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Ovalprocess
Markus Popp, Germany
Ovalprocess, 2000
Interactive music software embedded in an environment
Selected by: ZKM_Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
Ovalprocess is an interdisciplinary, modular, dynamic music project consisting of a software application, a series of audio CDs, a lecture, and three interactive sound installation objects of varying sizes and dimensions. All components are conceptually interwoven and modeled after the unique “oval” strategies of sound, structure, and musical aesthetics.

Ovalprocess is an attempt to suggest a model for one possible alternative approach to audio productivity in contemporary electronic music, allowing for a definition of music-as software. Formatted as a series of retail CD formats, sound installation objects, concert events, and lectures, its ambition is to represent a discursive, engaging, user-centric, and potentially controversial effort in order to propose a new dialogue and to shift the focus of attention to problems and questions of software design, ergonomics, and multimedia authoring. Additional criteria are then suggested for electronic music discourse.

Ovalprocess and its sequel, Commers, are more than just spin-off products. Rather, they are audible milestones documenting the ongoing development of the “oval” audio content work-flow, the process software application, and its sound installation counterparts. The audio CD releases are both representative works in their own right, each pursuing a distinctive, contrasting musical rhetoric. Each CD aims to interpret and fundamentally transform the underlying tech-nical specs and formal boundaries of the process concept.

The actual process software application (programmed by Richard Ross) is a first attempt to represent a model for a typical workflow in contemporary digital audio productivity. The process sound installation objects were created in cooperation with the architecture company Skotoparc, Berlin, and are designed to serve as a tangible, interactive front-end to the process software and the included original sound-file content.
Markus Popp