Main Research Proposal
Summary Curriculum Vitae
List of publications

Activated Space                    David Cunningham

appendix 2 - electronic resource

1 - project management

As described in the Research Proposal at the outset of the Fellowship a website will go live.   This will be primarily text-based and include a response section to progress and facilitate the online discussion.  The site will be updated and archived as each installation project is initiated and as the online discussion develops.

Through developments in data compression the ability of Internet media to carry moving image and audio is likely to advance over the duration of the Fellowship so specific website software suggested here will be updated to accommodate audio-visual material where appropriate.

All documentation, archive files and backup data of the research and its outcomes will be collated as described in section 4 of this Appendix and deposited with the AHDS.

David Cunningham will be responsible for project management in liaison with the Head of Fine Art Andrew Burton, the Research Mentor Susan Hiller, The University Research Unit, Computer and Audio-Visual Centres, technical staff, external consultants and curators.  The Research Unit provides administrative support, expertise, advice on budgeting and seeking any necessary further funding and further training in research management.

2 - data development methods

The substantial body of content will be developed and derived from original artworks and no issues of copyright infringement are involved.  The copyrights of third party contributors within the work will reside with the performers with a clearance granted in each individual case for open access for educational and academic use.

The draft clearance wording is as follows:
With regard to my copyrights embodied in my composition/performance (insert title, date and location) I confirm that I allow permission for open access to the recording(s) for educational and academic use without prejudice to my rights to negotiate freely in respect of any other uses.

Content Creation and Editing: Audio content will be recorded with a range of techniques including DAT tape, Minidisc and ADAT multichannel with a variety of appropriate microphones, including Audio Technica PRO 42 boundary microphones and a Soundfield type array.  Microphone preamplifiers will be matched for phase linearity, a key aspect of any surround audio application.  Audio will be transferred using ProTools software and interface within the digital domain to computer hard drive or backup and editing.  Source and edited material will be archived on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.

Audio for 5.1 surround will be encoded into Dolby Digital (AC3) at 640 kbps using SmartCode Pro within a ProTools TDM environment. All multichannel audio will be maintained in the original uncompressed discrete format for backup and archiving.  The choice of DVD 5.1 audio format not only reflects the need for a relatively accessible surround sound replay format but the current inability of the audio industry to settle format specifications for DVD-A, the proposed audio only format.  All source material will be DVD A ready in the unlikely event that this becomes a readily accessible format standard within the duration of the Fellowship.

Any moving image content will be shot on Digital Video Camera with Firewire output allowing direct transfer from original media to computer hard drive.  A suitable edit program such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere will be used for editing.  Master edits will be archived on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.

Streaming from Media Files: It is likely that a number of media types will be created from audio and DV masters.   Should the ability to accommodate DVD 5.1 audio or similar future formats become possible within the duration of the Fellowship the specific website software suggested here will be updated accordingly - all source recordings being archived as discrete data so encoding for future formats will be straightforward with no generation loss between source and distribution format.

To ensure cross-platform compatibility the work will present a number of high-quality encoded streaming formats.  The leading contenders to be investigated are:
Quicktime - a suite such as Media Cleaner Pro or Quicktime Pro will be used to flatten, cross-platform and compress content into a suitable Quicktime format.  For Quicktime web distribution and streaming, Sorenson compression is the preferred format.  This method requires the use of the Quicktime streaming server and also for the Quicktime plug-in to be installed client-side.  The Universityís Audio Visual Centre is currently developing a QT streaming service.
RealMedia: RealProducer content can easily be output to RealMedia, requiring RealPlayer to be installed client side.  RealMedia can be streamed directly from a regular http server.  There is the option to publish to a RealServer which may allow higher levels of access and enhanced functionality.  RealProducer now has the added functionality of adding Keywords to Realmedia files, allowing search engines to recognise content.

Given the practical and conceptual difficulties in documenting this work (see main proposal section ii - research dissemination) it is unlikely that real-time web streaming would make a significant contribution to the research and research dissemination.  However, should this become relevant as the project develops facilities will be in place to enable the more complex online delivery of real-time events.
Multicast Streaming: As with recorded media files, alternative streams for the end user are desirable and will be researched and developed as appropriate eg:
Quicktime Multicast: Live input captured from source through broadcast software such as Sorenson Broadcaster is transferred multicast from a suitable steaming server.  Mac OS X server technology will allow approimately 1000 simultaneous streams.  Client side systems require the installation of the Quicktime plug-in.
RealMedia: requires a combination of RealProducer and RealServer to create a live stream.  The live feed is fed directly to RealProducer which converts and transfers media to the realServer for streaming live events.

The Online Installation Diary will be a standard HTML website with access to supporting material in the form of Quicktime or RealMedia files and archived text and index material using standard HTML or PDF format where appropriate.  Adobe PDF is a technique for creating documents of relatively small file size which are easily distributed online and maintain design integrity.  These documents have all the link functionality of the main HTML site and will be ideal for archived texts, footnotes links to source references and a master index for the whole project.

At every stage, work will be created using industry standard software.  I have many years of professional practice with audio software eg: Sound Designer, Cubase, ProTools, Quicktime and others on a variety of platforms and currently operate and maintain a website serving my commercial interests using various standard HTML authoring tools plus Adobe Photoshop, Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat etc.

This proposal has been discussed and advised on by the following:
Andrew Burton, Head of Fine Art, University of Newcastle; Andrew.Burton@newcastle.ac.uk
Catherine Owen, Manager, Performing Arts Data Service; cath@pads.ahds.ac.uk
Susan Hiller, Baltic Professor for Contemporary Art; Susan.Hiller@ncl.ac.uk
Monica Ross, AHRB Fellow, University of Newcastle; monica@intertextualiser.com

3 - infrastructural support

The University Computer Centre provides web space and e-mail as standard facilities and has a permanent 34mbps connection to the Internet and an ISDN connection of 64 kbps.  PC and Mac clusters of suitable computers are distributed at several sites on the campus.  Key sites have 24 hour access.

In addition I have my own equipment, hardware and software compatible with computers within the Fine Art Department for preparation and editing of digital audio to CD or DVD standard.

Data and Archive Integrity:
All material will be backed up to appropriate storage media, original uncut multichannel audio and edited versions to data CDROM or DVD-ROM, website versions to CDROM as updates are introduced plus an indexed online archive version.   Any visual material will be backed up in data format on CDROM or DVD-ROM.

Systematic archiving will provide a master data resource from which a comprehensive data archive will be collated and indexed from each year of the Fellowship.  The precise timetable for creation of the archive will be determined by the occasion of each test version,  installation and responses within the programme.  Each stage of the work will be treated as distinct phases of development, production and archiving to ensure steady progression and completion and continuous data integrity.

4 - data preservation and access

proposed data preservation and access arrangements

A comprehensive archive of the research and outcomes of the Fellowship will be developed as follows:
A series of audio CD and DVD discs with audio documentation encoded in stereo and 5.1 audio format and a CDROM containing the indexed website archive will provide a complete reference index of all recordings in context with associated written and visual data.

The CDROM data will be available online and should the technology become available within the duration of the fellowship it is hoped that the DVD material would be made available online.

As many copies as required will be deposited with PADS/AHDS within 3 months of the completion of the project.  Copies will also be supplied to the National Sound Archive and the World Soundscape Project.

As data deposited with PADS/AHDS is open access for educational and academic use I foresee no concerns about the use of any material deposited (see section 2 of this Appendix).

The research unit of the University publishes clear guidance on intellectual property, technology transfer and the license agreement with the research Councils in its website

In accordance with the published statement, matters of intellectual property would be discussed and agreed with the Research Unit at the outset of the Fellowship and their consultation sought on any issues which arise thereafter.
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