer production of transmedia storyworlds with 100+ students in Crossmedia Production at the University of Canberra in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Barrass S. (2014) Produsage of Transmedia Stories, in Poison D., Cook A., Velikovsky JT., and Brackin A. (2014) Transmedia Practice: A Collective Approach, Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Making Things Growl, Purr and Sing

purrgrowlsing_800Mozzi is a sound synthesiser that allows the Arduino to purr, growl and sing, instead of just buzzing the way it usually does….

Mozzi lets you create all sorts of sounds on the Arduino using familiar synthesis units including oscillators, samples, delays, filters and envelopes. These sounds can be embedded in clothing, appliances, sports equipment, gadgets, toys, installations, and many other places where sound not been possible before. Check out the user contributed examples in the Mozzi Gallery

MOZZI Arduino Synth Workshop

14:00 to 20:00
Thursday 20 March
Location: Kindred Studios, Yarraville, Melbourne,
Limit of 10 Participants
Cost $90 – includes Mozzi Noob kit

Register at–melbourne

Participants need a laptop with the latest Arduino software and Mozzi library downloaded on it.
Mozzi –
Arduino –

Tim Barrass is an interactive sound and algorithmic artist, and is the inventor of the Mozzi software.
Stephen Barrass researches data sonification and teaches digital design and media arts at the University of Canberra.

Who’d have thought

Who’d Have Thought is a blog about design innovation and creative reinvention where Jane and Will interview artists and designers with questions that focus on up-cycling in the creative arts.
Jane’s interview about the Hypertension Singing Bowl led me to think about 3D printing as a way to up-cycle waste metals. The organizers of the first e-Waste Academy described the “Age of Urban Mining” in which precious metals and rare earth minerals are mined from the growing deposits of electronic junk that contain 50 times the amount of gold and precious metals than ores mined from the ground.  recently announced the dawning of a “New Bronze Age” with the introduction of the capability to 3D print CAD designed objects in Bronze and Brass. Singing bowls and gongs were invented in the Bronze Age due to the malleability and musical properties of these metals.
What if discarded mobile phones could be up-cycled as singing bowls through urban mining in the new bronze age?

Cymatic Synthesis


Barrass S. and Barrass T. (2013) Cymatic Synthesis of a Series of Bells, in Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Perth, 11-17 August, 2013.

IMG_3880 caster sugar 10 seconds

Cymatic visualisation of bell ringing sound.
Photo : Tim Barrass

Frequency analysis and additive synthesis are the conventional way to reproduce sounds in signal processing. However, digital fabrication provides an alternative way to reproduce sounds by geometrical reproduction of acoustics. This paper proposes cymatic synthesis by geometrical reproduction as an alternative to signal processing as a way to design sounds. In the other direction, cymatic synthesis can also be used to design geometric shapes from sounds. The potential of cymatic synthesis was explored through an experiment to produce a recursive series of bells, where the geometry of each bell is constructed from the spectral profile of the previous bell in the series. The knowledge gained from these experiments is captured in a process model with modular stages of SHAPE, SOUND, XFORM and PROFILE. Based on the results of the first experiment, we have designed further XFORM mappings that are more directly cymatic than the spectral profile. The substitution of alternative XFORM mappings demonstrates the modularity and generality of the process diagram. These mappings also demonstrate the creative and generative potential of cymatic synthesis.

eMagine at Workshopped 2013


Hypertension at the Opening of Workshopped 13


The Hypertension Singing Bowl was entered in the eMagine competition and will be shown in the Workshopped 2013 Design Exhibition opening on August 14, 2013 in Sydney.

e MAGINE is the 3D laser sintering design competition – a WORKSHOPPED and AMS (Advanced Manufacturing Services) collaboration. The competition is open to anyone passionate about design. There will be 3 winners, as decided by an industry panel. Each will have their product laser sintered and exhibited by AMS as part of WORKSHOPPED13

The competition focus is creating new synergies between design and process through additive manufacture – innovative designs of previous impossible geometries to realise functionality, energy or material efficiencies or advancement in current practice. Designs that can only be realised through the laser melting or sintering manufacturing process.


This stainless steel Singing Bowl has been shaped from a year of blood pressure readings. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the “silent killer” due to the lack of symptoms, and because it is a significant factor in many life-threatening diseases.


Hypertension Singing Bowl: Photo Linda Davy

Singing bowls have been associated with stress reduction and wellbeing for centuries. Antique singing bowls were hand-beaten from alloys of up to seven metals that could include Gold, Silver, Mercury, Copper, Iron, Tin, Lead, Zinc, Nickel and other trace elements. The hand made shapes and alloys meant that each bowl had its own individual and characteristic tone. Today, singing bowls fabricated by casting in bronze are more uniform in shape, material and sound. The shape of the Hypertension Singing Bowl has been constructed by Computer Aided Design from a blood pressure readings that produce an individual and unique shape. This shape has then been digitally fabricated in stainless steel to produce an acoustic object that produces a tone when rubbed with the wooden “puja” stick.

The acoustics of the singing bowl are individual to the person from whom the readings were taken. The upper part of the bowl is shaped by daily systolic pressure, and the lower part by the daily diastolic pressure. The meditative sound it produces is not only a means of reducing stress, but also a reminder to monitor your well-being, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Hypertension was curated for the Embracing Innovation 3 exhibition at CraftsACT Craft and Design Centre, Canberra, 18 July 24 August, 2013.

Embedding Sonifications in Things


This month I will be leading a Mozzi workshop


and presenting a paper

Barrass, S. and Barrass, T. (2013) Embedding Sonifications in Things, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display, Lodz, Poland, 6-10 July, 2013.

at the International Conference on Auditory Display in Poland.

The ICAD 2013 conference will be held at the Lodz University of Technology, Poland on 6-10th of July 2013. The event will be the 19th in the series of ICAD conferences, organized almost yearly since 1992. The first two days of the conference will be reserved for workshops and think-tanks, while the remaining three for oral and poster sessions.

The conference covers a wide range of topics connected to auditory displays and data sonification. The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Auditory Display: – Aesthetics – Applications – Evaluation – Methods – Philosophy – Technologies – Theory – Usability
  • 3D and Spatial Audio
  • Data Sonification and Audification
  • Head Related Transfer Functions
  • Psychoacoustics and Perceptual Research
  • Sonification as Art
  • Sound Interaction
  • Speech Synthesis, TTS and Spearcons
  • Use of Audio in Human-Computer Interfaces
  • Virtual acoustic displays and environment

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