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Instance Terrain Spread

Issue: nq587 e77ecu
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Instance Terrain Spread takes the form of a web page made up of several different threads which resonate and intersect with each other at various points. These threads coexist without hierarchy, braiding a nonlinear environment for exploration. 
The materials in this spread grew out of our recent piece, Instance Terrain Crawler, an audiovisual composition in the form of a virtual space that unfolded through the visitor’s exploration. Instance Terrain Spread can be thought of as an alternate-dimensional extrusion of Instance Terrain Crawler or as a synthetic memory of an idealized visitor. 
A second-person narrative description of the experience of navigating Instance Terrain Crawler—the other composition—acts as scaffolding for this piece. Written as a kind of trip-report with a posthuman sensibility, it describes experiences that would be incomprehensible in conventional spatial reality, but are easily understood when experienced in a virtual space. The text indicates a sequential exploration of the piece supported by hyperlinks, although it is also possible to explore the piece non-sequentially, by scrolling around the page. 
Embedded throughout the page are synthesized audio samples that visitors can activate, recombine and blend at their discretion. As the piece is explored, various audio samples build up and overlap, creating unforeseen sonic and temporal combinations, a compositional approach also used in Instance Terrain Crawler. These sounds coexist with moving procedural textures and sculptural renderings that point to each other and areas of the text. 
Instance Terrain Spread is a manifestation of our ongoing interest in the webpage as an artistic medium. The piece was built only with free and open-source software including Blender, Godot, SuperCollider, Gimp, Audacity and Notepad++ 

Link to related piece Instance Terrain Crawlerhttp://mshr.info/Instance/TerrainCrawler 


MSHR is the art collective of Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy, established in 2011 in Portland, Oregon. The duo collaboratively builds and explores sculptural electronic systems that take form as audiovisual compositions, performances and installations. Their performances revolve around analog synthesizers and computer music systems of their own design that are played in feedback with lights and movement. Their installations involve generative and interactive electronic systems embedded in immersive sculptural arrays. Feedback exists on all levels of MSHR’s practice and it is a constant source of inspiration. The collective conceptualizes itself as a self-transforming cybernetic entity with its outputs patched into its inputs, the resulting emergent form serving as its navigational system. MSHR’s name is a modular acronym designed to hold varied ideas over time.