Study 7/0 visualizes the positioning errors of a static GPS receiver.

It is motivated by the idea of cognitive mapping as a configuration of individual, non-linear and discontinuous spatiotemporal experiences and their outcomes. We use technical flaws and/or imperfections as generators of the conceptual source material for further creative processing and expression. With Study 7/0, we explore the effective approaches to emergence in generative art, where a simple initial setup of a complex system can produce surprising phenomena.

We secured a GPS receiver to a desk, powered it up, and let it run a draw track function for 7 days, 7 hours, 16 minutes and 11 seconds. While the ideal GPS plot for an immovable object is a single point, this setup had recorded 8438 positions on a 34.7km long path covering an area of 2.1km2. The path is a consequence of the limited precision of a GPS receiver operating inside a building under changing weather, combined with the GPS inaccuracy of GPS infrastructure.

Taking all the recorded time-stamps and 3D positions, we animated the horizontal locales (lon/lat). In the first animation we isolate the current 2.25% (780m) section of the path, revealing the error-generated dynamics. In the second one, we follow the current 2.25% building up a complete path. Each animation is about 5 minutes long and displays all the values from the dataset.

In the granular synthesis sonification, the moving GPS pointer becomes a sound source whose acoustic properties such as Doppler shifts and loudness vary according to its distance from a virtual microphone.


Study 7/0 (Parallel)


The original path


Dejan Grba's career has been unfolding through interrelated practice in media art, writing, education and curating. He has exhibited and lectured in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and his papers have been featured in new media art journals, books and conference proceedings. He is a Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is a Founding Chair of New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, and an Associate Professor with Digital Art PhD Program at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, University of the Arts in Belgrade.

Philippe Kocher is a musician, composer and researcher. He studied piano, electroacoustic music, music theory, composition and musicology in Zurich, Basel, London and Bern. His artistic and scientific work encompasses instrumental and electroacoustic music, sound installation, algorithmic composition and computer-generated music. He is a research associate at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich, and a lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts.