Friday 7 April

Sound x movement x engineering = mechatronic art. The second part of the evening features two live performances. Jon He (Singapore) presents ‘Serrate Study I’ on an ensemble of mechatronic scrapper percussion and ‘g.qin’, a custom-made gestural controller. Bridget Johnson & Jim Murphy (New Zealand) present ‘Pivotal Space’, merging new technologies with natural environments to create a spatial exploration of mechanical, processed, and organic motion, featuring their unique mechatronic instruments ‘swivel’ and ‘speaker.motion’. Introduction and Q&A with Jon He.

Pivotal Space

piecePivotal Space is a collaborative work by Jim Murphy and Bridget Johnson that merges new technologies with natural environments to create a spatial exploration of mechanical, processed, and organic motion. The piece includes live performance with new mechatronic instruments: Murphy's Swivel and Johnson's speaker.motion


BridgetlBridget Johnson is a Senior Lecturer and the Major Coordinator of Music Technology at Massey University School of Music and Creative Media Production. Her research focuses on the musicians aesthetic engagement with space in its many forms. As a sound artist and composer her work crosses many platforms and mediums. Her main focus is designing new intuitive interfaces for musical expression, and this often manifests in the design of custom-built music performance hardware and software. Her teaching interests lie in developing ways to teach engineering techniques to artists, to further their artistic pursuits. Bridget's studies at NZSM have seen her recognised as a significant contributor to the fields of electroacoustic composition and live electronics by means of: Victoria Doctoral Scholarship Recipient Joint winner or the 2010 Composition Competition (w Jason Erskine) for yamoto-damashii / gendruwo, Bridget and Jason were also awarded Prizes for Excellence in Performance . The same piece was also awarded first place in the Australasian Computer Music Conference Young Composers Competition in 2011 Ross Harris Award for Live Electronic Music 2010.

JimJim Murphy is an artist and researcher working at the boundary between mechatronics, luthiery, and installation-oriented sculpture. Jim was born in Taos, New Mexico and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010 at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. While at CalArts, Jim studied extensively with musical roboticist Ajay Kapur and digital signal processing expert Martijn Zwartjes and worked with computer music notables Perry Cook and Mark Trayle. He also studied under sound sculptor Trimpin, whose works have inspired Jim to pursue kinetic sound art in all forms.

Jim continued his studies in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2014, he received a PhD for his interdisciplinary studies at Victoria University of Wellington's New Zealand School of Music and School of Engineering and Computer Science. His doctoral work focused on the creation and evaluation of an array of mechatronic instruments endowed with greater degrees of freedom (and musically expressive affordances) than is typical of many mechatronic instruments. During his studies, he established an interdisciplinary style of work that he continues to pursue.

After finishing his PhD, Jim has taught at the New Zealand School of Music as a visiting lecturer, teaching computer programming, embedded systems design, and interactive art topics to first-year through fourth-year undergraduates. Concurrently with his teaching role at the New Zealand School of Music, Jim teaches as a guest lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Engineering and Computer Science, participating in the school's Sonic Engineering Lab for Creative Technology and teaching data acquisition and embedded systems design. Jim is interested in creating and teaching the interdisciplinary practice of music technology, drawing from engineering and music-related bodies of knowledge to further the state of the art.

Artistically, Jim continues to create kinetic sound sculptures (a selection of his works may be viewed in the Portfolio section of this site). His recent works focus on the act of obtaining unexpected sounds from objects through the use of mechatronic actuation and excitation. In2015, Jim founded new media project Technical Earth with artist Mo H. Zareei.