Instant Places: FlavoPunkJS


Instant Places

Generating online now! —> FlavoPunkJS
A co-presentation of Instant Places and New Music Edmonton

FlavoPunkJS is an audiovisual artwork for online transmission that employs javascript libraries for WebAudio and WebGL to generate sound fields and texture-mapped mesh choreographies. The A/V stream may be accessed here.

A cube of coloured glyphs orbits a monochrome landscape, floating past and through reflecting bodies that fold and stretch the walls of image into fields of pure colour as a transmitter scans for messages from a distant star.


FlavoPunkJS is the latest in a series of generative artworks by Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse (AKA Instant Places). Kavanaugh and Birse make performances, generative installations, and telematic networks, instant places of imagination and connection. As a collaborative team they have travelled the world making Instant Places art on location, throughout the UK/Europe, Australia, Japan, in the USA/South America and from coast to coast in Canada. See the website for documents from recent projects and an extensive archive of works dating to 2001.


Facebook: @instantplaces
Instagram: @instant_places

flavoPunKaventure: Livestreamed performance


flavoPunKaventure is a live-streamed audiovisual performance by Instant Places presented by New Music Edmonton in March 2021, in which Kavanaugh and Birse perform with an iteration of their Compound Eye system, a networked environment that combines live action with altered reality visual interventions in a multi-camera switching matrix. Motion detection, audio analysis, and algorithmic processes combine in the Compound Eye camera matrix to open dynamic viewports into the performance, as generative events in 3D space interpenetrate live actions through multiple camera views.

See the video documentation of flavoPunKaventure here.

New Music Edmonton

New Music Edmonton (previously known as The Edmonton Composers’ Concert Society and as Tonus Vivus) has been the main hub for new music and related arts in the amiskwaciy-wâskahikan/ Edmonton region since 1985. We present an annual series of innovative artistic events and outreach programmes featuring the widest possible spectrum of practices and diversity of artists, including chamber music, avant-jazz, noise, choral music, sound art, multidisciplinary projects, and much more. Featuring the region’s rich and diverse community of established and emerging artists is a priority, complemented by visiting artists able to bring exceptional creative expressions to our city.

As partners in the community, New Music Edmonton regularly works in collaboration with other arts organizations and is committed to making the work we present accessible through a newly developed strategy utilizing digital streaming options, a collaboration with CJSR radio, and the utilization of inclusive ticketing structures and innovative venues.

Our commitment to representing the creative and demographic diversity of our community includes proactive strategies whose goal is to fulfill this aspect of our mandate. We recognize that treating all people equally does not guarantee fairness, but can, instead, reinforce extant biases. As such, in contributing to a reliably equitable environment in our own presentations, the arts generally, and society as a whole, we endorse and have adopted policies whose outcomes promote fair distribution of opportunities.

For More Information: New Music Edmonton Website :: Soundcloud :: Vimeo

Instant Places : Critical responses

Festival International de Musique Actuelle Victoriaville, Audiovisual performance, May 15, 2015
Review in Xclaim, May 16 2015, Byron Coley

… the screen behind them was constantly bursting with weird, new colourful images, spinning and bobbing like kayaks in a stormy sea. It’s a nice gesture, because their electro-acoustic music is demanding and continuously erupting into new abstract forms; it’s comforting to have something to hold onto… cracked electronics, treated vocals and noise triggers. The results are rarely assaultive, but they mutate quickly and fluidly. The trip was messy and quite wonderful …

Elastic Planets : Generative audiovisual installation, single-channel projection, 12-channel 3D audio
June 11—22, 2013 :: New Adventures in Sound Art/NXNE Festival, Toronto
Review in Musicworks #117, Jason Van Eyck

Stepping into this black cube is like entering an intergalactic observation deck. Enveloped by mechanical whirs, buzzes and clicks, a parade of heavenly bodies is presented for inspection. This particular set is kaleidoscopic in colour, malleable in shape, kinetic in nature, frenetic in texture, as if the Painters Eleven had created their own solar system. Somewhere, alien voices whisper their own interpretations. The ear strains, until the eye is drawn back to explore the next colour- saturated asteroid. Now the vessel is rumbling with a purring bass. We must be thrusting forward to a new star field… Elastic Planets is the latest work of Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh, who have worked together as the intermedia-art operation Instant Places since 1997…

InstantPlaces/Peterborough 2010 : Generative audiovisual installation, widescreen linked projections, eight-channel sound
September 17— October 31, 2010 :: Art Gallery of Peterborough
Akimblog review, Gil McElroy

Begin with the marvelous. Start in southeastern Ontario in the main exhibition space of the Art Gallery of Peterborough where artists Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse have just installed … an audio-visual structure that uses a long, high wall in the gallery space as a video projection screen before which are situated several benches surrounded by a complex speaker system. … There’s nothing flashy about any of it, just fine variations on the abstraction and reconstruction of the representational that are utterly compelling. The audio component fills the gallery during this process-oriented work with something acoustically akin to a rumbling that, mirroring the transformative nature of the structures visually wrought and then dissembled upon the gallery wall, swells and diminishes in intensity like waves.

Removable Room, Mobile artlab projects
September 25—27, 2007 :: The Guild Inn, Scarborough ON / May 8—12, 2007 :: Send + Receive Festival, Winnipeg MB / January 16—20, 2007 :: Neutral Ground, Regina SK / October 25—28, 2006 :: Pen Centre, St. Catharines ON / October 9—14, 2006 :: Tone Deaf Festival, Kingston ON.

Excerpted from Waterman, Ellen. “Send and Receive: Technology, Embodiment, and the Social in Digital Audio/Visual Art.” Performance Practice in Removable Room.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


Image credits: Instant Places