Detailed Informations about BWAIN

How BWAIN developed?

As both artists and computer scientists, we determined to conceive of a project which bridged both art and technology. How could we unite our visual abilities with our technical experiences in a unique work? Brainstorming began and we looked at significant projects, both local and international so as to assemble inspirations which we could build upon. Computing, aesthetics and sound fascinated us and we pursued some ideas. We decided to build a program based on accidental occurrences. Other standardized graphic programs are limited in design quality so that became yet another goal. Digital techniques are often not fully considered so we sought to experiment. The concept behind BWAIN was that one could access the endless source of structured Data from the world wide web and use it as a basis for an acoustic and visual representation. The result is an alternative browser which over the internet, uses structure and layout information provided by the HTML and CSS files. This allows a process of representation which grows and develops. Through HTML links, there are navigation possibilities over the source codes. This gives the user the chance to work in an artistic manner in an abstract search through the World Wide Web.

Should you have questions particular to the programming or technical aaspects of the work, please don´t hesitate to contact us.


The visual construction is dependent upon the speed of the music and provides orientation in terms of tact. Each webpage possesses an individual flow in melody line with a particular length which is repeated endlessly, but with subtle variations. The various HTML nodes summoned from the particular websites are given an additional tone which during the interaction of the Program, can be integrated the existing melody line. The WebMusic component is the connecting link between the HTML Code of a particular webpage and the generated music. In this part, the webpage is parsed for meaningful input values suitable for the algorithms of the Composer Element. Here musical values, such as key, legth of the melody and number of tracks, etc. are determined for an individual acoustical performance. Thereby, attributes such as the length of the URL, the number and the existence of particular tag types, etc, are taken into consideration. Melodic patterns are varied at random, but maintain the same character in tempo and key.


How may we transmit the abstract information to the user? For one, the acoustic signals which are generated from the Soundview and two, in the form of visual clues provided by the VisualViews. In order to achieve synchronicity between the visual and audio components, rhythm was introduced. Through a metronome this rhythm functions as the initiator for the growth process. Attributes from the HTMLtag define the size and colour of the views.


The project and ideas were created by Norbert Sroke, Stefan Gottschalk, Michael Bißmann, Andreas Schönefeldt, Marko Seidenglanz and Alexander Keck. Linda Huber and Alexander Radke were supporting and guiding the project.


F2Debug-panel on/off.
F6Select the URL in the adress bar
F11Fullscreen on/off
F12Make a screenshot (.png file) and soundshot(.mid-file)
ENTERMaximize window on/off if adress bar is not selected
SPACEMaximize/minimize control bar
ESCLeave Fullscreen / Leave control bar / exit program
Arrow KeysMove current view
+ / -Zoom
SHIFTUse Shift with +/- to control the speed of the program