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dice roll (2014) nolan lem
plywood, metal, fishing Line, dice, motors, foam paper, wood, pulleys, electronics
writings (pdf)
Dice Roll (2014) reveals a kinetic network of rolling dice that explores the acoustic topographies of both sound and space through the interplay of order and chaos, pattern and noise, equilibrium and entropy.

As such, each die in the system is both a sonic and motile interactant, housed in a machine that sustains them in perpetual motion as they strike pieces of wood strewn across the floor. Their motion is controlled by a circuit that can modulate the speed at which they are struck. The dice, as a multiplicitous sound object, incite the resonance inherent to the wood’s material and topological orientation. Their disturbations on the wood surfaces demarcate the acoustic topography of the room: different areas of the room amplify and mask various sets of rolling dice. With a range of timbral densities on audio-visual display, the perceptual threshold between discrete and continuous texture forms a survey of different sonic patterns as they emerge from the boundaries of order and noise.

The dice themselves are at once fixed and random. Indicative of their cultural signification as symbols of gambling, the sound of rolling dice is an embodied distillation of chance and probability. The emergence of the dice’s sonic presence—in sheer volume and continuity--- pervades the space to suggest the political economy of sound as visceral, oppressive and invasive.

Dice Roll (2014) from Nolan Lem on Vimeo.