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unreservedEarlier this month, I debuted a new project in Miami, FL called unreserved. Since it takes inspiration from the Miami Art Week / Art Basel fairs in Miami every December the project opened for these events, but it is ongoing and will continue for the foreseeable future.

unreserved is a location-based contributory audio installation in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami which has a strong tradition of street art. This tradition has, however, taken on a new dynamic due to the transformation of the region during the art fairs. Street walls are now reserved and curated in increasingly restrictive ways, leading to a cultural shift which is not necessarily welcome. With unreserved, I hope to enable locals and visitors alike to leave their audio graffiti in any place and in any way they so choose.

unreserved is a collaboration with and funded by the Fordistas Gallery located in Wynwood which houses the gallery component of the piece. The project has been covered by a few local news outlets:

A short video introduction:

and an audio sample:

Audio MP3

tbf-logoI am honored and excited to announce that I have received a fellowship from the Boston Foundation as part of their Brother Thomas Fellowship program. I join an esteemed list of fellows and finalists.

This is a rare program that celebrates artistic accomplishments and vision in an unrestricted way, giving recipients complete freedom in how to use the generous award. I plan to use it not only to give me more time to take advantage of my MIT Media Lab and Open Documentary Lab affiliations, but also to invest back into Roundware.

media-lab-logoI have recently extended my infiltration of MIT by becoming a Research Affiliate in the Responsive Environments group in the Media Lab at MIT. This was precipitated by my Bog People installation work which is part of the larger Living Observatory project in which the amazing folks in the Responsive Environments group play a huge part.

I am honored and humbled to be associated with these technologists/researchers/musicians/artists and am looking forward to learning even more from them than I already have.


I am pleased to announce the first in a series of installation/events called Invisible Monument, a new project in collaboration with artist and fellow MIT Open Documentary Lab fellowLara Baladi.

WHEN: 30th of September 30th, from 4-7PM

WHERE: Dewey Square, Boston

Since 2011, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy movements, the world has experienced an unprecedented number of uprisings.

Invisible Monument is an ongoing series of contributory audioscapes, which will be geolocated in spaces across the world where these social movements started and changed history.

A short film that Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums commissioned on Tributaries:


I have just launched a new project commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums in Newcastle, UK, called Tributaries. I’ve been working with the museum for over a year on it and it’s finally available for everyone to experience.

Tributaries aims to give insight into the daily reality of life, loss and love on Tyneside during the First World War. I worked with the archives and museum to uncover materials from 100 years ago that express what life was like back then – everything from diaries to newspaper articles to weather logs to sports scores – and then re-animated those writings with the help of local volunteers who expertly voiced them for us.

The resulting experience is a site-specific combination of a new musical composition infused with this content which is geographically distributed throughout the region for participants to discover as they wander.

A new installation as part of Harvard’s LitFest called re~verse is now open.  This project is made in collaboration with Harvard’s metaLAB and the Woodberry Poetry Room.

re~verse is a participatory, location-based sound installation in which snippets of recorded poetry from Harvard’s collections—the voices of renowned poets—crowd together at the gates of Harvard’s historic Yard.

They murmur together, chorusing with music composed for the piece and one another across stanzas and centuries. From gate to gate around the Yard, they combine with the voices of present-day participants, who are invited to contribute to a growing, unfolding work of art with responses, recitations, and reveries.

I view this iteration as a study for a larger project that I hope will flow from this initial set of experiments.  I have long been an appreciator of poetry and having access to the incredible set of recordings is something I never imagined would happen.

There is an opening event on Tuesday evening along with numerous other interesting happenings and people visiting.

Open Documentary LabI have recently begun a fellowship at the Open Documentary Lab at MIT.

Though I am not a documentary film-maker in any way, I feel a lot of cross-over between what I do and what they do. We both go out into the world and talk to real people about their experiences/opinions/ideas and then take that raw material and sculpt it into some kind of collective whole. In the case of documentary, that whole tends to be a bit more overtly narrative than my work, but the OpenDocLab is a unique place because their focus is on new forms of documentary, many of which are very experimental and non-linear.

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.

I am honored to be joining a small group of very interesting and talented other fellows (fellow fellows?), and am having fun getting back into the academic world after so many years.

Color CrossingI am collaborating with visual artist Kate Gilbert on a piece of public art in Downtown Crossing, Boston, called “Color Crossing“. Appropriately enough, the piece is installed in Music Hall Place, an alley off of Winter Street that used to serve as an entrance to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first home and is now a passageway to the food court at the Corner Mall.

Color Crossing will be in place through the Fall and my audio composition is all about time travel; go check it out and pick up some Thai food for lunch at the same time…

Here’s an excerpt with some slamming beats:

Audio MP3

I would definitely go to the future. No question.

I am a part of a group exhibition at the Boston Sculptors Gallery called Twelve Nights. The show includes work from eight artists who are all a part of a critique group that meets every month. I have been lucky to be a part of this group for many years now and it is wonderful to see all of our work together in a public setting.

I decided to try something new and explore some ideas for visual pieces instead of my audio-based work. I’ve always loved maps and my contribution to the show, Road Trip, 2002 is what happens to an old Rand McNally atlas in today’s modern GPS-enhanced age. I’m trying to bring back a bit of the mystery…

I composed an audio accompaniment to a new exhibition of paintings by Anne Neely at the Museum of Science, Boston called Water Stories.

The piece is comprised of five sections grouped by thematic content: The Future, Stories, Bad Things, Science and Cherish. The voices are edited and combined with water sounds and musical elements and play in a continuous loop throughout the gallery. Here is a sample of the Future section:

Audio MP3

A feature on Anne Neely and the exhibition was published in the Globe in advance of the opening:

Concern inspires Anne Neely to evoke watery subjects

There was a nice spread in the Boston Globe about Kelly Sherman and my project, Patient Translations:

The human side of health care [ pdf of full spread in physical paper with photos etc ]

“The art of it is it’s this random collection of snippets, which is enthralling. It can be hard to listen to, but people who have been through hard things are comforted that it’s not just them.”

Our project is ongoing, so you can check out the website and download the app to listen and contribute your own story.

katzen_app1_smI am a part of a new exhibition at the American University Museum called Brink & Boundary along with three other excellent artists.

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 5th, 6-9PM
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 17th, 4PM
Exhibition Dates: April 5th – August 17th, 2014

My contribution is an extension of my ongoing Hotel Dreamy piece.  It is a location-aware sound installation that contains people’s dream recollections juxtaposed with snippets of interviews I conducted with dream researchers; everything from cognitive neuroscientists to psychoanalysts.  I’m still collecting dreams, so feel free to grab the free Hotel Dreamy iOS app and add your own to the mix!


Trudy Lane and I were chosen as the 2014 ADA Mesh Cities Artist Tour artists for our project, Sound Sky in Christchurch, NZ.  Earlier this month we presented about the project and the underlying Roundware technology in workshops in Christchurch and at AUT in Auckland.

ADA is a wonderful organization that supports digital artists and art in New Zealand and we were honored to be able to help spread their message as well as our project with these workshops.

Sound SkyI will be traveling to New Zealand next month to work on a new project in Christchurch called Sound Sky. The project is a collaboration between myself and New Zealand artist, Trudy Lane, and is a contributory audio landscape informed by and evolving out of the tragic earthquakes of 2010/2011 that destroyed the majority of downtown Christchurch.

I’m very excited to be able to contribute to bringing this project to reality as well as to get a chance to travel to New Zealand, where I have never been before.

Thank you to Creative New Zealand, the arts funding body of the New Zealand government, for providing seed funding for Sound Sky and to the wonderful partners (primarily CEISMIC, Gap Filler and CSSA) with whom Trudy and I are looking forward to working more as things progress.

I was interviewed as the inaugural subject of a new series for Smithsonian Magazine online about innovators and the tools they use to innovate. So if you’re interested in learning about 10 items (among many others) that surround me in my studio, have a read:

10 Gadgets Halsey Burgund Can’t Live Without

Truth be told, under extreme circumstances, I could probably manage to live without most of these(!), but it was interesting to think about what tangible items help me with my work. There are plenty of intangibles too, of course.

This article was written in advance of my participation in the “Innovation Explorations” program at Smithsonian which will be highlighting innovations in sound on November 16th in DC. I will be giving an early-stage demo of my piece “Ghost Crowd” which I am working on as a result of my Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship last year. There will be other audio innovators at the event, including, I am told, the inventor of the microphone…sweet!

My collaboration “A Walk Through Deep Time” with New Zealand artist, Trudy Lane is now in its second incarnation in Sydney as part of the ISEA 2013 International Symposium on Electronic Art. Trudy has been on-site leading guided walks and I have transported the soundscape from New Zealand to The Rocks neighborhood of Sydney for people to experience and contribute.

Our piece is part of The Rocks Pop-Up program of ISEA which includes a number of cool, non-traditionally sited pieces.

You can download the updated version of the iOS app or visit the new Deep Time website to listen and contribute regardless of whether you are on-site.

TEDMEDKelly Sherman and I will be heading south to Washington, DC next week to install Patient Translations at the annual TEDMED conference at the Kennedy Center. We are excited to share the piece with a larger and more broad audience and get a chance to talk with all the medically-minded people in attendance. I hope we get a chance to attend some of the talks as well since I am fairly addicted to TED talks already, but have only been able to enjoy them online thus far.

In anticipation, the kind folks at TEDMED have posted a blurb on their blog about Patient Translations:

Voice art aims to capture the human side of healthcare

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A Walk Through Deep Time

A walk through 4.57 billion years of the earth's history, layering ideas from across philosophy, science, and culture and inviting you to share your own sense of wonder.

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A new piece of public sound art created from personal responses to existing public art and the city of Cambridge, MA itself.

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Music for Journaling

A participatory audio composition about sharing ideas and creating a critical community focused on public art and its role in society. Commissioned by Public Art Dialogue for Volume 2, Issue 1, "Audience Participation".

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Hotel Dreamy

Where our dreams go on vacation... A growing collection of dream recollections and some music to bring them together.